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The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

Staff Editorial: Moms for Liberty harms public education

Charlotte Baxtor

A pattern of school board controversies have emerged nationwide, and from district to district, there has been one common link: the activist group known as Moms for Liberty.

Under the claim of “empowering parents to defend their parental rights,” Moms for Liberty has worked to endorse candidates for school boards and elect a simple majority. What follows is a removal of district officials, often in a secretive executive session, by the board members endorsed by the group.

Last year, Berkeley County School district summarily fired their superintendent at the first board meeting following the election of a Moms for Liberty-backed majority.

Now the pattern has repeated with Charleston County School district when superintendent Dr. Eric Gallien was placed on leave by the five Moms for Liberty-backed board members, claiming he had created a hostile work environment. He has since been cleared of this accusation following an independent investigation, but on Oct. 27, Gallien chose to end his employment with CCSD.

Among these endorsed board members is Carlotte Bailey, who was recently recorded stating that being gay is “not God’s desire” and that “there’s no such thing as gay children; those children are confused about who they are and what they are.”

She then went on to say that institutional racism doesn’t exist and that black children are behind in test scores because their parents have a “different concept of the value of education.”

She is yet to be investigated for this conduct by her majority Moms for Liberty coboard members. Another Moms for Liberty-backed board member, Ed Kelly, allegedly threatened to show up to a transgender teacher’s house with a gun if the teacher spoke to his child in a certain way. He allegedly made this statement at a Moms for Liberty event.

Kelly and Bailey’s actions against the LGBTQ+ community speak louder than his words. He and four other M4L backed board members voted to disband CCSD’s health advisory board, limiting students’ access to inclusive and comprehensive sex educationand removing a transgender student from that board without cause.

These and many other abhorrent actions of Moms for Liberty-backed candidates expose the true intentions of this extremistgroup: control and an assault on the rights of LGBTQ+ students.

In contrast to their name, Moms for Liberty aims to go district by district, board member by board member, asserting their control, limiting what all kids can learn and read. They have pushed for the removal of several books from public school libraries, and now have their sights on CCSD schools.

While covering this story, several public officials and school district employees said they were too fearful to comment publicly about Moms for Liberty to Tribal Tribune, fearing retribution from a group that has nationwide incidents of threatening teachers.

A group that operates in the shadows utilizing fear to push their agenda has no place in public education, and a school board that prioritizes Moms for Liberty’s agenda fails to fulfill their job, which is to serve and protect the students and employees of the district.

We, the students, and the voters of Charleston County cannot succumb to this fear. We must speak publicly and fearlessly at school board meetings against Moms for Liberty agendas. We must demand open government and practices for the entire community. We must stand against book censorship. And come the next election, the votersof Charleston County–many of whom will be students and graduates of our school–must make their voices heard by voting in board members who will embrace good government and equality for all CCSD students.

Any group can attach the word “liberty” to their name, but their actions and practices define who they are. It’s time for our student body, their parents, and our community to show who actually stands for liberty.

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