Moms for Liberty Mecklenburg County Chapter Secretary Christy Eayrs Wade addresses the local board of education in October 2022 about books she said should be removed from school libraries. // Photo credit: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education

Moms for Liberty, a group bent on changing the composition of school boards and aligning public schools across the nation with ultra-conservative, anti-LGBTQ and anti-COVID safety measures, has found a home in Western North Carolina’s most populous and progressive-voting county.

Florida-based Moms for Liberty established a Buncombe chapter, one of 18 in North Carolina, last winter, according to the organization’s national Facebook page and website. In June, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a progressive non-profit legal advocacy organization, labeled Moms for Liberty an anti-government extremist group and part of a growing movement of hate in the U.S.

The lead organizer of the local chapter is former GOP Buncombe County Board of Education candidate Kim Poteat, who is the only local administrator of the 70-member Buncombe Moms for Liberty private Facebook group. Poteat and two other GOP Buncombe school board candidates lost their 2022 bid to Democratic-backed candidates.

Kim Poteat // Photo credit: Kim Poteat for BCS Board Enka District 2022

The national group’s stated mission is to “(fight) for the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.” Moms for Liberty has up to 300 chapters nationwide and about 120,000 members, the SPLC estimates.

When asked by Asheville Watchdog about the Buncombe group’s formation, its plans and the recent SPLC label, Poteat said she was too busy to answer questions.

Moms for Liberty reportedly has ties to the Proud Boys, which played a leading role in the Jan. 6 insurrection, and the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, a right-wing group that, according to the Associated Press, teaches that “elected sheriffs must “protect their citizens from the overreach of an out-of-control federal government” by refusing to enforce laws they believe are unjustified.

SPLC featured Moms for Liberty in its “The Year in Hate & Extremism 2022” report, which documented 1,225 hate and extremist groups across the US and labeled it anti-government and anti-student. SPLC, which has been criticized by the right as characterizing non-violent conventional conservative organizations as equivalent to violent extremists, defines an anti-government group as one that believes the federal government is tyrannical.

“Since the group’s 2021 founding, Moms for Liberty members across the nation have been making waves for intimidating and harassing teachers and school officials,” the SPLC report said. “They have publicly battled teachers’ unions, labeling them as ‘cartels’ and ‘terrorist organizations.’

Moms for Liberty’s primary goals are “to fuel right-wing hysteria and to make the world a less comfortable or safe place for certain students — primarily those who are Black, LGBTQ or who come from LGBTQ families,” according to the report.

Moms for Liberty labels itself a “parental rights” organization. 

A map of Moms for Liberty county chapters in the U.S. // Graphic credit: Moms for Liberty

Episodes of Moms for Liberty’s “Joyful Warriors” podcast in 2023 included “There is No Such Thing as a Transgender Child” and “American Values Belong in School Libraries.”

In response to the SPLC’s report, Moms for Liberty distributed a news release saying it had “been subjected to a now months-long campaign to smear its members as hateful fascists. …  (I)t’s worth taking a closer look at the major policy positions M4L takes to assess whether they or their critics are, in fact, ‘extreme.’ These positions include skepticism about pandemic, and especially in-school masking, policies; opposition to critical race theory and gender ideology in curricula; and the age-appropriate curation of books in public school libraries.”

The national organization welcomed Buncombe into its fold Feb. 5. The Buncombe group’s private Facebook page is administered by the national Facebook page, Moms for Liberty Assistant Coordinator Neely Turlington, National Moms for Liberty Chapter Coordinator Pat Blackburn. and Poteat.

Turlington and Blackburn did not return messages seeking comment.

On Nov. 13, 2022, five days after her school board election loss, Poteat posted this on the Facebook page  “East Asheville for Safety and Truth:”

“I can’t sit back and not stand for our children., I was thinking about joining a Mom’s for Liberty group but guess what …. there isn’t one in Buncombe County. So I have a question for those who are struggling with getting answers from our school system/Board of Education, parents, grandparents, concerned citizens of Buncombe County …. Who would be interested in starting a chapter here in Buncombe County if I led it? Who would be involved?”

A screenshot of a comment Kim Poteat, a GOP-backed Buncombe County School Board candidate in 2022, made on an April 23 SKYline News Facebook page “news & opinion” video.

