A North Carolina elementary school banned a book titled Jacob’s New Dress from the core curriculum after a growing backlash.
A children’s book meant to teach kids about bullying and how to prevent it has been pulled out from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools system following complaints from conservative lawmakers and family groups.
A child advocacy group says the book Jacob’s New Dress is inappropriate “for any child whose parents support traditional family values.”
“The purpose of our elementary schools is to teach writing, reading and arithmetic, not to encourage boys to wear dresses,” wrote an official with the N.C. Values Coalition in a statement to The Charlotte Observer.
Written by Ian Hoffman and his wife Sarah after personal experience of childhood gender dysphoria — when he was 4 years old, their younger son was “a pink boy” who enjoyed wearing pink dresses around the house while playing with dinosaurs — Jacob’s New Dress is meant to introduce kids of kindergarten age to the idea of gender fluidity and inclusivity.
It was chosen as part of the lesson plan for first graders at Charlotte Mecklenburg schools for Child Abuse Prevention Month as a way to address themes of difference, harassment and anti-bullying.
“Clearly there is more work to do,” said the book’s co-author Ian Hoffman, who expressed his disappointment that children won’t benefit from the book’s message of “love and acceptance”.
Co-author Sarah Hoffman even invoked the name of the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. to support her argument that her book won’t influence confused children to experiment with the transgender lifestyle.
“If a white kid reads a book about Martin Luther King, Jr., will they become black?” she said.