Kirkwood School District promised, after allowing the unnecessary title of Mx. at Keysor Elementary, the district would not teach gender identity. The superintendent had also made this promise. They have misled us yet again with an abuse of power.

Keysor Elementary is now pushing age-inappropriate reading materials in its library, including two titles that explicitly teach the subject of gender identity: “George” by Alex Gino and “Lulu is a Rhinoceros” by Allison Flom.

I am not one to call for censoring books. However, these materials concern the welfare of children, and the community has a right to know as they are hidden behind a selection process designed to push controversial topics onto kids as young as six years old. Our public school’s mission is to educate kids, not teach a worldview.

After a personal appeal to the Keysor principal and to the superintendent, I have been told these reading materials are voluntary offerings and thus deemed okay. I say, no, this is not okay. And, to speak boldly, it’s intellectually dishonest. Words teach lessons. And this lesson is not appropriate in an elementary school.

To the parents and students who advocate for the dignity, respect and value of those who perceive themselves differently, I support you. I support everyone’s right to a public education free from bullying. I also support your right to be free from reliance on a school or a teacher or a peer to affirm your value. You don’t need their approval, nor mine. Your identity is personal to you—just as mine is to me.

To the Kirkwood community, contact your school officials and board members. Express your rights as parents and taxpayers, and demand they act in good faith to regain our lost trust.