Poteat later commented on an April 23 SKYline News Facebook page “news & opinion” video.

“Moms for Liberty Buncombe is here! We have had our first meeting and heading to a second meeting. Come join us and help us stop this mess and protect our children, our county, state and nation!”

National group got its start during pandemic

Moms for Liberty traces its origins to the middle of the pandemic.

“They really sprung up in 2021 during COVID,” said Maya Henson Carey, an SPLC research analyst who has studied Moms for Liberty since April 2022. “That’s when we really saw school board meetings just erupting where really no one was paying attention to school board meetings before. 

“So, they came about really as opposed to mask and vaccine mandates during COVID, and that evolved to being against inclusive education like social emotional learning and critical race theory. And then that has really evolved into this anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric.”

Buncombe County Board of Education and Asheville Board of Education meetings in 2023 have seen such sentiments during public comment, though none with stated connections to Moms for Liberty.

Asked if Asheville City Schools knew of Moms for Liberty and if anyone in leadership had received communications from the group, ACS spokesman Dillon Huffman said, “To the best of my knowledge, no one from the Buncombe chapter of Moms for Liberty has reached out to anyone in Asheville City Schools.”

He added the school was “not interested in commenting on the existence of a particular group, however, we do welcome open dialogue with all community groups.”

Ann Franklin, Buncombe County Board of Education chair, responded via Buncombe County Schools when The Watchdog asked her and other school leadership for comment on the local Moms for Liberty chapter and the national group’s SPLC label.

“We encourage our parents to bring their compliments, questions, and concerns to their school administrative team or central services administration,” Franklin said. “We value the opportunity to clarify any of our policies or procedures and hear directly from our parents.”

Board members for Asheville City schools did not respond to several requests for comment.

Moms for Liberty’s national aspirations stretch beyond providing school board meeting public comment talking points. It started a political action committee soon after receiving a $50,000 contribution from one of the funders of the “Stop the Steal” movement, Carey said, and in the 2022 midterms it endorsed hundreds of school board candidates and claimed to have flipped 17 boards to conservative majorities.

“The new Moms for Liberty affiliated school board members were being sworn into office at the very same meetings we saw them fire superintendents that had enforced mask mandates,” Carey said. “We saw them enact anti-CRT (critical race theory) policies and set up book review committees.”

“They have this power now”

Efforts to ban books from school libraries — often those exploring LGBTQ or racial themes — have become a centerpiece of both national and local grassroots efforts. BCS and ACS board meetings are no exception.

The North Carolina-based Pavement Education Project, a “nonpartisan initiative to educate North Carolinians about the obscene books in public schools & media centers,” has more than 140 books from BCS libraries alone on its content rating system, which it says is based on the system used to rate films. Such a list could be used to challenge library catalogs and school curriculum.

BCS and ACS have policies governing parental inspection of books and curriculum and a formal process for considering what gets to stay in classrooms and libraries and what gets expelled.

“(Moms for Liberty) is really being strategic and putting themselves on these boards and in these places where they can make these big changes, regardless of what the teachers and the parents and the students feel,” Carey said. “They have this power now to make these changes that align with their values.”

Some of the ideas motivating Moms for Liberty are not new.

Elizabeth McRae, Western Carolina University associate professor of history and author of “Mothers of Massive Resistance: White Women and the Politics of White Supremacy,” has documented 50 years of effective grassroots resistance to racial equality, often in public schools.

“I think the strategies of deployment of parental choice disguises what is really an undemocratic impulse in a democratic language,” McRae said. “I think that’s typical.”

Elizabeth McRae // Credit: Western Carolina University

While McRae has not done individual research on Moms for Liberty, she said groups active in 1950s and 1960s — like Women for Constitutional Government, the Minute Women and Pro-America — “had very similar goals, (like) the control of public education for what their group’s values were … and the same strategies: working with curriculum, teacher training, the kind of grassroots, bottom-up effort to shape public education when it began to become more equitable.”

As far back as the 1920s, groups like the United Daughters of the Confederacy were pushing for textbook censorship and revision to fit a “Lost Cause” version of history, one that minimized slavery’s role in the Civil War, glorified the Ku Klux Klan, and framed the white South as a victim.

