Persistence Pays Off: A Lesson from the Badger State
My name is Alexandra Schweitzer, and I am a mom of three in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, just a few miles from the birthplace of the school choice movement. I am the president of the No Left Turn in Education (NLTE) chapter in Wisconsin.
In 2020, the COVID school closures opened my eyes to how my kids were being indoctrinated and how schools weren’t serving families like mine. I knew something had to be done, and together with a small group of “Warrior Moms” – as I like to call us – we rolled up our sleeves and went to work.
Together, we started attending school board meetings regularly, fighting for our rights and our children’s rights every step of the way.
|For the 2020-21 school year, I moved my daughter from her middle school to a private school because the school board denied the will of the parents they were elected to represent and refused to reopen for in-person learning.|
|Why was it not safe for her to go to school, but perfectly safe for her brother to attend the elementary school in the same system and for her older sister to attend her private high school in-person? |
Around this time, the Warrior Moms became curious about what exactly the children of all ages were learning in school and the books to which the students had unfettered access.
We were horrified at what uncovered! We discovered that one of the books, the Gender Quest Workbook, coaches kids that gender is “a whole spectrum of possibilities” and encourages them to question their gender identity.
I was mortified to find out that, a year earlier, my then-5th grade daughter was also exposed to another book called It’s Perfectly Normal, which targets kids as young as ten. It describes sex acts, even providing graphic illustrations that clearly violate the will of the parents and blur the legal lines put in place to protect children. The presence of such books in school is unacceptable.
It’s not “perfectly normal” to show pornographic content to children. It’s evil and it is predatory. It was evident that the intent was to confuse children and undermine parents. It was clear to us that this would damage the young minds that are incapable of truly comprehending this explicit content. I knew that I had to do something to stop this.
I spoke with America’s Sheriff David Clarke, an NLTE board member, who put me in touch with NLTE founder and president Dr. Elana Fishbein. With the strong support of NLTE, we began to testify in front of many school boards about these books, even reading passages from them. The school board members were shocked, and many of them tried to shut us down, but we would not relent. Due to our persistent pressure (they don’t call us the Badger State for nothing!), three Oconomowoc School Board members resigned in August 2021, followed by a fourth member a few months later. The remaining board members listened to us, but they have yet to act.
Whenever school boards were dismissive of the parents, we were emboldened to fight with more conviction and passion. With the vacant promise to remove the pornography from the shelves, we realized our demands were not being heard. We filed open records requests, using the board members’ own words against them and proving that they poorly represented us. We began working with state legislators to bring our state education system into compliance with the laws that protect our children from sexually explicit material. I testified before our state senate in defense of parental rights. We have been educating parents and the public, holding Empower Parent rallies and seminars with Dr. Duke Pesta. Parents are now stepping up to run for school board seats across Wisconsin. We have been partnering with local organizations, including RiseUp Wisconsin led by Sheriff David Clarke, and together we are working to advance NLTE’s mission and goals.
I’m one of thousands of parents in this fight, and we won’t back down until this radical intrusion on our children’s education is stopped! We will not permit our students to be sexualized or indoctrinated. We will never co-parent with the government!
NLTE Wisconsin Chapter President