Mt. Horeb library hosts reading of book removed from school curriculum

Hundreds of Mount Horeb community members attended a reading of “I am Jazz” Wednesday night after the school district canceled plans for elementary school students to read the children’s book about a transgender girl after a group threatened to sue.

Parents were told last week that Mount Horeb Primary Center students would read the book because one student identifies as a girl but was born with male anatomy.

A Florida-based group, the Liberty Counsel, threatened to sue, saying concerned parents had reached out and that reading the book would violate parental rights.

“It’s not appropriate for children who are five, six, or seven years of age,” said Mat Staver, the founder of the Liberty Counsel.

The Southern Poverty Law Center classifies the Liberty Counsel as a hate group that advocates for “anti-LGBT discrimination, under the guise of religious liberty.”

Transgender teen Jazz Jennings, of Florida, co-authored the autobiographical picture book “I Am Jazz” when she was 12 about what it is like to have “a girl brain but a boy body,” according to her foundation’s website. Jennings has worked with LGBT-advocate group GLAAD and was the subject of a reality TV show on the TLC network about her life.

On Wednesday, the Mount Horeb Public library hosted a reading of “I am Jazz.” Hundreds of community members attended. While the family at the center of the controversy didn’t come forward at the event, a statement was read on their behalf.

“Many of you may not know us, but have stepped up to do a truly amazing thing, and show us that you are behind us 100 percent,” according to the statement.

The Liberty Counsel has put their lawsuit on hold. They said they won’t peruse any legal action unless the elementary school reads the book to students.