A Washington state elementary school promoted a transgender "top surgery" book for Pride Month — until complaints came rolling in, conservative radio host Jason Rantz reported for KTTH-AM.
What are the details?
Rantz said Zeiger Elementary in Puyallup created a display for Pride Month outside the school's library that included several LGBTQ-themed books. He said most were age-appropriate — such as "Heather Has Two Mommies" — but a book titled, "Felix Ever After," was not, according to concerned parents and staff.
More from Rantz's piece:
The young adult novel tells the story of a 17-year-old Black, queer, and transgender teen who faces transphobia. The book's cover shows the titular character in a tank top, showing off partial scars from so-called "top surgery." This is a procedure that some transgender men undertake to remove their breast tissue. Many surgeons require a patient to be 18-years-old before the surgery, while some offer it with parental consent.
The book's publisher does not recommend it for readers under 14, he noted.
Local activist Dawn Land said as much at a June school board meeting: "A large percentage of teachers and parents are against the gender confusing, sexualizing propaganda display at Zeiger Elementary and other schools, but they were all afraid to come and speak here. That is the Orwellian atmosphere Puyallup School District and this school board has cultivated. I am here to speak out against this school district [for] daring to work against the cultures and morals of the diverse families in our schools. These children are not your children."
She added, "Children should not be taught the definitions of highly sexualized lifestyles such as pansexual, polysexual, and gender queer" — which drew intense applause.
Land specifically pointed out "Felix Ever After" at the meeting, holding up a copy for the school board members to see and noting that it contains "drugs, sex, and swear words ... the F-word is present in this book 66 times in the first 90 pages."
She added to the board that the book's main character is a "trans-identified female" who appears on the cover with "her top surgery ... scars prominent."
"I find it appalling that the Puyallup School District is actively advocating for this [to] our youngest and our most vulnerable students," Land also told the board.
Mom speaking out at Puyallup School Board Meeting against the exploitation and sexualization of kidsyoutu.be
Rantz said Land — who characterized herself as a "homeschooling mom" — doesn't have a child enrolled at Zeiger but said she was called upon to help those who felt uncomfortable speaking out themselves, including school staff.
District pulls 'Felix Ever After'
In the end, Rantz said he was told the district removed "Felix Ever After."
"This book was inadvertently included in the Zeiger library display case in a hasten[ed] attempt to raise awareness and celebrate the LGBTQ community with staff and students," district communications director Sarah Gillispie told Rantz's KTTH radio show. "Our responsibility to promote age-appropriate learning materials was overshadowed in that attempt."
Gillispie also told Rantz there will be a better vetting process in the future.
"This book is not available in any of our elementary libraries, and a stricter process has been put in place to vet the methods in which we celebrate authors and stories for Zeiger students," she noted to Rantz.
Here's a look at the book, which notes that movie rights for "Felix Ever After" already have been sold:
DW Books with Buzz: "Felix Ever After" by Kacen Callenderyoutu.be