August 17, 2022

Parent Concerned About Books in Seekonk Elementary Schools

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A parent raised concerns over books dealing with gender identity at a recent school committee meeting.

Kyle Juckett, who has a child attending Aitken Elementary School, told the committee there were books with adult content at the school’s library. The titles include: “What are Your Words?: a book about pronouns,” “Julian is a Mermaid,” “What Riley Wore,” “I Am Jazz,” and “When Aidan Became a Brother.”

Juckett, who had been a candidate for school committee last April, said “if you e-mail the schools, you would be told these materials aren’t there.”

A search through the SAILS Library network revealed the books were available at the Aitken school library.

According to the School Library Journal: “I Am Jazz” is “the story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere.”

The SLJ says of “When Aidan Became a Brother”: “this well-illustrated and sweet family tale centers on the experiences of a transgender boy.”

School committee member Meaghan Mahoney told Juckett there’s a form parents can fill out if there are books they do not want their children to read.

"We support all of our students,” Seekonk Public Schools Superintendent Rich Drolet said via e-mail on Friday. “All means all. We carry great responsibility in trying to meet the needs of every student that appears before us. We support our library/media specialists, teachers, and school principals in their work supporting all students. Our principals work collaboratively with families and any parent or guardian who has a concern with the content of any book should reach out to their child(ren)'s principal.”

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