A typically placid school board meeting in Danville was anything but recently, with grim faces and waving pride flags spilling from the meeting’s doors. Dozens of parents, students and community members packed the building, and many more crowded outside to watch a livestream on cell phones.
The overflow crowd was a direct response to the arrival of Moms for Liberty, a far-right group that is sparking controversy nationwide. In the two years since the organization was founded in Florida, it has pushed on nearly every educational pressure point, from public health mandates in schools, to book banning, to lessons on race and LGBTQ+ issues in the classroom, particularly at the elementary level.
“Parents are not the issue here. Fear and hatred are the issue,” said Alan Manewitz, who spoke in support of LGBTQ+ programs in public schools. “We need to learn, just like we learned as children, that there aren’t any monsters under the bed.”