A book about a child wanting to transition genders was slammed by a Minnesota parent for reportedly being available to kindergarteners.
Mother LaDawn Severin read Call Me Max to the Osseo Area Schools Board during a May 23 meeting, concerned about its content and availability to young students.
“When a baby is born, a grown-up says ‘it’s a boy’ or ‘it’s a girl,'” she read. “When a baby grows up to be transgender, it means that the grown-up who said they were a boy or a girl made a mistake.”
Severin said the book “assaults the sacred God-given identity of young males and young females.” She also expressed concerns about authority figures planting “seeds of doubt in their [students’] existence simply as a boy or a girl,” at an age when they are learning how to read.
One of the sections in the book begins with Max’s teacher calling out the names of students but apparently becoming confused by Max’s name.
“I raised my hand when she got to my name. She looked at me, and then back at the list of names and then back at me again,” the book reads, according to a Fox News report. “I wondered if she thought my name didn’t make sense for me. I felt that way, too.”
“Can you call me Max?” the main character asks.
In another section of the book, Max struggles to choose which bathroom to use at school.
“When I went to the store with my dad, I went to the bathroom with him. When I went to the store with my mom, I went to the bathroom with her,” Max says. “But at school, I had to pick which bathroom to use.”
A spokesperson for Osseo Area Schools told The Lion the book is available for independent reading time but not used for mandatory classroom instruction.
“The book that you’ve inquired about is not in media centers across Osseo Area Schools,” Kay Villella said on behalf of the district. “It is, however, included in kindergarten classrooms as an option during independent reading time.”
As to how the book was selected, Villella explained, “All our district’s kindergarten teachers reviewed and selected books that they felt best represented their students.”
The book has stirred up controversy in other parts of the country for its focus on gender fluidity and its young target audience, and it has been removed from Florida and Texas schools, the National Coalition Against Censorship reported. It is currently recognized on a state reading list by the California Department of Education.