Image: Reycraft Books
Conservatives who rant about canceling culture actually love to cancel children’s books that contain content that makes them personally uncomfortable.
The most recent example? In Austin, Texas, irate parents recently filed several complaints with a school after a fourth grade teacher read Call Me Max, a rather nondescript book about a young trans boy named Max, in their class; some parents even ask that the teacher be fired. Rather than advocate for a teacher who reads a frankly pedestrian book aloud to her children, the district not only described the book as inappropriate, but then took the incredible step of providing counselors to students who heard the book read aloud. high, as if they were listening to a book. The book about a trans boy is similar to experiencing a school shooting.
More, through TODAY:
Several parents wrote letters complaining to Forest Trail Elementary, and some asked that the teacher be fired. In response, Eanes Independent School District Learning Director Susan Fambrough explained in an email to parents that “Call Me Max” had been included in a list of various books circulating among teachers, but that “it did not it was appropriate to be read aloud to an audience. ‘ elementary class «.
“Counselors were made available to support the students, and the school administration worked with families to provide an explanation and assurances,” he wrote.
In her emailed letter, Fambrough also described “gender identity” as a “sore topic,” as if children weren’t taught ideas about gender all the fucking time, every day of their lives.
This is not the first time that a school has responded to parental outrage over panicked Call Me Max in recent weeks. In February, a Utah school district canceled an entire reading program intended, ironically, to promote diversity and inclusion after a third grader brought his copy of Call Me Max to school and asked his teacher to read it aloud in class. Parents were so upset that their children were exposed to the idea of a trans boy in a picture book that they called the school to complain, prompting the district to suspend the program called the “Equity Book Bundle,” as one outlet put it. , “Make sure that books approved for use in the classroom are age appropriate and do not address controversial topics such as sexuality or gender identity.”
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According to the American Library Association, half of the most challenged books in schools and public libraries in recent years have LGBTQ themes, and several, such as George and I am Jazz, are about trans children. As Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, told NBC News: “[W]We have seen an increase in organized efforts to get these books out of school and community libraries in recent years, especially books that include transgender characters.
Kyle Lukoff, the author of Call Me Max, posted a letter on Twitter responding to the district’s decision to treat a picture book reading as a traumatic event. “Do you think reading aloud about a transgender child is equivalent trauma?” he wrote. She added: “How do you think transgender people in your community felt when their identities were treated as a disaster?”
As one of the parents of a trans son, who attended Eanes ISD schools until his graduation, told TODAY, the school district’s response sends a message of hatred to trans children like his son Jeremy. “It tells them that they must be invisible, that they cannot talk about who they are, that they are unworthy,” said Jo Ivester.
Jeremy, Ivester’s son, agreed. “If this resource existed when I was a child and had been exposed to this, it would have changed my life, because I grew up in a time when no one really knew what transgender was, that it was something that could be done. be, ”he told CBS Austin. He added: “I think it is absolutely appropriate that this is taught in schools and that children can see and that it is not something taboo, that it is something that should be normalized.”
But, of course, that is precisely what parents like, those who are outraged by a book like Call Me Max do not want.