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Letter: Murray board’s actions tell trans kids they aren’t valued

(Photo courtesy of Reycraft Books) Pictured is the book cover of "Call Me Max" written by Kyle Lukoff and illustrated by Luciano Lozano. The story is about a transgender boy.

Dear Murray City School District Board of Education:

We are elementary and middle school students who wish to comment on the board’s decision to suspend the Murray City School District’s Equity Book Bundle Program in response to a third grader’s personal copy of the children’s book “Call Me Max” by Kyle Lukoff being read aloud in class. Our interest in this is personal; not only are we school children ourselves, we are also the former students of Mr. Lukoff who, in addition to being a writer, is also an elementary school librarian and teacher at our school in New York City.

We aren’t sure why “Call Me Max” would cause the board to pause its Equity Book Bundle Program when it wasn’t one of the books in the program, but we think these programs are needed to teach children from an early age how to respect people who may be different from them. It is also important for children who may be a little bit different to see themselves represented in the books that they read.

By pausing the program, and doing so on the basis of a children’s book about a transgender child, you are telling children who may be a bit different than others, and transgender children especially, that you do not value them, their lives, or their experiences. That is a lesson that no child should have to learn.

Very truly yours,

Bailey, 5th grade, Eva, 6th grade, Michael, 4th grade, Seneca, 5th grade, Josiah, 1st grade, Madeleine, 6th grade, Hal, 3rd grade, Penelope, 5th grade, Jonah, 2nd grade, Sophie, 5th grade, Edith, 2nd grade, Evan, 5th grade, André, 6th grade, Bacey, 2nd grade, Olina, 5th grade, Clementine, 4th grade, Silas, 6th grade, James, 5th grade, Lianie, 5th grade, Stella, 6th grade, Juna, 6th grade, Theo, 5th grade, Rory, 3rd grade, Zelda, 6th grade, Oliver, 7th grade, Julia, 5th grade, Rex, 5th grade, Ailey, 5th grade, Aima, 5th grade

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