public schools have been blasted for introducing a children’s book that features a ‘queer’ main character that hails AOC and her Squad, while mocking Mitch McConnell.
A book titled: What You Don’t Know: A Story of Liberated Childhood has reportedly been distributed to NYC school libraries, according to the.
The picture book is intended for 10 and 11-year-olds and is reportedly labeled as part of the Universal Mosaic independent reading curriculum, which the Department of Education is expected to launch next year.
The book was written and illustrated by Brooklynite Anastasia Higginbotham and centers around a black ‘gay sixth-grader’ named Demetrius, who isn’t out yet, but is learning to love himself and navigate school, home, and church.
Demetrius can be seen in the book feeling comfortable and ‘safe’ around his mother swearing, but unsafe in church.
One Staten Island mom called it a ‘horrible book’ that is anti-Catholic and mixes church and state.
She and another mother said the principal of PS 3 in Pleasant Plains was refusing to distribute it among students. The school was also reportedly going through other books to determine if they were appropriate for students.
One of the pivotal scenes in the book is in church, where the main character, Demetrius he feels ‘shameful’ in church because he’s gay. After his soul leaves his body, he has a conversation with Jesus, where he asks if he’s going to ‘punish’ people who hate on the LGBT+ community and whether or not Billy Porter and Mitch McConnell are deserving of love
Anastasia Higginbotham, of Brooklyn, wrote and illustrated a book about a ‘gay sixth-grader’ who is learning to love himself and navigate school, home, and church
One of the pivotal points in the book is when Demetrius and his mother attend church and he has a woke conversation with Jesus.
As he and his mother sit in the pew, he says: ‘Churches can preach all they want about love – the only thing that I feel when I’m here is shame.’
As the boy’s soul leaves his body, he is met with Jesus, where he asks the holy figure if he ‘knows what’s happening down there?’ and if it ‘hurts your feelings if I don’t believe in you?’
The understanding Jesus replies: ‘It’s my job to believe in you and I do.’
Demetrius then asked Jesus: ‘So we’re cool?’ The big man replied: ‘Always.’
Later on in the fictional conversation, the little boy, who comes from a split family, asks Jesus: ‘Are you going to punish the people of Earth who hate me and blame it on you?’
Jesus replies that he wouldn’t, but that ‘everyone is invited to love and be loved.’
As they continue to fly down what appears to be a red carpet, a Billy Porter lookalike appears wearing a black dress, to which Demetrius questions if he should be loved.
Jesus replies: ‘Especially him! Love the dress, Billy!’
Next up is a Mitch McConnell lookalike, where Demetrius asked: ‘Even…?’
Jesus replies: ‘Yes.’
During an online reading on the book, Higginbotham confirmed it was the politician.
‘That’s Mitch McConnell. And the child wants to know if even Mitch McConnell is invited to love and be loved considering all the harm he is causing,’ she said.
The book goes on to show his parents watching TV with the names of US Representatives Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez on the screen.
The narrator goes on to say, according to the New York Post: ‘We will rewrite the rules we live by and love the world into balance,’ suggesting AOC’s Squad is path to the future.
Demetrius also says he feels ‘loved and seen’ when his mother cusses in front of him about politicians endangering the lives of transgender children
Parents are also concerned about a few other books that reported made the Universal Mosaic curriculum, which was introduced by former Mayor Bill de Blasio. Among the titles is a book called The Bell Rang, which is recommended for kindergarteners and discusses slavery. Another title I’m Not A Girl is about a transgender child and is recommended for first-graders. A preschool-level book called Our Skin, reportedly blames racism on white people.
However, the Department of Education told the New York Post that What You Don’t Know and Our Skin are not on the list, despite parents saying they were marked as so in libraries.
A State Island Council Joseph Borelli said the books were a ‘poor parting gift from the prior administration.’
The book, titled: What You Don’t Know: A Story of Liberated Childhood is reportedly a part of the Universal Mosaic collection that former Mayor Bill de Blasio started and is expected to roll out in schools next year. Parents are claiming the book has been labeled as a part of the collection, but the Department of Education says otherwise
The book also reported displays the names of AOC and her Squad (pictured) and suggests they are the way to the future
‘Thankfully, most of my principals have used them as paperweights. There isn’t any value in trying to offend parents and confuse students,’ Borelli said.
Bion Bartning, the founder of Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism – which is based in NYC – said the books were ‘well intentioned,’ but ‘bringing political and ideological materials into the classroom can undermine trust between families and schools.’
‘Being inclusive starts with listening to diverse perspectives, and accepting the culture, values and deeply held beliefs of all families who are part of the school community,’ he said.
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