Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce slammed a Maine school's controversial use of a book about a transgender girl as "social engineering" on the part of teachers in an April 22 "Fox and Friends" interview.
Bruce, who is a lesbian, discussed the controversy surrounding Kittery's Horace Mitchell Primary School. The school has come under fire in recent days after a lesson implemented by the guidance department for kindergarteners through third grade incorporated the book I Am Jazz. Penned by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, I Am Jazz documents the experience of a young child "with a boy's body but a girl's brain" and her journey towards accepting her transgender identity.
Jennings, who has been the subject of an Oprah Winfrey documentary and will be the star of the forthcoming reality series, "All That Jazz," is a 14-year-old activist who reportedly identified as transgender before she entered kindergarten.
Bruce wasn't impressed by the school's lesson plan, arguing that reading the book to students was an example of "the projection of our issues as adults onto children." She went even further, noting, "At one point when I was a child, I thought I was a cocker spaniel, and there's a point when we have these fantasies where we think we're Superman, where we can fly, where we're the cat. This is childhood."
In a blog post on The Sean Hannity Show's website, one mother of a Mitchell student was critical of the use of the book in the lesson, saying she felt like her "thoughts, feelings and beliefs were completely ignored" by school officials. "My right as a parent to allow or not allow this discussion with my child was taken from me," the parent is quoted as saying. "It is very upsetting to me that I didn't have an option at all."
Superintendent Allyn Hutton told Seacoast Online that most parents were supportive of the lesson. She nonetheless released a statement in the wake of the controversy, acknowledging that parents should have been informed before the introduction of a "sensitive" topic like transgender issues.
"The whole culture at Mitchell School is about teaching tolerance and respect," she said in the statement. "In retrospect, we understand that toleration is tolerating people of all opinions."