A Tennessee Group Seeks Fahrenheit 451 Authority — and the Gov. Obliges

Andy Spears
3 min readSep 30, 2021

Fearing unchecked liberal indoctrination and raging seahorse hormones, the Williamson County chapter of a national dark money group calling itself “Moms for Liberty” is aggressively pushing a cancel culture agenda worthy of Joe McCarthy.

A sampling of news about the group’s recent antics explains.

CNN reports on the hunt for curriculum deemed objectionable by activists in the McCarthy Mom group:

“The school bus goes right in front of my house and my kid is dying to ride it,” she told CNN. “But not until I have deemed that the curriculum is safe and will do no harm.” Steenman is counting on a new Tennessee law to force schools to end that curriculum — and ban at least one book in the elementary school library written from the perspective of Mexican Americans.

The group’s antics have created chaos at school board meetings and attacked student groups . . . and even seahorses:

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.

If Teachers Make Kids Uncomfortable, They Get Cancelled

What these moms on a mission are really after is their own special cancel culture, where teachers tread lightly so as not to upset the wealthy and white:

In May, Gov. Bill Lee signed HB 580, a law aimed at banning so-called critical race theory from schools. Educators argue that critical race theory is not taught or included in the K-12 curriculum and is usually an elective class in college or law school.Section 51, part 6 of the Tennessee law makes lesson plans illegal if students “feel discomfort, guilt, or anguish.”

A spokesperson for the school board in Williamson County told CNN school leaders in the county have launched a “Reconsideration Committee” to review the books Moms For Liberty has complained about. One board member familiar with the process said new Tennessee law is hard to interpret, but this board member said they expect the state will ban at least one of the books Moms For Liberty cited.

--

--

Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .