Some parents are outraged after a kindergarten teacher taught their children a lesson on what it means to be transgender without asking permission.
When a 5-year-old in the class came out as transgender, a Rocklin, California, teacher thought that it could be a learning experience for the entire classroom. The child, whose assigned sex was male at birth, told classmates about the transition and asked them to use female pronouns, KTXL reports.
The teacher then read two children's books introducing them to the definition of "transgender" and the struggles transgender kids face.
"All I heard was my son just mentioned his friend who was a boy is now a girl," said parent Chris Hurley.
While some applauded the teacher's efforts to make the student feel included, other parents were upset that the books were read to their children without any notice from administrators.
Parents who thought that the lesson was not age-appropriate asked the California Family Council and the Pacific Justice Institute to represent them in a school board meeting.
"They're concerned that they weren't notified this was coming," said Greg Burt, director of capitol engagement with the California Family Council.
"These kids who had never struggled with their gender identity before are all of a sudden scared they could be turned into a boy."
The school district maintains that they were under no obligation to notify parents, as the books were not sex-ed material.
At a school board meeting packed with angry parents, the teacher said that her lesson was meant to help the student struggling with her transition.
"I'm so proud of my students, it was never my intent to harm any students but to help them through a difficult situation," she said, according to CBS.
Some parents thought that the lesson actually had a positive impact on their child.
"It was so precious to see that he had absolutely no prejudice in his body," said one parent during the meeting. "My child just went in there and listened to the story, and didn't relate it to anything malicious, or didn't question his own body."
Addressing parental concern, the district has since announced that it will parents will have more say when a teacher wants to use materials outside the curriculum.
"It's really about the parents being informed and involved and giving us the choice and rights of what's being introduced to our kids, and at what age," said parent Chelsea McQuistan.