A controversy over a transgender book read in a 1st grade Bellingham classroom reveals the district’s school board president owns an all-ages sex shop.
Some parents were upset to learn a teacher read to their young students the book I Am Jazz. The children’s book introduces readers to transgenderism via a child who, at the age of 2, was “pretending to be a boy.” At a young age, the boy met a doctor who labeled him transgender. Based on a real person, the character presented as a female and went by the name Jazz.
Complaints to the teacher went nowhere, so parents contacted the Bellingham School Board President Jenn Mason. Those complaints fell on deaf ears. Now we may know why.
School board president owns an all-ages sex shop
Parents told Young America’s Foundation, which first reported the controversy, that they escalated their complaints to the school board.
Lead by Mason, who was elected in 2017, the board “refused to take action.” If parents were expecting her to side with their concerns on introducing children to sexuality or gender identity, they were in for a rude awakening.
Mason isn’t just the school board president. She is also a private sex coach and small business owner.
According to her Facebook page, Mason owns WinkWink. It bills itself as an “all-ages, inclusive, not creepy sex shop in Bellingham, WA.” She aims to “banish shame, and help our customers to better love themselves and others.” She told Western Washington University’s student newspaper Western Front that she’ll only sell to customers 16-years and older, but all ages are welcome inside.
Mason’s sex coach training comes from the Sexology Institute. According to her website, she is a certified sex educator through the American College of Sexologists.
Of course, Mason won’t help parents
It makes sense that Mason won’t help parents concerned over transgender issues introduced to young children. A quick view of her positions suggests she endorses the message.
Mason is a social justice activist who believes “normalizing, accepting, and affirming all bodies, identities, and gender experiences is an inherently political act.” Her store sells items relating to gender identity.
On Facebook, she announced she was adding her personal pronouns to her e-mail signatures. She made a move out of duty to “build more inclusive spaces for our trans and non-binary friends.” The goal of I Am Jazz is to do just that: create more acceptance to trans children, even if parents object to the material as age-inappropriate.
Is Mason’s job a problem?
Some will this a story of Mason’s job as a sex shop owner. It’s hard to ignore it. It’s ironic to have a “not creepy sex shop” when you own and operate an all-ages sex shop. But I’m not sure her sex shop owner status should matter that much, per se.
The school board position is an elected one. Who the community elects is up to them. So long as she’s not hiding her shop, and I have no reason to believe she is, that’s not the issue. The issue is that Mason isn’t listening to all of the parents.
If Mason is truly ignoring the parents who find the material objectionable, what good is she as a school board president? She is only abiding by her own personal ideological beliefs. So what good is she on the board?
For her part, she’s not just ignoring the concerns of parents. She’s ignoring the questions of this talk show host. Mason hasn’t returned two emails nor a phone call requesting comment.
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