Tennessee Branch of Moms for McCarthyism Getting MORE National Attention

Yes, the Tennessee affiliate of a national dark money group freaked out by seahorse porn has gained even more national attention. This time, the attention comes courtesy of the “Scary Mommy” blog.

Here’s how blogger Elizabeth Broadbent sees the scene in Williamson County:

This has led Moms for Liberty parents like white mother of three Robin Steenman to say that second-graders learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. will lead them to “believing white people are oppressors and minorities are victims,” which is a gross oversimplification, but generally what was going down during the Civil Rights era, so mission accomplished!

AND:

Moms for Liberty has also publicly posted video of a homecoming parade float belonging to a Franklin, Tennessee high school’s Pride Club and hit school board meetings decrying its existence. They claim same-sex high school couples kissed in front of younger students, and you know what the Bible says about that (check your Biblical index under high school, gay, homecoming). Also, Moms For Liberty was publicly posting pictures of underage kids making out.

Then there was the seahorse incident.

Once there was a book intended for first graders. This book was called Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish In The Sea, and it dared to show seahorses clasping tails and touching bellies. This sent the Karens in Franklin’s Moms for Liberty group clutching their pearls, because in case you didn’t know, that’s how seahorses mate. The Karens demanded that the book be banned, deeming it appropriate only for eighth graders. They also objected to Johnny Appleseed, calling his story “sad and dark” and said that first graders were too young “to hear about possible devastating effects of hurricanes.” Hurricanes, as everyone knows, are best experienced firsthand. Throw them into Hugo and let them learn in the real world!

Anyway, the whole post is worth a read for some great links exposing the antics of this very angry group.

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Public Money, Private Schools: A Bill Lee Story

Moms for McCarthyism Coming to Sumner County

The Tennessee affiliate of a national dark money group focused on rooting out supposed indoctrination and banning seahorse porn is on the move. Moms for Liberty, currently quite active in Williamson County, is organizing now in Sumner County.

Here’s a meeting notice from them:

Note that the primary goal of the meeting is “taking back our schools.” It’s not clear exactly how far back the group wants to go. It was not too long ago (2012) that Sumner County Schools didn’t even open due to a County Commission that refused to fund the school system. Yes, that’s right. Sumner County Schools was closed for two weeks in 2012 due to a budget impasse between the School Board and County Commission. Maybe these “moms” want to go back to those days?

Probably, though, attendees at the meeting on October 24th will hear a lot about Critical Race Theory and about a curriculum known as “Wit and Wisdom.”

Here’s more on those topics:

Reuters reports that the fight in Williamson County is part of a broader, national movement:

The clash in Franklin, a Nashville suburb of 83,000 people, is part of a larger culture war over race and education that’s roiling other U.S. communities, and which has gained traction as a political force nationwide.

It has split parents and spooked some educators. Tennessee is pursuing plans to strip teaching licenses from instructors and cut state funding to schools that persistently teach taboo material.

CNN reports on the hunt for curriculum deemed objectionable by activists in the McCarthy Mom group based on their Williamson County antics:

The chapter has grabbed headlines for belligerent protests at school board meetings. They have attacked a high school LGBTQ pride float — one tweet wondered if students passing out pride literature were doing “recruitment.” And another meeting featured a tirade by a Moms For Liberty member against a children’s book about the lives of seahorses, which she said was too sexual.

So, the kind of school board meetings that grab national attention and become the subject of late night comedy TV could be coming soon to Sumner County. Plus, teachers could be brought up on charges and books and other materials could be banned.

Photo by Fred Kearney on Unsplash

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Williamson County Continues Wrestling with Diversity, Inclusion

As tensions heat up in Williamson County over the process of instilling principles of diversity and inclusion in the system’s schools, one parent group continues to highlight the work in the community being done on the issue.

Here’s more from One WillCo regarding some of what happened at this week’s school board meeting:

Last week, One WillCo joined with five other local organizations with a joint statement supporting Superintendent Jason Golden, and Williamson County School’s diversity efforts with “Fostering Healthy Solutions.” Tonight at the school board meeting several parents involved with One WillCo shared their experiences and thoughts during public comment. 

Alanna Truss, a clinical psychologist and parent of a Woodland Middle School and Kenrose Elementary School student, spoke in support of “Fostering Healthy Solutions” and Superintendent Golden. “Recent efforts by some individuals to push back against DEI efforts have included the claim that children are being traumatized by exposure to factual representations of history. In my years serving this community, I have yet to see a child in my practice due to being traumatized by our county’s curriculum choices. I have however, seen several students experiencing trauma due to being discriminated against and bullied within our schools, due to race, religion, gender and sexuality. As a parent and psychologist I am grateful for the ongoing efforts of our school board to make our schools a place where all students feel seen, respected, and safe.”

Trinh Le in District 12 thanked Jason Golden and the School Board for following science to keep students safe this year. She also shared that just this year at school her daughters have had anti-Asian slurs said to them, have heard other students telling Hispanic students to go back to where they came from, and heard anti-gay insults repeatedly shouted in the halls, and that this is why she supports a curriculum that teaches student about the true history of our country. “I have heard people say that teaching these parts of our history is racist or traumatic. But what’s traumatic is Black, Latino, Asian, and LGBTQ kids going to schools where they face discrimination and don’t feel safe.” 

Amie Cooke, a mom of 3 elementary school kids in District 5, shared that she was led by Jesus last year to start a group called “Be The Bridge” to connect with friends of color in her community, and in part to learn about the discrimination they have experienced. From her conversations she has learned about some terrible acts of discrimination their kids have experienced starting as early as Kindergarten. Due to the curriculum controversy she has been hearing she asked her daughter, who just finished second grade, what she remembered about Ruby Bridges, and her daughter told her, “People didn’t like Ruby because of her skin color, but her teacher stood up for her and mommy, I would have stood up for her too.” Mrs. Cooke continued by calling the board to continue to equip and support and stand up for all of the children of WCS.  

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