They led changes to public education that affected not only the South but the nation, McRae said, fueled by a range of organized political support. Through the 1970s, she noted, these groups were not always aligned with a single party, a marked difference to Moms for Liberty’s clear alignment with the GOP.

McRae said it is difficult to quantify the growth and life cycle of such grassroots organizations but noted their beginnings and endings may not be as important as the long-lasting outcomes they create.

“Whether it (the group) continues or not, if you’ve changed the textbooks for the state, you’ve had an impact for a lot longer — your impact is a lot longer than the visibility of your organization.”

Republicans’ focus on Buncombe BOE

In Buncombe, Republicans flexed power this year with the passage of House Bill 66, a redistricting law amended late in the legislative process to include a mandate to draw new Buncombe Board of Education district lines.

Though that mandate is faltering because of census block and school district incongruities, it was hailed as a success by the GOP and backed by former school board candidates, including Poteat.

“I fully support HB66 in regard to School District Voting here in Buncombe County,” Poteat told The Watchdog in June. “Our students will benefit by the fair representation where only local district residents will be voting for their district’s representative. As I was campaigning, many throughout Buncombe County shared with me that their voices were not being heard. Each district needs to have their values fairly represented on the school board.”

Four Buncombe School Board seats will be open in the 2024 races.

Moms for Liberty recruits school board candidates and hosts training in conjunction with the Leadership Institute, a conservative political training organization, and conducts online and in-person classes on how to recruit school board candidates, how to campaign, and how to raise money, Carey, the SPLC analyst, said.

“At their national convention in Philadelphia this year, they actually had a session on the first 100 days after you flip the school board; so how to enact as many policies as possible in the first 100 days,” Carey said.

Though Moms for Liberty’s sudden rise to a national stage and its strategic, self-described “grassroots” campaign have garnered media attention and political bandwagoning, its ideas aren’t shared by most, the SPLC contends.

“They really are just a reactionary minority,” Carey said. “They’re usually the loudest voices in the room when we see a lot of school board meetings. They’re the ones with the megaphones and the signs and things like that, but they are not in the majority there. … There’s a ton of research that says that the majority of parents and students and educators don’t agree with their messaging.”


Asheville Watchdog is a nonprofit news team producing stories that matter to Asheville and Buncombe County. Andrew R. Jones is a Watchdog investigative reporter. Email arjones@avlwatchdog.org. To show your support for this vital public service go to avlwatchdog.org/donate.

63 replies on “Moms for Liberty, “parental rights” group labeled “anti-government” and “anti-student,” just started Buncombe chapter”

  1. Glad to know all conservatives are considered evil when they try to stand up to all the crazy garbage that is being crammed down kids throats from these Woke school boards!
    Pathetic, no wonder the entire educational system in this country is a dumpster fire.

    1. Ha, that’s funny…woke school boards. What a joke. You call them woke because they want inclusivity for all their students, for all of them to get an education? You don’t? The entire educational system, buildings, and teacher quality is not the greatest because….inadequate funding. Not only no funding, but now these nuts on the right are siphoning more money away from the public schools, already dealing with no money, to go to Christian charter schools. We are not Afghanistan where they learn their religion in the public classroom, we are a publicly funded educational system, naught to do with any religion…of which there are many sects in the US. Talk to your state reps to get proper funding for circular and to pay teachers a liveable salary. When you pay fairly, you get the best. NC gop doesn’t like to spend money on schools or teachers.

      1. you need to check some of your facts CK. Their are no Christian charter schools in NC. They are forbidden to have affiliations with religious organizations. These schools mostly serve minority students performing poorly in the public education system. It should be noted that both charter and religious schools outperform their public school counterparts . Also, why are you against parents choosing what education model is best for their child? I also find it interesting that both charter and religious schools do not have the teachers unions getting in the way of learning resulting in better outcomes for students.

