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Monday, March 18, 2019

I Am Not Jazzed



I got disinvited from speaking to a local middle school’s student book club last week. The librarian who arranged the event was instructed by someone higher up to cancel when that administrator noted my status as an indie author. I get it. Who knows what kind of controversial influence I might exert on impressionable young minds.
So the irony is rich that the school board at this same school system is working to fast-track a transgender student policy that will, among other things, require instruction on transgenderism and homosexuality in the Family Life Education curriculum for grades K-12.
You read that right: This policy would mandate that five-year-olds be taught at school about transgenderism and homosexuality.
I make my indie status up-front and first-page. That this policy is currently in development is buried three links deep on the county’s public school website.
Also last week two kindergarten classes at a local elementary school received a read-aloud of the books I Am Jazz & Julian Is a Mermaid. Parents got a verbose, enthusiastic, and disingenuous letter a few days before the event, with the single word “transgender” buried in the middle of the second paragraph. No opt-out clause was offered, or any suggestion made that some parents might have concerns about the reading. The letter flew under the radar of many over-paperworked parents’ attention until the Washington Post ran a story on it, after which the elementary school reportedly got slammed with calls from furious mothers and fathers.
Why so much subterfuge about practicing gender and sexuality politics at school? Because as one staff member said at a working group on the policy, the school needs to “help parents who are unsupportive or who aren’t quite there yet… help to move the parents along.” These school administrators seem to think they know better than parents the values and beliefs with which children should be inculcated.
I may not be allowed to speak to students about my books, but I will be speaking to administrators about their role in my kids’ lives and about their policies regarding my kids’ education.
Because right now, I am not jazzed.


12 comments:

  1. They won't let you speak because you are an independently published author?!?! That seems CRAZY to me... I DON'T get it. What was their reasoning? What are they afraid of? This world is becoming more and more bizarre... So much seems to be operating out of fear or pressure or force or reverse bullying...

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    1. That's okay. I had better things to do that afternoon anyway. "Poldark" isn't going to binge-watch itself, after all.

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  2. Sorry you aren't Jazzed... maybe you'd feel better about it if someone you know was transgender.
    Someone you know is probably transgender by the way...

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    1. Hi Anon. Someone I love did announce that they are transgender. And I still love that person very much. What I don't love is that the staff at this school decided they were better judges of what kids should be told about themselves than those kids' parents are. If the school truly thought that their read-aloud was perfectly kosher, I think they'd have been more up-front about announcing it. I'm not against transgender people. I'm for parents getting to decide what their five-year-olds get taught about who they truly are.

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  3. I tried to post a comment yesterday and you didn't show it. Hypocritical much?

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    1. Hi. Sorry, I don't check my comments every day because frankly, I don't get that many. Mine's a tiny little blog. I'm going to call you Reader #19! I never saw an earlier comment than this one-- maybe it didn't post? And I do moderate comments because I get more spam comments than real ones like yours. So, thanks for the comment!

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    2. Hm. You were jazzed enough to put up a website claiming to be a coalition of parents, but not answer any questions when the press reaches out to you. But you sure are ready to take help from hate groups! Everyone knows you're Arlington Parent Coalition - why are you hiding?

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    3. Hi... um... Anonymous. It's not hateful to be concerned about the welfare of our children, and so far the only hate I've seen surface is coming from people supportive of this policy. But thank you for thinking I'm such a superhero I could be a coalition all by myself! If you see anything coming from the Arlington Parent Coalition that smacks of hate, you should report it on that website. As far as I can tell APC is behaving with respectfulness and courtesy. https://arlingtonparentcoa.wixsite.com/arlingtonparentcoa/post/gracious-engagement

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  4. There is no such thing as a transgender child. There are children with gender dysphoria. I know all about it because I was a gender dysphoric child. Thankfully my school psychologist didn't suggest I be transitioned. Transitioning is a treatment for gender dysphoria, and it isn't a good treatment because most who transition still suffer from dysphoria. Books like I Am Jazz promote self-hatred and self-harm for children who need help resolving their gender dysphoria.

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    1. I whole-heartedly agree with you, Erin. Thanks for weighing in. Here's hoping that common sense and facts will come back into fashion soon.

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  5. I went to Amazon and ordered your book Drawn. It received good reviews and I'm looking forward to reading it.

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    1. I very much hope you enjoy it! I loved working through that series!

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