Children as young as kindergarten will read a picture book about transgender kids Friday as part of one Northern California school district’s “Transgender Day of Visibility,” despite the objections of several parents.
Burton Valley Elementary, about 20 miles east of San Francisco, will have K-5 pupils read a children’s book titled “It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity.” The book introduces children to the concept of “gender identity” with transgender kid characters. It explains the pseudoscientific ideas of “transgender,” “cisgender,” and “non-binary” people.
“This is Ruthie. She’s a transgender girl,” reads the first line of the book. “That means when she was born, everyone thought she was a boy. Until she grew a little older — old enough to tell everyone that she’s actually a girl.”
“This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others,” the book’s introduction states.
Parents in the district have expressed concerns that “gender identity” is an inappropriate topic for elementary school children. On Nextdoor, a neighborhood social media platform, some parents said they plan to pull their children out of Burton Valley Elementary on Friday to avoid the book reading.
The gender identity book reading is part of Lafayette School District’s celebration of “International Transgender Day of Visibility.” On March 15, the school board voted for a resolution to honor Transgender Day of Visibility.
“The Lafayette School District acknowledges March 31, 2023, as Transgender Visibility Day and stands with the transgender community as it fights for freedom, safety, dignity, respect, and, most of all, love,” the resolution reads.
The resolution also ordered that the transgender flag be flown at each of the district’s four elementary schools and its one middle school on every school day this week.
“Next week you will notice a new flag on our flag pole, as we fly the Transgender Flag across all of the schools in LafSD,” Burton Valley Elementary Principal Meredith Dolley posted in her weekly update to parents last week on ParentSquare, a popular school-to-home communication platform.
“We will also be reading a story as a school called It Feels Good to Be Yourself by Theresa Thorn,” Dolley added.
“The conversations that might ensue next week are not new to our school. Each and every conversation we have with our Bobcats is about honoring and celebrating their individual identities; whatever they may be, as we know students learn best when they feel they are seen, valued and appreciated for who they are,” the principal wrote.
Dolley wrote that Burton Valley Elementary students “were wanting to discuss gender diversity in our classrooms, and on our playgrounds” back in November.
The principal said that the school tells its K-5 students who ask about gender identity that “most boys are born with boy parts and identify as boys,” and “most girls are born with girl parts and identify as girls,” but “there are also some kids that are born with boy parts and identify as a girl” and “some kids that are born with girl parts and identify as a boy.” The school also tells its elementary students that some kids “say they are simply ‘they’ – not a boy or a girl, or both.”
“We can be curious and care about our friends, but it’s not our worry which ‘parts’ people have, so take that worry off your plate. It’s also none of your business, just like it’s not others’ business to ask you which parts you have,” the school tells kids, according to the principal.
As of last year, the Lafayette School District also has a new Bias Incident Reporting System, which allows families, students, and school staff to report alleged incidents of bias. The school has already received at least 20 reports of bias related to race, LGBT, disability, sexual harassment, discrimination, and hate speech.
The Daily Wire reached out to both Lafayette School District and Burton Valley Elementary but did not receive a response.