        1. hey Joe, you got links to your sources on these claims? my understanding is that some charters are good, some are not but most states lack oversight and regulatory power over them, so it can be hard to figure out how they’re performing.

          my opposition to charters is that they are part of a larger project of eliminating public education. also, I’m opposed to our tax dollars going to private companies instead of to fully support public education.

          teachers are so poorly paid here in North Carolina that they get poached by states who pay better and offer better working conditions. and these days, teachers and school librarians are leaving their profession bc of the stress and fear of being sued, fired, or prosecuted for breaking some vaguely worded law they never meant to break.

          anyway, would love to see your sources if you have links.

          thank you kindly!

    2. Whenever an extremist can’t force their beliefs on others they scream that they are being oppressed. ‘Moms for Liberty’ wants to force their extremist views on others. That’s all they represent.

      1. that’s funny , whenever a “progressive” group can’t force their beliefs on others, they call them a hate group.

  2. The schools are a mess. No better time to homeschool.
    Shootings, drugs, underpaid teachers, book burners, covid spreading unchecked among staff and kids because nobody wanted to invest money on proper ventilation. Not to mention the bad infrastructure of moldy dilapidated buildings. Schools are not safe. But people want to fight about genders and bathrooms and rewrite history about racial atrocities. Schools are not safe nor do they provide much of an education anymore. Schools were better years ago. Now, merely a place to store your kids while you work for peanuts and try to make ends meet.

    1. I do hope you realize how privileged this take is- with prices skyrocketing nearly across the board and wages fairly stagnant there are few positioned with the appropriate amount of time to dedicate to homeschooling.
      Better we attack at the source, organize against the regressive idiots who’ve made it their core mission to destabilize, defund and delegitimize public education in this country.

  3. So you mean a group of parents is trying to influence what is taught in public schools? That’s awful! Who do they think they are, trying to have a say in what their kids are taught in taxpayer funded schools!?

    1. They are trying to DICTATE what is taught in Public Schools, which is quite a different thing. They are deciding for ALL parents what is appropriate for children to read or be taught, and their view is VERY narrow and so called “faith based”.

  4. I think the left and right should move closer to center. But just try to ban Huck Finn or Holden Caulfield, and you’ll see some burning flags.

  5. Demonizing parents as “the enemy” is not going to end well for teachers/schools. Public education will not improve until teachers/ schools stop fighting with parents over who has the right to raise their children and learn to collaborate together towards better outcomes for students. And until scores in English/Math improve substantially, you can expect more parents to become more vocal on this issue.

  6. Please stop your uneducated sniping and griping. If you have a workable solution – a solution – please offer it. Your negative comments do nothing to address that this organization is attempting to commandeer what your children read, think, and believe, taking away your responsibilities as a parent – an individual parent – to raise your child according to your values, not another person’s or a political party’s or a religion’s. Stop behaving like sheep and reacting like lemmings. Being woke, if you really think, is a good thing. I will vote straight Democratic this time around trying to help stop this burgeoning fascism. It’ll be hard, but try to read and to critically think and to smarten up. Question: Have you done anything concretelately to correct the source of your kvetching? Probably not. You have a long way to go.

  7. So sorry to see this. And… also sorry to see that AVL Watchdog has so many extremist wackadoodle readers according to some of these comments. “Rewrite history about racial atrocities”???? You mean, printing what actually happened??? If Germany can teach their appropriately aged students about the Nazis and WWII, we should certainly be able to tell the truth about our own history, good and bad. From a Christian parent/grandparent/teacher, we need to open ourselves up to new ideas and what the world can teach us. It’s a parent’s job to help their child understand these new ideas (age appropriately), but it is child abuse to deny them the opportunity to THINK just because you’re afraid.

    1. Isn’t that exactly the point that Pope Francis is making? That American Fundamentalists have substituted ideology for faith.

    2. Moms for Liberty is no more than a hate group that should not weld the power over what our children learn. They should all move to Florida where DeSantis is doing exactly what they want. Fake news, fake history, banning books. I feel sorry for our teachers and education in our country that are being held hostage by a few ridiculous hateful parents. They should homeschool and leave education alone.

  8. This organization has been appropriately labeled as a hate group. I predict they will have a tough time getting much traction in Asheville and Buncombe county.

    1. Moms for Liberty is as much a hate group as the group ‘labeling’ them as such the SPLC…always disregard their minutia and stupidity.

    2. SPLC is the most disingenuous organization out there. If you are Christian or conservative this group will label you dangerous.

