During a CNN investigative report into Moms for Liberty, a right-wing activist group known for attending school board meetings to opposed supposed LGBTQ+ “indoctrination” by teachers, the news network’s crew was passed a note from a mother at one of the group’s meetings in Colorado Springs that read, “We have the other side of this story. This is a hate group.”
The woman who wrote the note was a member of Neighbors for Education, a group created in 2021 to counter Moms for Liberty after it was successful in electing school board members that supported its views. CNN reports that members of Neighbors for Education and other liberal opponents of Moms for Liberty have covertly attended the group’s meetings in various cities to gain information.
“My child thinks it’s ludicrous, that it’s such a big deal, because to them, it’s just normal,” said Naomi Lopez, a member of Neighbors for Education who is the mother of a trans child. “To their friends, they don’t care how my child identifies; they love them for who they are.”
CNN also interviewed Darcy Schoening, head of the El Paso County chapter of Moms for Liberty, who says they are aware that their opponents are infiltrating their meetings and said that they are doing the same on left-leaning Facebook pages.
“What they don’t realize is that they’re doing half the work for us,” Schoening said. “Because the more and more they post… You get those parents that are sitting out there saying, ‘Oh, this doesn’t sound so crazy. I want to go be a part of this.’”
Schoening made several false and/or unsubstantiated claims during her interview, saying that there is a coordinated effort by President Biden and teachers unions to make more children trans and gay “so that conservative values are broken down” and to “slowly erode away at constitutional rights.”
Schoening also claimed during the meeting that CNN attended that a book about “how do two men pleasure each other” was available to first graders, though she didn’t say what the book was or what school made such a book available.
“If you ask my children, who are 7 and 8, ‘What are your pronouns?’ They don’t even know what that is,” Schoening told CNN. “When you ask that, you’re planting the seed in their minds, that they maybe should identify as another gender or that identifying as another gender is hip or cool – ‘Hey, my teacher’s asking me, so maybe this is what I should do.’”
Lopez flatly rejected Schoening’s claim.
“That’s not happening,” she said of Schoening’s scenario. “We’re not going around saying, ‘OK, you know, I want you to think about it, what gender are you?’ When teachers meet new students, they ask how they want to be addressed, she said – a kid named Josiah might want to go by Joe. A kid could say they wanted to use a particular pronoun, and the teacher would respect that.”