Trans issues book read to Grade 1 Students Alarms Parents

NOV 28, 2022 – Sue-Ann Levy / TRUE NORTH News

Jen Mackey was so concerned about the age appropriateness of a book recently read to her son’s class by his Durham District School Board (DDSB) teacher, she went online to see if other parents felt the same way.

She told True North 90% of those who responded to her online questions, agreed that the book was “inappropriate” for Grade 1 students.

The book is titled “Call me Max” and tells the story of a young girl who wants the teacher to call her a boy’s name –Max– which is the start of his “journey” as he makes new friends and reveals his identity to his parents.

The book, one of several written by transgender author Kyle Lukoff, is described as an “age appropriate” introduction to what it means to be transgender.

But Mackey doesn’t agree.

She says it was recently read in her son’s Grade 1 social studies and health class, although she learned when she asked that it was “taught above and beyond what was required” for Grade 1 – that it’s not part of the curriculum for his age.

She said she doesn’t think her son really understands the concept and didn’t “articulate it well” but somehow knew it was important to tell her about the book.

She adds that he “rarely” gives details about events in school “unless they are of some meaning to him.”

When she asked her son how he felt about the book, his response was that his teacher told him about it “so it must be true.

Mackey said the book wasn’t appropriate for kids her son’s age because “it cannot be easily explained or understood.”

The same book caused quite a stir in an Austin, Texas school last year when it was read to a Grade 4 class.

But at the DDSB there seemed to be no awareness by inside sources of the book being read and board officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Mackey says she brought up the issue at a parent-teacher interview the day after it was read.

She was shown another “age-appropriate” book on gender identity called “My Shadow is Pink” about a boy who sees his shadow as pink. But the main character’s father doesn’t support him until the end of the book and still sees his shadow as blue.

It is described as “an important book for a new generation of children (and adults alike) which exemplifies the concepts of unconditional love, respect and positive parenting.”

The teacher at the parent-teacher interview talked a lot about acceptance and affirmation, says Mackey, and that there are transgender children attending the school.

“I sensed she was feeling defensive so I didn’t expand on my thoughts and decided to sit with it and ask for other opinions online to see if there were other parents that felt as I did,” she told True North.

Not surprisingly 90% of parents who responded to her unscientific survey felt it inappropriate.

No kidding.

Shame on any school board – and I’ll bet the DDSB is not the only one – that has tried to force feed these concepts to six-year-olds and other elementary school kids.

Lucky for Mackey her son told her about the book.

Often that’s not the case and school officials are certainly not prepared to be transparent about what they’re reading to kids.

It yet again points to the need for parents to be as fully involved as possible in their childrens’ curriculum and to demand information if school officials obfuscate.

I’m willing to bet that if  parents start to speak up, these kind of “readings” won’t be happening quite so often.

Are you a parent concerned about content at your kids’ school? Email us at

Author Sue-Ann Levy / True North


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