  9. Hate group? Really?
    Do you want your kids looking at pornography in school? There is a NC statute against porn, but, heck, why follow the law? Do you want your kid to change sex without your knowledge? Do you want any influence in what your kids are leaning? Of course not; we all know government knows best. Ideology aside, labeling this group “haters” is an act of hate itself.

    1. Do you really think schools are just trying to show porn to students?!?! Get a grip. And kids especially teens are going to do what they do no mater what rules anyone puts on them, the harder you tell them what they are doing so wrong the more they are gonna do it because, kids think adults are idiots. And they aren’t that wrong about it.
      And if adults keep pushing these hate filled rules on these kids instead of giving them room to grow, what we will see happen is more young deaths and suicides. Keep pushing the “ideas” these groups like moms for liberty pushing. But don’t be surprised and the tragedies that follow.
      All kids deserve representation

  10. SLPC calls every organization right of center an evil right-wing hate group that is a threat to democracy. Utter garbage. SLPC is not a credible organization. Every time I start feeling comfortable about the quality of the reporting at AVL Watchdog, they push out one of these hack-job opinion pieces disguised as reporting.

  11. This isn’t a matter of parents not being heard. I’ve been involved with public schools for over 30 years and I have yet to see a school in our local system that didn’t listen to and actually solicit input from parents. All parents. That doesn’t mean that they can cater to every request, especially when those requests involve removing books from libraries. Schools have an obligation not to let one group like Moms for Liberty dictate what other kids should or shouldn’t read. We have trained media specialists and librarians who make sure a wide, inclusive range of books is available for our children. If that is being “woke,” I’m grateful for these woke individuals.

    1. David, if the books are age appropriate and inclusive for all children to read, why are adults stopped from reading excerpts of these books at school board meetings? Is it because they are considered vulgar and crude?

  12. Parents already have a voice in the schools. They elect school board members and vote on local levies. Parents can and do make choices for their own children. This group wants to make choices for all parents and all kids based on a narrow ideology. Most parents want their kids to learn real history and read honest books. I want those system-wide decisions to be in the hands of educators and content experts.

    1. great idea! been wondering if there’s counter-organizing for school board candidates to counter the bullies in M4L, who will support what the majority of parents want and believe. the M4L folks are ruthless, as this piece says, voting to fire school superintendents on their first meeting and then pushing through as much radical policy change as fast as possible, kind of a shock-and-awe approach. our kids deserve so much better, and if we let these people get control they will make changes it could take decades to reverse.

  13. Make no mistake about it but these people are very dangerous and they are indeed a hate group no matter what they try and pedal in their PR.

  14. Any group the Southern Poverty Law Center declares racist, hateful or antigovernment is a group worth hearing out.
    Parents should always have a say in what their children are taught, and the school boards can go pound sand if they don’t like it. A grade schooler doesn’t need sex education let alone gender options. Key riced! Let them be innocent and beautiful for as long as they can.
    Schools need to stick to the basics- reading, writing and math. Nationwide it seems the kids are failing at this. Quit with the social experiments and get them educated enough to function. Leave the parents to teach them about gay relationships, heterosexual living and all the other twiddle twaddle.
    Parents that can use the vouchers for Christian schools are yanking their kids out of the public school system in droves and who can blame them. Yes, shame on those moms of liberty for not wanting their children damaged by all that “inclusiveness” brings to their lives. So glad this crap wasn’t a part of my school day growing up.
    I will have to look into this new local liberty chapter though, would love to make a donation. As a recovering liberal I have to atone.

  15. A disturbingly biased opinion piece disguised as a news article.
    e.g. Failing to disclosed that the Southern Poverty Law Center is a Progressive attack dog;
    Quoting a college who accuses the Parents Group of being “undemocratic,’ then admits she’s never researched it.
    As someone who worked as a journalist for 50 years, a big “two thumbs down” to Watchdog.
    Cancel my subscription.

