Right-wing hosts call teachers 'groomers' for showing kids a 'diverse collection' of books and movies

Right-wing hosts call teachers 'groomers' for showing kids a 'diverse collection' of books and movies
Daily Wire host Matt Walsh, Image via screengrab.

Conservative podcast hosts are lambasting teachers across the nation for their efforts to expose students to diverse and inclusive educational resources.

Matt Walsh of the Daily Wire and Steven Crowder of Louder with Crowder on Wednesday both called educators who allow their students to explore an array of books — some of which include LGBTQ+ characters — "groomers."

According to TODAY, veteran Illinois middle school teacher Sarah Bonner was hit with police report against her "for child endangerment," after hosting a "book tasting" for her students in March.

READ MORE: 'Assault on freedom': Critics blast expansion of Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' law

The "diverse collection of books" Bonner shared with the middle schoolers included "This Book is Gay." by Juno Dawson, a bestselling nonfiction book "that's billed by its publisher as an entertaining and informative 'instruction manual' for anyone coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans."

Bonner told TODAY, "I wanted to give them a smattering of fiction and nonfiction to choose from on a day that we call 'Reading Monday,' adding, "We just read and celebrate books."

Conservative Daily Wire host Matt Walsh took to The Matt Walsh Showto lambaste Bonner, calling her a "groomer" for exposing her students to a diverse array of books.

"So, according to this groomer teacher, the only way to treat the LGBTQ community equally is to sexualize and groom children. But you notice something else, that there is no heterosexual person demanding this sort of thing on the other side. Okay? We're not asking for classrooms to provide graphic descriptions of straight sex or how-to manuals on the subject. We're not asking for that," Walsh said.

READ MORE: Florida's 'Don't Say Gay' bill author facing up to 35 years in prison

Walsh continued, "LGBT activists claim that exposing children to pornographic content is the only way to ensure inclusion and equality. But inclusion in what? Equal in what way?" the conservative host asked.

"What we want is for all sexual instruction to be removed from the classroom completely. Kids do not go to government educational facilities to learn how to have sex. Or, at least, that's not why they should be there. Human reproduction should be covered in biology class at the appropriate age. But aside from that, none of this stuff should come up. As I've said before, I don't even want abstinence taught in the schools. I'm not advocating for an abstinence only sex ed education because -- now, that would certainly be much better, that'd be a much better alternative to the left's preferred strategy of instructing children on the fine details of every sort of depraved fetish. But it still would not be ideal, because the most ideal scenario is that the schools teach neither how to have sex or how to not have it. Okay? I don't want any of the how to's. These are not appropriate or relevant conversations for adults to be having with rooms full of children."

Similarly to Walsh, Crowder accused some teachers of being "groomers," saying, "Look, I get that people have different sexual proclivities. Okay? Some people like the sexy sexy flight attendant outfit, some people like the sexy nurse outfit. It's fine, different flavors. But not when it is an irrefutably damaging, perverted sexual activity that does not need to be implanted into young kids' minds. Let me tell you why, I'm gonna tell you exactly why they do that, because they go to fisting, then anything else is backed off a little bit. That's called grooming. And by the way, you are not alone in being furious about this, but more importantly, these teachers are not alone. Many Democrats believe that your kids -- this is the fundamental underlying issue -- your own children are not yours."

READ MORE: 'Culture war issues' are human rights matters worth defending

He continued, "This is grooming children. This is hyper-sexualizing a -- someone doesn't need to be an active child rapist to be grooming children. They just have to believe two things - number one, that they know better than you, and number two, you have no rights to your own children when they are not in your presence for that period of time. And number three, that these hyper-sexualized issues should be introduced to children, whether they're engaging in them or not."

Regarding Walsh and Crowder's shared opinion, The Washington Postreports:

The argument draws on previous tactics adopted by the right to oppose the erosion of traditional gender roles at moments of societal transition, experts say. They point out that, while groomer rhetoric seems designed to appeal to fringe partisans, it is part of a conservative effort to foster a moral panic that will help limit how and what educators teach — by restricting history lessons, banning books, and curbing discussions of systemic racism and LGBTQ issues.

Additionally, CNN reports, this week Florida fifth grade teacher Jenna Barbee recently showed the Disney movie "Strange World" — which includes a gay character — to her students, not realizing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' restrictive Don't Say Gay bill applied to her class.

Per CNN, Shannon Rodriguez, a parent and member of the Hernando County School District Board reported Barbee to school administration saying the teacher "should have gotten the specific movie approved by school administration and said the teacher is 'playing the victim.'"

READ MORE: 'It’s baffling': Anti-LGBTQ Oklahoma GOP governor's veto of bill will snatch PBS’ funding

Similarly, Rodriguez said at a school board meeting earlier this month, "It is not a teacher's job to impose their beliefs upon a child: religious, sexual orientation, gender identity, any of the above. But allowing movies such as this assist teachers in opening a door, and please hear me, they assist teachers in opening a door for conversations that have no place in our classrooms."

However, Barbee told CNN, "These students are talking about things way beyond this (movie). "This door that she's talking about, it's been open. These are common conversations that I have to tell my students, 'Woah there. We're getting a little too much here.'"

Furthermore, according to The Post, "learning about what it means to be gay or transgender can help children understand how to treat those different from them, curtailing bullying down the road," as "lesbian, gay and bisexual teens reported being bullied at twice the rate of their straight peers and were three times as likely to contemplate suicide, according to a 2019 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

Christine Soyong Harley, president and chief executive of SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change, told the publication, "We can introduce the fact that there are families that look like theirs, and there's families that don't look like theirs. It just gives them the ability to understand difference of families."

READ MORE: 'It was Russia first': GOP 'Don't Say Gay' laws plucked straight out of Vladimir Putin's 'playbook'

Watch the videos below via Media Matters for America or at this link.

TODAY's report is here. CNN's report is here. The Washington Post's report is available at this link (subscription required).

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