Parents of students at a California public charter school have voiced their objections to children being taught lessons on transgender identity and a kindergarten teacher re-introducing a male pupil as a girl without notifying them first.
"To teach my kid that biologically this boy was born a boy and to teach him that now he's a girl is very confusing and I feel that it's a lie," parent Chelsea McQuistan told Fox 40 on Monday.
The Rocklin Academy Gateway School board meeting, which heard from parents, teachers and stakeholders about the controversial transgender lessons in question, reportedly attracted such a large crowd that it had to be moved to the Rocklin Events Center.
Some parents have been raising concerns over the teacher reading from books about being transgender, and reintroducing a male student as a girl to the class.
The parents said they should have been informed beforehand of the planned lessons.
Chad Clark, another parent, said at the school board meeting: "There should be an 'opt out' procedure in there by me, from the teachers, on what is going on in the classroom. We get notifications about parking and everything under the sun. This shouldn't be an issue. We should receive emails. We should receive something from them."
Others who supported the teaching of transgender lessons argued that the "cycle of fear and hatred" must end.
"Those others who aren't like me ... that cycle has to be broken somewhere," one of the supporters, who wasn't named, told the board, according to ABC 10. "And the best place to start that process is with our youngest children so they don't ever learn to hate."
Elizabeth Ashford, spokesperson for Rocklin Academy Gateway School, has further argued that gender identity is part of a protected class of characteristics that include religion, race, ethnicity, disability.
"So, it is definitely an environment where the school's trying to make it an equal environment and a safe environment for all students," Ashford said.
As The Christian Post reported back in August, the teacher read from I am Jazz and The Red Crayon, two children's books that teach children aged 4 to 8 about transgender identity.
Conservative voices, such as Jonathan Keller, president of the California Family Council, told LifeSiteNews that the teacher had "put on this more-or-less transition ceremony" for the transitioning child.
Rocklin Academy rejected that a "ceremony" or "celebration" of a student's gender transition had taken place, though it admitted that a kindergartner's transition did indeed occur at school.
"The gender transition of the student had occurred before the day the book was read. Whether or not this book was read, the topic itself would have come up. The school has neither encouraged nor discouraged the transition of any student. When a student does transition, we will comply with all state and federal laws," the statement read.
Days later, Rocklin Academy sent another statement to CP concerning the controversy over its decision to send a first grade student to the principal's office for not referring to her biologically male transgender classmate as a female, by stressing that state and federal law oblige it to respond in such a way.
"State (CA Education Code Section 220) and federal law (Title IX) creates many classes of people that are protected from discrimination under the law. Religion, nationality, and gender are among the protected classes. Schools that receive state and federal funds — including all California charter schools — are required to abide by these laws," the school said.
"In practical terms, this means Rocklin Academy is required by the law to call students by their preferred gender. The school has a legal responsibility to prevent or stop harassment of protected classes."