An anti-LGBTQ organization that thinks that books about seahorses holding tails are too risque for schools is offering a “bounty” to turn in teachers for teaching “divisive” subjects when it comes to diversity in schools.
A new law passed by Republican lawmakers in New Hampshire bans teachers from discussing “divisive topics” about racism, sexism, and diversity, part of increased conservative scrutiny on public education that has seen conservatives showing up at school boards to protest and cause chaos when it comes to diversity education, COVID-19 measures, transgender students being treated equally, and LGBTQ books in libraries.
Liberals have called the bill “indecipherable and internally contradictory, and if a teacher violates it “they can be hauled in front of the state board and lose their license over a law that is confusing to say the least,” said Oyster River, New Hampshire Superintendent James Morse.
This past year, conservatives have been framing diversity education as “discrimination” against dominant groups, like arguing that kids learning about the history of slavery and racism in America is discriminatory against white kids because it makes them feel bad, or that allowing transgender kids to participate in school sports is discriminatory against cisgender kids because cisgender girls, they say, can’t win against transgender girls. Teaching kids about tolerance towards LGBTQ people, likewise, gets described as discriminatory against religious students.
The state created an online form for parents to complain about their kids’ teachers if they believe that they have been “discriminated against” by the curriculum. Parents can check off boxes about how the teacher taught that a group “should be discriminated against” based on various categories like race, religion, and marital status.
And now Moms for Liberty is encouraging conservatives to use the form to turn in their kids’ teachers, and they’re even offering a bounty.
“We’ve got $500 for the person that first successfully catches a public school teacher breaking this law,” the group told their followers. “Students, parents, teachers, school staff… We want to know! We will pledge anonymity if you want.”
“End someone’s career, and collect a bounty,” education reporter Peter Greene wrote in Forbes , adding that Moms for Liberty is asking for contributions to this fund and telling followers to mark “CRT Bounty” in the note for their donation if they use PayPal.
Moms for Liberty is a new organization that organizes protests of schools that don’t follow its hyper-conservative principles. Earlier this year, they organized a protest after two girls kissed at a school’s homecoming festivities; demanded a school remove a book about seahorses from its library because it showed the fish holding tails, which is a mating ritual; complained about a book about the Civil War because it portrays “white people as ‘bad’ or ‘evil'”; and protested a school board member’s home because she supported the district’s LGBTQ-inclusive anti-discrimination policy, with signs that read “straight & proud” and “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”
In New Hampshire, the often-violent white nationalist group Proud Boys has been crashing school board meetings to protest “critical race theory,” which refers a specific field of study that the right co-opted to refer to any discussion of racism, since talking about racism is necessary to end racism.
Liberals and teachers say that the accusations that education on diversity is “divisive” and is teaching kids that they are “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive” is false.
“It was bad enough that the law tried to find a problem that doesn’t exist—no teacher in New Hampshire teaches that any group is inherently superior or inferior to another,” said New Hampshire American Federation of Teachers President Deb Howes. “[Education Commissioner Frank] Edelblut has declared a war on teachers, a war that the overwhelming majority of N.H. parents will find repulsive