A Seattle public school teacher sent the parental rights group Moms for Liberty a packet with “hate letters” reading “Gay is Slay,” “Grow up,” and “Stop bullying and excluding LGBTQ youth and families.”
“Public school administrators should put our public taxpayer dollars towards fixing the abysmal reading scores in the U.S., rather than writing hate letters,” Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice told The Daily Signal in a statement Tuesday. “Taxpayers spend over $18,000 per student every year on public education in the Seattle Public Schools. There is no world in which activism in schools is more important than the basic skills of reading and writing.”
Moms for Liberty posted photos of the letters on Saturday with the message, “Seattle Public Schools are spending class time indoctrinating and weaponizing your children. The building of the Red Guard in America.”
Ann Christianson, a social studies teacher and coordinator of the Gay-Straight Alliance at Jane Addams Middle School in Seattle, had written: “Dear Moms for Liberty, Please read the enclosed cards from concerned middle school students in Seattle.”
Her note appears alongside letters apparently written by elementary school children. “LGBTQ rights are human rights,” one note reads, with rainbow-colored hearts and a peace symbol. “Gay is slay, stop being a rat,” another note reads. The “gay is slay” message appears multiple times throughout the letters, as does the accusation that Moms for Liberty is “bullying and excluding LGBTQ youth and families.”
“Gay is slay” appears to echo the colloquial use of “to slay” as “to defeat.” Therefore, it likely translates to “gay is cool.” This slogan appears to be a rebuke of the legislation Moms for Liberty supports, which critics have branded “Don’t Say Gay.” The legislation prevents sexual lessons for children at young ages.
“The materials in question were sent last spring as an independent activity and not part of the school curriculum,” Seattle Public Schools told The Daily Signal. The district did not clarify whether the teacher had faced any punishment for sending the hate mail, although it did go on to express support for “LGBTQIA+ students.”
“Seattle Public Schools is dedicated to fostering welcoming, inclusive, and identity-safe environments for all our students,” the district added. “We firmly uphold the rights of our students, staff, and families to express their authentic selves. We take great pride in our unwavering support for LGBTQIA+ students, staff, and families, which is reflected in our policies and everyday practices.”
Moms for Liberty has reported receiving death threats, especially after the Southern Poverty Law Center added the parental rights group to its “hate map” in June. As I explain in my book “Making Hate Pay,” the SPLC, which sued Ku Klux Klan groups into bankruptcy in the 1980s, has leveraged its history to brand conservative groups “hateful,” placing them on a hate map along with Klan chapters.
The SPLC claims Moms for Liberty is an “antigovernment extremist group” and part of an “anti-student inclusion movement” because the group objects to LGBTQ and critical race theory lessons for young children. Many schools have launched lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity for kids at young ages in the name of fostering acceptance, and Moms for Liberty considers these inappropriate for kids who should be learning educational basics like reading.
Schools have also taught racially-tinged lessons claiming that America is institutionally racist and, therefore, white students are privileged and black students oppressed. The lessons appear rooted in critical race theory, the idea that racial oppression lies at the root of American institutions, even though advocates claim that critical race theory only refers to law school-level classes. Moms for Liberty claims these lessons stigmatize students and amount to a form of discrimination.
Seattle Public Schools’ Department of Racial Equity Advancement lists the SPLC’s education arm, Learning for Justice (formerly Teaching Tolerance), as a resource. In 2020, the school board discussed adopting the Teaching Tolerance Social Justice Standards and Anti-Bias Framework to support the ethnic studies curriculum. Learning for Justice supports both LGBTQ and critical race theory lessons.
The district did not respond to questions about whether it considers the SPLC’s attacks against Moms for Liberty credible. A former SPLC employee said the SPLC’s “hate” accusations are a “highly profitable scam” meant to bilk Northern liberals into donating.
In 2020, after the death of George Floyd inspired Black Lives Matter riots, Seattle Public Schools banned police from campuses.
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