For most of her life, Jazz Jennings and her family lived in Broward Country, Florida. The Jennings family became famous when TLC hosted their reality show which has chronicled Jazz’s transition from male to female.
As a result, Jennings has become one of the most sought-after spokespeople for the LGBTQIA+ community. Several years ago, Jennings wrote a children’s book explaining her transition in simple terms.
Now, as a result of the bill signed into state law by Governor Ron DeSantis nicknamed the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill, her book titled, I Am Jazz, has been pulled from library and classroom shelves, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. The bill bans classrooms from discussing sexual orientation with children ages kindergarten through third grade.
The bill, officially named the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, was created to “reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children.“ Schools have been given the deadline of June 30, 2023, to come up with updated standards that could decide what “age-appropriate” instruction looks like.
As a result of the upcoming changes, two books are being questioned, the one written by Jazz Jennings and Jessica Herthel and one titled Call Me Max, which discusses the transition from female to male.
In a memo sent to Palm Beach County principals, Deputy Superintendent Ed Tierney remained them to take action in accordance with the new law. “At this point, the District is reviewing two books that might be in either elementary classrooms or the media centers in the elementary school building: ‘Call Me Max,’ by Kyle Lukoff and ‘I am Jazz,’ by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings.”
“While these books are under District review, please move them to a location where students do not have access (e.g., office in the media center, conference room, etc.). Schools will be notified once the review process is complete.”
Star of ‘I Am Jazz’ Jazz Jennings Reacts to How Florida Schools Are Reacting to Her Book
While Call Me Max was flagged by a parent, I Am Jazz was flagged by a school district staffer, school board member Erica Whitfield from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. It’s a huge task,” she added.
Jennings responded to the news of her book being under review by sharing the Sentinel’s article on her Instagram Story along with three angry face emojis. Jennings, who is currently a student at Harvard, also responded to the Sentinel in an email saying, “Schools should be encouraged to promote a diversity of views and inclusivity rather than closing students’ minds at a young age. My book does that… instead of banning it, it should be embraced.”
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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