Florida School District Removes 2 Books About Transgender Kids

Florida School District Removes 2 Books About Transgender Kids first graders attend class First graders in elementary school (Armin Weigel/AP Images)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Thursday, 07 April 2022 08:02 AM

School officials in Palm Beach County, Florida, have pulled two books from their classrooms and libraries about transgender kids as a result of a new state law, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting.

One of the books, "I Am Jazz," details the story of a transgender child and the challenges she faces. Jazz Jennings, the subject of the book, also stars in a TLC reality series.

The other book, "Call Me Max," looks at the life experiences of a child who was raised as a girl, but feels more like a boy.

"At this point, the district is reviewing two books that might be in either elementary classrooms or the media centers in the elementary school building: 'Call Me Max,' by Kyle Lukoff and 'I Am Jazz,' by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings," Palm Beach County Deputy Superintendent Ed Tierney wrote in a memo to principals.

"While these books are under district review, please move them to a location where students do not have access (e.g., office in the media center, conference room, etc.). Schools will be notified once the review process is complete," Tierney added in the memo.

School board member Erica Whitfield said. "We are doing a deep dive now into everything. It's a huge task because we have such a large curriculum. Our intention is to be in compliance with the law."

The Parental Rights in Education law goes into effect July 1. Critics call it the "Don't Say Gay" law and claim its true intent is to marginalize LGBTQ people and their families, The Associated Press reported.

The law states: "Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards."

Gay rights advocates have sued Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in an effort to block the new law.

The Sun-Sentinel noted the law does not specifically detail what kinds of lessons would break the law, leaving it open to interpretation.

Meanwhile Jazz Jennings told the newspaper: "Schools should be encouraged to promote a diversity of views and inclusivity rather than closing students' minds at a young age. My book does that… instead of banning it, it should be embraced."