  16. I recently started reading the Watchdog because I was very impressed with its investigative/objective journalism. Sadly, this is no longer true. Maybe it never was true. But this article underscores that the Watchdog is just another partisan rag not worth reading. Just look at the sources cited in this article. The SPLC. Rally, Moms 4 Liberty is equivalent to the Klu Klux Klan because they don’t like CRT and want to know if their children are suffering gender dysphoria. I don’t think so. Then, the Watchdog asks a historian about Moms 4 Liberty who has not even studied anything about the group. Why is this person being quoted? And finally, why zero interviews of people related to Moms 4 Liberty to give their take on problems with the schools. Watchdog doesn’t have to agree with Moms 4 Liberty. But at least report on what they stand for instead of reporting what other people think they stand for. Total trash. I will no longer read the Watchdog.

  17. Dear Mr. Jones (and the rest of the editorial staff),

    Nothing like a slightly inflammatory opening paragraph or two to irritate at least a third of your readers. Did you folks even do some basic opposing view research?

    Let’s start with your reliance on the Southern Poverty Law Center. They used to be left-leaning and reasonably objective. However, all that changed more than a decade ago; but don’t take my word for it.

    Sep 2016 – https://www.dailywire.com/news/7-things-you-need-know-about-southern-poverty-law-aaron-bandler

    Mar 2019 – https://amac.us/newsline/national-security/southern-poverty-law-center-bias-exposed/

    Aug 2019 – https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/08/17/southern-poverty-law-center-hate-groups-scam-column/2022301001/

    June 2023 – https://reason.com/2023/06/09/southern-poverty-law-center-moms-for-liberty-splc-hate-extremist-list/

    Unknown date – https://www.investors.com/politics/columnists/splc-prager-university-hate-groups-left-wing/

    Unknown date – https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/southern-poverty-law-center/

    In terms of parents paying attention to what their kids are learning; it’s about time.

    Why should that offend anyone? Because if you work in a school system and don’t want the parents, school board, or law enforcement to know what’s going on in the schools – you have no business being around children. Period. Not negotiable.

    And for bonus points, even the National School Board Association apologized for sicking the FBI on parents: https://nypost.com/2021/10/22/national-school-boards-association-disavows-letter-that-led-to-fbi-parent-crackdown/

    Last, before you throw down the race card, again; you might want to look at the profiles of their leadership team, and what they actually stand for: https://www.momsforliberty.org/about/

    I don’t know how long it took you to formulate this article, but it took me less than thirty minutes to do some of this basic research.

    1. Wow – using your same reference source (Mediabiasfactcheck)
      First SLPC:
      “Overall, we rate the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Left Biased based on story selection that favors the Left and strong political advocacy for social justice. We also rate them High for factual reporting due to a clean fact-check record. Although they have mischaracterized some groups and individuals, they ultimately apologized, acknowledged their error, and made appropriate corrections.”
      Now Moms For Liberty
      https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/moms-for-liberty-bias/
      “Overall, we rate Moms for Liberty Far Right Biased based on the organization’s positions that align with conservative ideologies. We also rate them Questionable due to a lack of transparency with funding, the promotion of propaganda and misinformation directed at LGBTQ individuals, and classification as an extremist group by third-party groups.”
      Not sure your arguments are supported – if you care…

  18. Thank you so much for writing about this. I would love to know who to support for those four seats that will open in 2024 so that Mom for Liberty candidates aren’t able to take them.

  19. Uh-oh! Extremism rising!
    Why not work to put books/knowledge INTO schools?
    That’s liberty AND liberation!
    I’m reminded of the play/musical South Pacific and they lyric: “You have to be carefully taught . . . to hate, etc.”

  20. So, let me get this straight. The SPLC has called this group a hate group. Does anyone out their know the recent history about this supposed “progressive” law advocacy group? A simple google search will lead you to some great articles from both NPR and USA TODAY printed in 2019. Seems this supposed “progressive” group has had some problems of their own.

  21. It’s no secret that “Moms for Liberty” are just like so many right-wing organizations that use “Liberty” in their name, yet want to dictate to everyone else what they should be doing. Yes, parents need to be involved with their children’s education, but this isn’t what they aim to do. They want to force everyone else to their narrow-minded white christian nationalist views. There is no “liberty” in what they are doing. It’s performative BS that goes all the way into the tripe that Fox News spouts everyday.

