A California charter school association gave its highest award to the kindergarten teacher whose transgender lesson last summer without warning parents left some of the 5-year-olds traumatized.
The decision of the California Charter Schools Association to name Kaelin Swaney its Teacher of the Year makes it “clear the CCSA does not stand with parents,” says Karen England, executive director of Capitol Resource Institute, a pro-family public policy group.
A teacher at Rocklin Academy Gateway, an elite charter school in the Sacramento suburbs, Swaney touched off a bitter controversy when she read the book “I am Jazz” to her students before explaining their classmate, a boy, was now a “girl” and would be called by a girl’s name, England recounted.
“I am Jazz” is explicitly pro-transgender and begins: “From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body.”
Parents were not told in advance about the lesson, which took place just before the school’s summer recess in June 2017, nor that the kindergarten student was “transitioning.”
But a number of parents became outraged when their children came home upset.
The Rocklin Academy board defended Swaney, countering that the California law requiring schools give parents notice and a chance to opt out for sex education did not apply because gender identity is not sex education. It also alleged that it was open to legal action for discrimination if it did not affirm the boy’s gender “transition.”
As a result of the dispute, some 90 children have been pulled from the school, according to a California Family Council (CFC) report.
And it’s “baffling” the CCSA chose to honor the teacher at the center of “unheard of controversy in the family-friendly town of Rocklin,” with an award that signifies outstanding achievement, she noted.