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Pushing Age-Inappropriate Content onto Second Graders is Confusing Young Children

Updated: Nov 1, 2023

Our schools should stop indoctrination masquerading as inclusion, especially with content that's confusing our most vulnerable students. Parents fighting for childhood innocence want positive outcomes for all children.

Schools don’t use caution with confusing, age-inappropriate content

Generally speaking, Natick Public Schools are a place where students can thrive. But, why do some teachers choose material that’s emotionally confusing and age inappropriate while other teachers make nonsensical content changes so certain students feel more comfortable?

In 2022, we know through public records that second-grade parents told NPS educators their children were extremely confused and uncomfortable reacting to the book Call Me Max—a transgender-themed read-aloud packaged as “Unpacking Your Culture” curriculum:

“[child] gave a lot of pushback about going to school today because of a nightmare she had last night. She told me in her dream her teacher cut off all of her hair, put a wig on her, and made her be a boy. She told me she didn't want to go to school because that will happen…I stand very firm in thinking 7 years old is far too young for this topic.”

“I’m writing because a colleague shared a concerning text with me about a book that was read to second graders called Call Me Max. Their second grade daughter came home and told their parents, my colleague, that they thought they were a boy. This is a very controversial topic, specifically the social contagion aspect of girls identifying as transgender… I would like the respect as a parent to discuss this with my children when I feel it’s appropriate.”

“When going through [child’s] school folder, I found a paper about ‘gender expression.’ I asked her what this was. She went on to tell me about a book that was read in class called Call Me Max about a person born a girl but is a boy. I was shocked and appalled that this is being taught to my 7 year old.”

In 2023, Call Me Max is still part of Natick Public Schools elementary instruction with no formal accommodations for uncomfortable students or distressed parents.

Schools make nonsensical changes for other harmless content

Last year, well-meaning middle school Chorus teachers swapped out the lyrics to a concert piece “given the level of concern students shared” about what were mostly metaphorical references. In another song, teachers also replaced the words “holy roller” with “high roller”—since holy might offend certain students.

This year, middle school Spanish is taught with gender neutral translations, even though Spanish has a binary grammar gender system differentiating masculine and feminine. We don’t have to guess the purpose behind this move.

If discomfort is the school standard—sometimes despite certain practical and moral concerns—our most vulnerable students meet the criteria for exemption from confusing and age-inappropriate gender identity content. Moreover, similar to sexual education, schools should not take away a parent's right to decide when and how to talk to their children about this controversial topic.

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