Local school opens up transgender talks after first-grader’s decision

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AKRON-- At Herberich Primary School in Akron, there is a very open discussion about transgender identities going on.

Copley-Fairlawn school administrators sent two different emails to parents this week stating they planned to discuss why a male first-grader will live his life as a girl.

The emails, sent Monday and Wednesday, stated that many of the students were "questioning why their male classmate was dressing and behaving like a girl."

The email went on to read "the student will even go by a different name."

"This is a very sensitive situation in many respects and I want to be careful to protect the privacy of the child involved as well as the privacy of all students at Herberich Primary School.  I appreciate the care and concern that our administration and staff have offered as well as the appropriate manner in which the situation has been handled," said Brian Poe, superintendent.

According to the emails,  students were also referenced to a book, called "I am Jazz."

The book is based on the real-life transgender experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere.

The school would not comment on how the book would be presented to students due to the sensitivity of the subject.

The school adds that there were alternate activities for students whose parents did not want them to participate in the transgender discussions.

Meantime, parents are split. "I applaud them.  Kids are going to learn what transgender is.  It could be in the streets, the park, anywhere," said Maria Lopez, of Akron.

"I think it is an issue we have to deal with today in our society.  But the first grade is a little bit too young as far as I'm concerned," said Alvin Miller, of Akron.