Wisconsin Town Hosts Reading For A Book About Transgender Student

A perfect response.

With a transgender student in their primary school, the Mount Horeb Area School District of Wisconsin decided to have a student reading of a children's book that detailed the challenging experiences of gender identity. The book was I Am Jazz, a children's story about real life transgender teen Jazz Jennings.

"We believe all students deserve respect and support regardless of their gender identity and expression, and the best way to foster that respect and support is through educating students about the issue of being transgender," the school's principal wrote in letter to parents before the reading.

However, some parents were concerned about the reading.

These parents contacted the Liberty Counsel, a conservative law firm that famously assisted Kim Davis. The Southern Poverty Law Center labels the Liberty Counsel as an anti-LGBT organization.

The Liberty Counsel threatened a lawsuit if the school held the reading for the students. The school canceled the reading.


One parent decided to take a stand.

"When I read the hate-filled letter from the Liberty Counsel, I felt a strong need to respond quickly and publicly — to do something positive to counteract their extremely hurtful, uninformed, negative messages,"Amy Lyle wrote to the Human Rights Campaign. "I wanted to show this family just how much love their community has for them, and that the views of the Liberty Counsel did not represent the majority of others in Mount Horeb."

Lyle coordinated with the town a public reading of this children's story. She expected only about 20 residents to attend.

600 people attended the reading.

People of all ages turned out to show their support. I Am Jazz co-author Jessica Herthel also traveled to this Wisconsin town to perform the reading.

And then the school district kicked the compassion up a notch.

Their board of education unanimously approved new measures to help transgender students, including bathroom access and permission to participant in sports.

"Let the word go forth here and now that this board will stand united and we will not be intimidated and we will teach tolerance and will be accepting to everyone," board member Peter Strub said to the Wisconsin State Journal.


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