Yeah, I know those are Skittles. Fuck you, I’m hungry.
Now, I’ve been out of high school for fifteen years, but I still remember the three sexual education classes I received. The first was in fifth grade. Maybe I only remember it because my teacher was named Mrs. Dickson and her way of making us stay quiet was writing her last name on the board and erasing a letter from the end every time she’d tell us to shut it. Of course, being fifth graders, our ultimate goal was to keep the board saying “Dick” or “Dicks” for as long as possible. It’s amazing what immature kids can achieve when they work together.
Anyway… What I recall from that class was a two-day “learning event,” where Mrs. Dickson took the girls into one classroom and a male teacher took the boys into another. Each teacher taught their corresponding gender about their anatomy. We were shown diagrams and encouraged to ask questions – however embarrassing. I remember it being informative and casual.
Then again, I had friends with older siblings, so I kind of knew everything by the time I was nine…
Anyway, the next Family Life course was in sixth grade. This was where we were taught about how babies are made and grow. There was no discussion of sex that I recall.
The final class wasn’t until we were seniors in high school. This was when we were taught how to use contraception and where to get it. They showed us graphic pictures of STDs and STIs, as well as a video of a woman giving birth. But the most brutal task was that damn baby.
My last semester of high school, we were given a choice between writing a ten-page essay on child development or taking care of an electronic (yes, you read that right) baby for two days. This baby had sensors in it, docking points off your grade if you let go of the thing’s head while holding it. Each of us were given a plastic, un-removable bracelet with a metal button on it. Every time the baby cried, you’d have to put the button into a slot in the back of the baby within a certain amount of time (otherwise you’d get points docked). Then, you had to figure out what was wrong with the baby within another specific amount of time. The cycles were random and the baby would cry like a normal one – all the time.
I ended up getting a D. Proving that wasn’t quite an outcome I expected for myself at that time.
What I’m trying to say is, even though I live in “Progressive” California (don’t get me started), the sex education in our schools was ass.
I’m sure you’re not here to read my life story. So, let’s get into the details of the bill.
AB 239 “[made] instruction in sexual health education mandatory, [revised] human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention education content, [expanded] topics covered in sexual health education, [required] this instruction to be inclusive of different sexual orientations, and [clarified] parental consent policy” (AB 239).
Now, I have no problem with any of those things (except maybe parental consent), but some religious folk apparently really do. To them, I wish I could say that without this education, it’s likely your children are going to experiment and either become pregnant or get someone pregnant at a young age. Your children must also learn to protect themselves, when to say when and consent. If your child isn’t prepared for the real world, how will they succeed?
And it seems AB 239 agrees: “Instruction and materials may not teach or promote religious doctrine” (AB 239).
In a focus group of California educators, it was also agreed upon that, “The framework needs to include information on what is legal—what you can and cannot say in the classroom. The framework should recommend that professional teaching be done by professionals, in both certification and attitude/behavior” (California Department of Education).
I agree with all of that. And that’s where the problem lies. The CDE says they don’t want religion in their sexual health education, but this book is on the approved materials list for California schools.
“From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn’t feel like herself in boys’ clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born this way. Jazz’s story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers.Jessica Herthel
This is where I cringe. Gender dysphoria is a serious condition and this book is making light of it and teaching children that if they don’t conform to normal gender standards they’re transgender and should transition to their “true” gender.
What’s this got to do with religion? Just check out some quotes from the Transgender Manifesto by Ian Thomas Malone:
“The conservative ideology sees LGBT rights as an affront to the traditional way of life, for some reason. We are attacked as phonies, pretenders, even perverts, just for being who we are. There are people who wish for us to go back into the shadows, the closet, never to return.
Many of these people who wish to deny us our very legitimacy, who denounce us as mentally ill deviants, spend an hour each week paying homage to an ever-present, yet non-interventionist man in the sky. They go to courts across the land to defend their right to praise that uncorroborated deity at the expense of other people’s civil liberties. To them, we the living, the transgender people who walk the earth, are fake, but the man up there, He is real.Ian Thomas Malone
Even if the literal title of the book is facetious, the above quote reads like a bible passage. The book is essentially the Transgender bible and I Am Jazz is propaganda.
I have absolutely no problem with teachers instructing our children on un-biased sexual health basics. Parents should supplement those teachings with their own methods as well. Be involved in your kid’s life, for fuck’s sake.
All I’m saying is we need to be consistent in our descriptions of things. There are plenty of doctors who disagree with giving children puberty blockers due to possible long-term side-effects. There are also many stories about parents forcing their children to be transgender because, for some reason, they’re using it as ammunition.
Look, if your kid has shown consistent and persistent behaviors synonymous with gender dysphoria and they’ve been seen by the necessary professionals, I simply can’t argue with doctors. But don’t use your kids as transgender guinea pigs.
That’s all. OK, bye!
Bourne, L. (November 28, 2018). 6-year-old boy forced to live as a girl while mom threatens dad for not going along. Retrieved from https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/6-year-old-boy-forced-to-live-as-a-girl-while-mom-threatens-dad-for-not-goi
California Department of Education. (December 2016). Health Education Focus Group Report. Retrieved from https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/he/cf/documents/healthedfgreport.pdf
California Department of Education. (n.d.). Recommended Literature List – I Am Jazz. Retrieved from http://www3.cde.ca.gov/reclitlist/displaytitle.aspx?pid=41408
California Legislative Information. (2015-2016). AB-329 Pupil instruction: sexual health education. Retrieved from https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB329
Domen, J. (February 8, 2019). What are California’s new sex education guidelines? Retrieved from https://erlc.com/resource-library/articles/what-are-californias-new-sex-education-guidelines
Herthel, J. (September 4, 2014). I Am Jazz. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/I-Am-Jazz-Jessica-Herthel/dp/0803741073
Kearns, M. (April 4, 2019). The ‘Trans’ Child as Experimental Guinea Pig. Retrieved from https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2019/04/22/the-trans-child-as-experimental-guinea-pig/
Lambrese, J. (August 2010). Suppression of Puberty in Transgender Children. Retrieved from https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/suppression-puberty-transgender-children/2010-08
Malone, I.T. (October 31st 2017). The Transgender Manifesto. Retrieved from https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/58185748-the-transgender-manifesto