Breaking 911 – In “Jacob’s New Dress,” a children’s book published in 2014, the title character loves playing dress-up at school – fighting over who gets to be “the princess” with his friend Emily – but is teased by some of the boys in his class for wearing “girl clothes.”
Their teacher explains to the other students that Jacob wears what he is comfortable in.
“Just like you do,” Ms. Wilson tells the class. “Not very long ago little girls couldn’t wear pants. Can you imagine that?”
The story is meant to foster support and acceptance of gender-nonconforming children, according to co-authors Sarah and Ian Hoffman. And until this week, “Jacob’s New Dress” was set to be included in lesson plans for first-grade students at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, one of the largest public school districts in North Carolina.
But the book was abruptly pulled from the reading list after several teachers complained, according to Charles Jeter, the district’s government liaison. Those complaints reached a few Republican lawmakers in the state’s General Assembly who “weren’t happy about it when they found out about it Monday,” Jeter said.
“I got a call that it was brought up in the House Republican caucus Monday night, which is never a good thing,” he told The Washington Post by phone Wednesday.
Because of Jeter’s position – and because he is a former Republican state representative – he said those lawmakers asked him to relay their concerns to the school district. So he did, then spent all of Tuesday in Raleigh speaking with “mostly Republicans, some Democrats” about their issues with the book.
By Tuesday night, Charlotte-Mecklenburg district officials had “made the decision to not move forward with ‘Jacob’s New Dress,’” Jeter said.
“The purpose of our elementary schools is to teach writing, reading and arithmetic, not to encourage boys to wear dresses,” Tami Fitzgerald of the NC Values Coalition said Tuesday, according to the Charlotte Observer. “These lessons found in the ‘Jacob’s New Dress’ and ‘My Princess Boy’ and other transgender curriculum are not appropriate for any child whose parents support traditional family values.” Read More
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