  22. Mom’s for Liberty is in no way a hate group. There is nothing hateful about parents that want to protect the innocence of their children. Instead of listing groups that criticize Mom’s for Liberty, why not tell what Mom’s for Liberty does? They try to keep sexually explicit and suggestive books out of the curriculum and libraries of schools.
    In Florida, Governor DeSantis has signed House Bill 1069, that says if a school board denies parents the right to read passages from their schools books, considered “pornographic” or “harmful to minors,” the school district must discontinue the use of such materials. If it is too embarrassing to read aloud, it is not appropriate for our children.
    Parents send their kids to school to be educated in the basics so they can learn and develop their own paths. In public schools kids are graduating without the basics to do that. Schools need to get out of this kind of social-emotional business and leave that to parents.

  23. This just in: WARNING!!! The SPLC needs your donations to fight the most sinister hate group too emerge in American history, (pause for effect) MOMS!! that’s right, Moms are now just as dangerous as The Klan and the Nazis!! Please donate so we can stop this evil group from becoming a threat to us all!! Now doesn’t that sound silly?

  24. If you are ignorant or religious or bigoted don’t dare make decisions for me or others about what is ‘appropriate’. Don’t pull Moral Police telling me, or anyone, what we can read, or do, or not do. Or what my children can read, or do, or not do. That’s none of your business and is solely reserved for me, the parent, to decide. So butt out. The diversionary tactic of pornography in schools is subjective, and does nothing to address the REAL problems in schools, that children and their teachers being regularly slaughtered. I worry more than my child will be murdered than what thoughts or books he might be exposed to in his classroom. We don’t need Thouoght Police, we need sensible gun policies.

    1. Thank you! The NRA-funded GOP just has to blow smoke up the rear ends of enough people, namely those who went to med school at YouTube University and believe everything on the internet is true (unless it’s fake news, of course!)

      They use groups like Moms for “Liberty” to manufacture performative, fake-outrage b.s. to distract people from the real problems in schools. If they keep enough people looking at the boogeyman of the moment, whether it’s porn being taught in schools (give me a damn break) or the non-existent CRT classes taught at the local elementary school (nevermind that it’s an upper-level law school class) then parents aren’t focused on active shooter drills being a normalized part of their kids day.

      It’s like a bad magic trick- they try to get everyone looking at the left hand while the right hand pulls the wool over everyone’s eyes. That way, the GOP keeps their gun-manufacturing donors, sensible gun laws don’t get passed no matter how many kids are slaughtered, but my lord, as long as little Johnny doesn’t change his name to Jessica and wear a dress, the schools are safe! Ugh.

      1. Well said.

        And while I don’t want to taint your comment with my idea I’ll float it as a distinct and separate thought— these folks are breaking down the church/state wall. If you look at what they are fronting it’s forcing others to live and learn under their religious beliefs. This never ends well. The world is full of examples, now and historically, if actual history even gets taught.

    2. Ticked off, both sides can agree with most of what you just said. Isn’t the solution simple? Leave the schools to teach the basic skills and let the children learn the rest at home.
      That way everyone can be happy.

  25. It’s hard to have good feelings about sending our children to public schools with our governor vetoing the Parents Bill of Rights (Senate Bill 49, but over-ridden by the legislature) and publications like Asheville Watchdog, who with the approval of their board, writes articles misrepresenting groups like Moms for Liberty, that are trying to protect the innocence of childhood. Moms for Liberty promote having schools focus on excellent teaching of core subjects, and keeping materials that promote gender ideology out of the curriculum and libraries. Books and curriculum suggesting to young children that their gender is fluid and teaching them how they can sexually stimulate themselves and others is not an image or thought that can be undone. We are getting farther and farther from letting our children develop naturally in all kinds of ways. Sexuality is borne within us, and in an unmanipulated setting it grows within us in natures perfect timing. It’s meant to be private and mystical and, in time, shared, and it’s a beautiful thing. And it is not the same for everyone. Very much aware of that is Moms for Liberty and conservatives, groups the left loves to hate. Groups like Moms for Liberty and conservatives in general have no problem with your choosing whatever you want as a sexual preference, and the freedom to live it out. What we object to is trying to steer children into sexual paths that are just forming and they are not ready for. They have no conception of what changing their gender really means.
    Shame on the Asheville Watchdog and the board that approved this article for their misrepresentation of Moms for Liberty and conservatives in general, who are just trying to keep inappropriate sexual literature out of childhood education.
    “Tell the school boards” you say. But our school boards are made of only one party, including our Buncombe County school board, and they are deaf to our voices. This is one reason why we are grateful that voting for the school board will soon be by district lines. That may eventually allow for some conservative voices to be on our school board.

