Parents and Staff of the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System (CMS) were informed that as of April 8th of this year that an, “anti-bullying” lesson featuring a transgender themed book would be implemented in four elementary schools.
The book called, “Jacobs New Dress“, features a boy who wears girls dresses. The book’s underlying theme is acceptance of transgenderism.
American Lens reached out to CMS for comment and the Executive Director of Communications for CMS, Renee McCoy, sent us an official statement from Superintendent Clark:
“CMS is committed to safe school environments where all students are empowered with the tools they need to prevent, detect and report harassment and bullying,” said Superintendent Ann Clark. “In support of Child Abuse Prevention Month and in compliance with Title IX, the district has developed one age-appropriate lesson for each grade level to be conducted annually. The lesson will help students understand how to recognize harassment and bullying, what to do if it happens to them and how to help someone else who may be experiencing it. The initial first-grade book selection, which focuses on valuing uniqueness and difference, has been replaced due to some concerns about the book.”
The response from CMS included a note that, “Jacob’s New Dress” had been swapped out after “concerns” were raised.
“The initial book selection Jacob’s New Dress for the first-grade lesson has been replaced with the book Red: A Crayon’s Story. The change is in response to some concerns about the initial book.”
Scholastic Books categorizes, “Jacob’s New Dress” as being one of several picture books specifically for and about transgender children.
The replacement book,”Red: A Crayon’s Story”, does not have a sexual or transgender subtext and in fact deals with the basic concept of being oneself and being proud of it.
The Charlotte Observer reported that former Representative Charles Jeter, who know works as a lobbyist for CMS, was the driving force behind the book change.
According to the article, a teacher contacted Jeter upset about the new lesson and Jeter started sending out emails to Republican Legislators.
According to the Charlotte Observer article, the CMS board is now looking to add gender identity to their policy on multiculturalism:
Now the school board is preparing to add sexual orientation and “gender identity/expression” to its policy on multiculturalism, along with such things as race, religion and national origin. The proposed new policy, which will be up for a public hearing Tuesday, calls for CMS to “intentionally incorporate diversity throughout the curriculum, instruction and professional development.”
The article also notes that CMS has been piloting the ‘Welcoming Schools‘ program. It’s also noted in the article that the purpose of the program is specifically targeting elementary schools to make them, “LGBTQ-inclusive” and “gender-expansive.”
Welcoming Schools is also about, “supporting transgender and non-binary students” and claims it’s trying to fight “biased-based bullying.”
Welcoming Schools offers no data to support the claim that 5 to 11 year-old elementary school children are committing “biased-based bullying” nor is that term really defined other than citations of case studies, the most recent of which is four years old and the oldest of which goes back 15 years.
It is estimated that transgender students between the ages of 13 and 17 stands at around 150,000 nationwide. That 150,000 is .047% of the U.S. population.
There is no data available for children under the age of 13, however it is likely to be a very small number given what is known about 13-17 year-olds.
Given those statistics, would seem that lessons promoted by Welcoming Schools are intended not for the unknown miniscule transgender elementary population, but instead for the general population of average 5 to 11 year-old children and what is arguably fictional “biased-based bullying.”
This program is a project of the Human Rights Campaign, which allegedly helped write and orchestrate the illegal Charlotte Ordinance that made all bathrooms public and private open to anyone of any sex and later led to the creation of House Bill 2.
Had the transgender themed book, “Jacob’s New Dress” been used, it arguably would have violated State Board of Education policy and state statutes about sexual education in North Carolina schools. State statutes dictate that sexual education and related lessons are not to begin until seventh grade.
CMS & Clark’s Overreach Not Unprecedented
This overreach by CMS and Superintendent Ann Clark is not without precedent. Last August, Superintendent Clark was forced to reverse course on the implementation of a controversial ‘transgender facilities’ policy for CMS schools.
In part the proposed policy said, “Students must have access to the restroom/changing facilities that correspond to their gender identity.”
It also stated that, “CMS will evaluate all gender-based activities; maintain only those that have clear and sound pedagogical purpose.”
The proposed CMS transgender facilities policy was accompanied by a “Gender Unicorn, from a website called ‘Trans Student Educational Resources‘ or TSER for short.
Overreach Tramples Parental Rights
In 2015, an Efland Cheeks Elementary made national headlines when a teacher named Omar Currie read a gay fable called, “King and King” to his third grade class without their parent’s consent or knowledge.
The book is about two homosexual Kings who share a kiss and is not about bullying, yet Currie claimed he read it to ‘combat a bullying incident’ he witnessed.
Currie’s claim turned out to be embellished after students who witnessed the alleged bullying incident refuted Currie’s version of events. No bullying report was ever filed either.
At the time, Orange County Schools spokesman Seth Stephens said that, “No report of bullying in Currie’s classroom or in the entire Third grade at Efland Cheeks was report this year.”
Outrage from parents of Efland Cheeks Elementary prompted a town hall meeting where LGBT activists shouted down the concerns expressed by others in attendance.
Shortly after, it was revealed that Currie and the Assistant Principal at the school, Meg Goodhand, had given a talk at a LGBT activist conference just weeks prior to the reading of, “King and King.” The topic Currie and Goodhand presented was, “Disrupting Heteronormative School Cultures” and materials included suggesting inserting books into elementary classrooms like the one Currie read.
Currie resigned from the school and was last known to have accepted a teaching position in Virginia.
Before moving Currie took part in a Gay Pride Parade, hosted by Safe Schools NC, where he dressed up as one of the Kings from the book (right).
Both made claims that their resignation was due to backlash, but sources inside Orange County Schools stated they had tendered their resignations months before the incident occurred.