Hate group leader Mat Staver says it’s about children being fingerprinted for a classroom exercise and progressive propaganda but you know what really gets him frothing.

Hate Group Leader Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel

Liberty Counsel is an anti-LGBT hate group. Liberty Counsel’s mad hatter — the one and only Mat Staver — is targeting the Coweta County School District (in the Atlanta metropolitan area) and The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). According to Staver:

NCTE promotes not just “English” instruction, but a radical “social justice” and critical theory agenda. NCTE trains teachers to indoctrinate students with radical ideology, under the guise of classroom English assignments, and in violation of parental rights.

Translation: Some imbecilic conservative Christian parent is concerned that her little darling is being taught to think for himself and to think critically. I visited the NCTE website. They have different programs for elementary, middle and high schools. According to Mad Mat:

Liberty Counsel represents concerned parents in the Coweta County School District where Language Arts teacher Kima Brown and other Northgate High School English teachers were workshop “presenters” at the NCTE 2017 National Conference.

Staver reviews the entire agenda for a meeting of educators. That has absolutely nothing to do with the curriculum which is usually the responsibility of the school board of the school board. What drives Mad Mat to distraction are these items (keep in mind that this is the agenda of a professional organization’s conference):

  • Using LGBTQ Texts in Middle School…;”
  • “Why Are All the Trans Youth So ‘Normal’? Intersectionality and Absence in Current Trans[gender] Fiction for Youth”

The agenda is here. Staver’s full tirade is here. Staver indulges in his favorite obsession:

One of the conference’s three “Featured Sessions” was entitled “Queering English Studies: Navigating Politics, Policies, and Practices…” The session description stated, “Queer K-12 teachers and students must continue… constructing learning spaces, creating projects, and pursuing research agendas that move English studies … to transformation so that participants can be proactive in their schools and communities.”

Oh my. They are instructing teachers on how to turn kids into queers. What’s next? Turning them into trans or gender nonconforming teens? I wonder how long it takes for an English teacher to turn a kid gay. Staver’s problem is that he doesn’t want kids to be more accepting of LGBT people. There is a reason that Southern Poverty Law Center has designated Liberty Counsel aHate Group.

Moreover, the agenda of a professional organization is none of Mad Mat’s business unless he is a member. Nor is it the business of any “concerned” parent.

Eventually Mad Mat gets to the point:

At Northgate High School, Ms. Brown required her students, without parental consent, to complete an individual “dossier” containing confidential and personally identifiable information including a photograph, a strand of hair, a handwriting sample and fingerprints. These “dossiers” were posted in the classroom where the data could have been taken by students, staff, faculty and school guests, thus violating students’ privacy. The assignment was not part of the school’s curriculum and was not required of other classes. Concerned parents view this unauthorized data collection as conditioning of their students to accept privacy violations by the state.

Knowing Mad Mat there are inaccuracies in the above. The idea that this is “conditioning … students to accept privacy violations by the state” is patently absurd.

Meshuggeneh Mat continues:

The “dossier” and “propaganda” assignments are consistent with the radical agenda promoted by the NCTE. Liberty Counsel has demanded this school district forbid teachers from requiring students to create “dossiers” on themselves or “propaganda” about any subject. Liberty Counsel also demands that teachers must be counseled regarding parental rights and student privacy and disciplined if they bring radical NCTE ideologies into the classroom.

Staver is in a lather over the agenda of NCTE including LGBT issues. This doesn’t really have anything to do with NCTE.  From the description Ms. Brown seems to be the kind of teacher sane parents would find superb. She is sufficiently dedicated to be a presenter at her professional organization. She is challenging her students to be intellectual curious, to think outside the box and to be critical thinkers. Staver and the other crackpots at Liberty Counsel do not like that.

Ms. Brown is far too creative for Liberty Counsel:

Brown also required her students to “Create a Propaganda Meme” regarding the “Syrian Crisis and War.” Among other things, the “propaganda” assignment required students to answer, “Are you for OR against the war?” “What should be done to protect children?” “Should the US accept more Syrian refugees?” “What should all Americans do about the crisis?”

Liberty Counsel sent the school district’s attorney a threatening letter by email. I also sent a brief email advising him that Liberty Counsel is a hate group along with a link to SPLC’s designation.

Apparently, on the advice of counsel, those dossiers were destroyed. No damage done since the assignment was completed. It is unfortunate though that a group of crazy people can affect a school board.

Liberty Counsel’s demands are:

1)The District will forbid teachers from requiring students to create

2) The District will counsel Ms. Brown and other District teachers regarding
parental rights and the requirement of remaining politically and ideologically
neutral in the classroom, without injecting personal ideologies into
assignments; and

3) The District will inform Ms. Brown and other District teachers that the NCTE
conference workshop suggestions set forth above (“Queering English
Studies;” “Enacting Social Justice-Focused English Curricula;” “Using [nonschool-board
approved] LGBTQ Texts in Middle School;” promoting “Political
Activism” and “Resistance Pedagogy”) are examples of “what not to do” in the
classroom, and will otherwise subject teachers to professional discipline if
they engage in them during instructional time.

If I do not receive the requested responses, Liberty Counsel will take further action to
prevent irreparable harm to the rights of parents and students.

“Irreparable harm.” Give me a fucking break. The letter is signed by one of LC’s wackos, Richard L. Mast. I hope that the school district tells Mast where he can park his letter.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.