  26. Armor plated backpacks are a thing for school kids.
    Kids are using their parents prescription drugs.
    Bullying and social media pushing kids to suicide.
    What are we doing?

  27. I’m interested in further investigative reporting. 1) Is Moms for Liberty registered as a non-profit or as a charity? Does their political campaign fit within the IRS definitions for a charitable group or should they be paying taxes on their assets? 2) I read that very few “homeschooling” parents are actually teaching their kids, instead relying on mass produced streaming/ video emanating from religious groups (the example given was from 19 Kids and Counting, until child abuse charges got the tv show cancelled. Why are cult for-profit programming able to qualify either as “home-schooling” or “religious” or tax exempt?

  28. Explicit books removed from K-12 school libraries but only after a public reading at school board
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/aug/31/books-too-explicit-k-12-school-board-removed/
    At least 20 books are being removed from libraries in a Florida school district as the result of parents reading out loud objectionable passages from the books they deemed sexually explicit and inappropriate for children at a school board meeting. Fighting a nearly two-year battle with the Indian River County School District Board to remove 156 books from district schools, a local chapter of Moms For Liberty strategically took advantage of a new Florida law at Monday’s meeting. House Bill 1069 states that a school district must remove books immediately if the readings are shut down, objected to, or introduced with a censor warning by School Board members.

    ‘This is really graphic’: Indian River County School Board removes dozens of books, at the public’s request
    https://cbs12.com/news/local/florida-law-books-under-review-this-is-really-graphic-indian-river-county-school-board-removes-dozens-of-books-at-the-publics-request-august-29-2023
    “We were looking at the books in the schools and doing keyword searches like rape, incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and then we were able to find, you know, books in our schools with those,” Jennifer Pippin, head of the Moms For Liberty Indian River County chapter, said.

    Moms for Liberty – Indian River County, Florida Chapter
    https://www.momsforliberty.org/chapters/indian-river-county-fl/
    Dedicated to the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government

    Indian River County, Florida
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_River_County,_Florida

  29. Mom’s for Liberty: ‘We Do Not Co-Parent With the Government’

    Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich, the ‘joyful warriors’ who founded the group, discuss Covid shutdowns, teachers unions, transgenderism and the SPLC’s smear.

    https://archive.ph/FAEmZ

    A more influential antagonist is the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC, founded in 1971, has a storied history of fighting the Ku Klux Klan via civil lawsuits and cooperation with law enforcement. The media uncritically describe it as a civil-rights group, even though in recent decades its has shifted its focus to smearing conservative organizations as hate groups. In June it labeled Moms for Liberty as “extremist” and “antigovernment.” It stated in a report titled “The Year in Hate and Extremism 2022” that the organization’s “primary goals” are to “fuel right-wing hysteria and to make the world a less comfortable or safe place” for students who are “Black, LGBTQ or who come from LGBTQ families.” Ms. Justice says that is a lie, and accuses the SPLC of having “put a target on the back of every American parent, every American mom.” She says the designation is “meant to be used as a weapon against us” and asks: “Are any government agencies using the designation as a way for them to do more surveillance on us, or to somehow try to curtail our actions as an organization?”

  30. How quickly the “Asheville Watch Dog” has evolved into the “Progressive Pup”! Your original promise to the community was investigative reporting, not political commentary.

  31. This article is truly one of the worst attempts at alleged objective journalism I’ve ever seen. Guess Mr. Jones must be the kind of America-hating propagandist our J-schools produce these days. Using the SPLC’s info as the basis for the article is laughable, as many commenters have already pointed out. Attacking moms who are exercising their Constitutional rights to do what they feel is best for their children is another reason to wonder what country this is. Grew up in the USA but this aint it. Nice work, comrade Andrew. Won’t be wasting my time with the Watchdog, ‘er Lapdog, anymore.

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