Everyone is surely aware of the increasingly unhinged and violent mobs of ill-informed “angry parents” storming school board meetings and losing their shit because someone might tell their kids that the “discovery” of America actually wasn’t that cool or that gay people exist or that priests can also be predators. This is happening nationwide, and Nebraska is no exception. Recently a group called Protect Nebraska Children popped up on Facebook, and, folks, it ain’t pretty. To start with, the group is backed and presumably funded by Family Watch International, a group that is recognized as an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the SPLC. When you type the url provided by the group – protectnebraskachildren.org – it redirects to the url “https://www.comprehensivesexualityeducation.org/us-map/nebraska/“, and if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will see this:
Don’t take my word that Protect Nebraska Children wouldn’t exist without the help of this internationally recognized hate group. Susan Greenwald will tell you herself.
Family Watch International isn’t the only group backing and training this dangerous movement. Other groups supporting these “angry parents” include Turning Point USA, the Proud Boys, the 1776 Project, and PragerU. In a normal world, this small group of misinformed and brainwashed people powered by Christofascists and hate groups would be roundly denounced and banished from school board meetings, but unfortunately we live in *this* world so they are getting private meetings with the Governor.
Show of hands – how many of YOU have been granted a private meeting with the Governor? Mmhmm.
Sue Greenwald is a retired doctor in Kearney, and not only is she spreading hysteria through middle and west Nebraska (and the Grand Island Independent is only to happy to give her and conspiracy theorist Douglas Frank a platform without fact-checking their lies), but she also appears to be heading the “canvassers” who are going door to door across the state asking people about their voter status.
The Protect Nebraska Children Facebook group is a hellscape of racism, anti-LGBTQ vitriol, disturbing overparenting (some parents have demanded class plans from teachers – and the principals are providing them instead of telling them to get bent), and longwinded nonsensical rants that I cannot bring myself to read all the way through. One of the members of the group, Steve Lucchino, has a restraining order against him by LPS because of the violent threats he made at a school board meeting. In a post about the book “Not My Idea“, one member suggested printing out “it’s ok to be white” and leaving it inside the book.
A half dozen members of the group have thrown their hat in the ring to take the place of a recently retired state Board of Education member, and Senator Steve Erdman has endorsed half of them. Local bigot Matt Innis is one of them. None of them have kids in the public school system. The Protect Nebraska Children PAC has endorsed Sherry Jones for the District 6 Board of Education seat.
Other members of the group include the Governor’s “Director of Strategic Communications” Kay Orr’s grandson and Senator Ben Hansen. Senators Albrecht, Lowe, and Clements are either active on their Facebook group or have supported them publicly.
Herbster flunkie Deb Smith Portz is also a part of the group, and she seems to think that homeschool parents should have a say about the public school curriculum.
It’s not just “CRT” and health standards that have this group in a tizzy. This is one of the many Facebook groups populated by all the same people and they are all against the same things – Critical Race Theory (which is not being taught in ANY school), health standards, masking, vaccines – anything they can latch on to that they feel limits their “freedoms” to be racist anti-science dipshits. Without lumping all these different things together, they wouldn’t be able to get a group big enough to fill up one of their minivans.
Protect Nebraska Children has started a PAC website that is taking donations but do not appear to be registered through the NADC. They also don’t appear to be registered as an organization through the Secretary of State.
There’s so much more to dive into here, but honestly it is above my pay grade of zero dollars per hour, so I hope other local journalists will take a dive into this cesspool of conspiracy theories, white fragility, anti-gay hate, and potential violence.
The cutoff to submit your name to be considered for the vacancy on the State Board of Education is this Friday October 29. We know Ricketts will pick the worst of the worst but it would be nice if at least one normal person would apply. We also need to keep a close eye on this group. They are not ok.