- The Washington Times - Friday, March 24, 2017

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools system in North Carolina is scrapping plans to use the children’s book “Jacob’s New Dress” for a first-grade lesson on bullying after conservatives complained.

The school system’s superintendent, Ann Clark, said the book about a young boy who gains acceptance for wearing a dress was originally going to be part of an “age-appropriate lesson” for Child Abuse Prevention Month, The New York Times reported.

“The initial first-grade book selection, which focuses on valuing uniqueness and difference, has been replaced due to some concerns about the book,” she said.

Students instead will read the children’s book, “Red: A Crayon’s Story,” about a red Crayon who thinks of himself as blue.

Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the conservative group North Carolina Values Coalition, said a teacher had complained about “Jacob’s New Dress” to the coalition, and they were organizing a petition against the book when the school system reversed course.

“I read the book online,” Ms. Fitzgerald told The Times. “It’s clearly geared to young children. The book is meant as a tool of indoctrination to normalize transgender behavior. I think a lot of parents would object to that.”

“We believe the purpose of first grade is to teach writing, reading and math and not to teach boys to wear dresses,” she added.

Ian and Sarah Hoffman, the authors of “Jacob’s New Dress,” said the backlash proves the point that their book is necessary for teaching acceptance.

“Our hope, when we wrote this book, was that some day it would be considered quaint,” they told The Times in an email. “We imagined future generations saying, ‘What was the fuss about?’ Clearly, there’s more work to do.”

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