The National Education Association and the Human Rights Campaign thinks it’s critical to teach kindergartners about transgender ideology, so the nonprofits partnered together to “support and celebrate” the cause through the union’s Read Across America Day.
In schools across the country, teachers and LGBTQ advocates are reading NEA-endorsed stories that explain the gender spectrum and teach students they can “identify” as whatever they want.
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NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia and Sarah McBride, a transgender spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, led by example with 50 kindergartners at Ashlawn Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia, late last month.
The duo read from “I Am Jazz,” about a boy who turns into a girl, and “Julian Is a Mermaid,” about another boy who fantasizes about being a mermaid, then answered questions from the wide-eyed 5-year-olds, The Washington Post reports.
“I am like Jazz. When I was born, the doctors and my parents, they all thought I was a boy,” McBride explained, according to the News-Journal.
“Why?” a pony-tailed girl questioned.
“Because society, people around them told them that was the case,” said McBride, a former American University student body president who announced she was transgender, became famous, and landed a spokeswoman role with the Human Rights Campaign.
“It took me getting a little bit older to be able to say that in my heart and in my mind, I knew I was really a girl,” McBride told the tikes.
For many of the kindergartners, hearing about transgender issues and gay rights is nothing new.
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Their teacher, Jaim Foster, is an openly gay LGBT advocate who regularly reads from his classroom library stocked with picture books like “Heather Has Two Mommies” and “My Princess Boy,” according to the news site.
“We talk about it all the time, in one way or another, of accepting families and differences,” Foster said.
Erickson said the nation’s largest teachers union decided to incorporate a stronger focus on transgender issues in the 2019 Read Across America program, which promotes “I am Jazz” and “Julian Is a Mermaid” among three dozen “diverse books” on the union’s website.
“NEA believes diverse literature enables students to see themselves as heroes of the story, while also showing them all kinds of people can be the heroes too,” Garcia said. “It is important that we emphasize books that are telling children of color or of different gender identities that they belong in the world and the world belongs to them.”
The Read Across America event involves an estimated 45 million educators, parents and students across the country, according to NEA Today.
The union’s celebration of transgenderism follows years of controversy in public schools, where LGBTQ activists have pushed to give transgender students access to whatever bathroom or shower facilities they choose.
The Obama administration promoted an interpretation of federal anti-discrimination laws to include special protections for transgender students and issued the implied threat of lost federal funding for schools with biologically based policies.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions revoked the Obama-era guidance shortly after President Trump took office, siding with parents who object to their young children showering with students of the opposite sex.
But Garcia, McBride and other LGBTQ activists frame the transgender conversation in terms of love or hate, compassion or bigotry.
“For young people, being kind and being respectful is quite simple,” McBride told the Post. “LGBTQ young people are their classmates, their friends. They may be LGBTQ themselves. And so, this just makes sense. No one’s ever too young to learn to be nice.”
Students are also learning that being transgender is something to celebrate, and it can lead to a lot of special attention and personal fortune. McBride, after all, became a spokesperson after he became a she.
And Jazz, the boy who turned into a girl in “I am Jazz,” now has her own reality television show.
In Arlington, it’s clear students are getting the message.
“Can some girls have short hair?” McBride asked the kindergartners. “And can some boys have long hear?”
The little heads bobbed in unison.
“Anyone can be anything,” a little girl exclaimed.
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