A Californian pastor is calling on his local school board to recall a book about a transgender boy.
Pastor Shane Idleman claims Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope has been read to children without parents’ consent.
The book was written by LGBT activist Jodie Patterson. It’s described on the publisher’s website as sharing her transgender son’s experience about “identity and acceptance.”
Pastor Idleman considers it unsuitable to be part of the curriculum at the Leona school, north of Los Angeles.
“What they are promoting is that a little child can understand that they can change their sex. And, the school district, by allowing the book in classrooms, are actually encouraging it,” he told Charisma News.
“How can a five-year-old determine that? It’s pretty frustrating.”
He argued making first graders read such a book is “a form of mental and emotional child abuse.”
Pastor Idleman said parents and others who attended a school board meeting were evenly split over allowing the book with some accusing opponents of using “hate speech”.
He addressed the board, stressing that “when people speak the truth in love, it’s not hate speech.”
He added that: “Just because something is legal, it doesn’t mean it’s right.”
The pastor warned the school board to reconsider the use of the book in the classroom because it will affect the future direction of the school district.
“Just think, is this something that’s going to help kids or hurt them. It is a very strong topic, and it demands a very strong challenge, a very strong rebuke. That’s why I’m here,” he proclaimed.
“I know you have a hard job, trust me. I’ve got a lot of enemies myself. But someone needs to stand up and say this is not right, we cannot allow this in our schools. Yes, it might cost you some friends, but times change and truth does not,” he concluded.