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'Moms For Liberty' Rails Against TN School Librarian Over Book About Girl With Two Dads

A Tennessee chapter of the conservative group took to Facebook to complain about a Hamilton County School librarian's plan to read 'Stella Brings the Family' to highlight family differences ahead of Mother's Day.

librarian reading to students with excerpt of librarian's note overlaid
M4L - Chattanooga, Tn/Facebook; Peter Cade/Getty Images

The Moms for Liberty are at it again.

A Tennessee chapter of the far-right conservative group is raising a ruckus in Hamilton County, Tennessee over the local library's planned Mother's Day story time for kids.

Sounds harmless enough right? But school librarian Caroline Mickey announced her event would be “sensitive to the fact that not all students live with a mother"--and the Moms for Liberty weren't having any of that, especially since the books chosen for the story time included one about a little girl with two dads.

So, the Moms for Liberty did what they do best--promoting liberty by trying to ban books from being read to kids and calling a librarian a pedophile in the process.

In a note sent home to parents of students at Alpine Crest Elementary School outside Chattanooga, Mickey describe the story time event and why it would be inclusive of stories about kids who don't live with a mother, or at least what we traditionally define as one.

In her note, she wrote:

"I'm planning a lesson that celebrates those who fill the motherly roles in our lives: those who make our lunches, kiss away our hurts, and who teach us how to fly."

This of course includes children whose mothers are simply dead. And accordingly, Mickey's book choices not only included the book about a little girl with two dads, Stella Brings The Family, but also one called Mother Bruce, about a bear who adopts a group of motherless goslings.

The fact that children are often motherless for myriad reasons beyond the fact that gay men exist seemed to escape Moms for Liberty's notice. Even after Mickey specifically stipulated that parents are free to opt their kids out of the lesson, the group went full-on combative, first taking to Facebook to register their outrage.

In its Facebook post on the matter, they demanded to know:

"Why do children with traditional family values have to opt out and be sent to an alternative place for alternative lesson? Aren’t these children too young for this?"

In a local newspaper, they were even more pointed and bigoted about it, writing:

“Men are not mothers. Men are fathers. Fathers are men. Mothers are women. If the primary caregiver is a man, he is a father.”

And in emails, they were even worse, accusing Mickey of being a "groomer" and "an enemy of traditional birth mothers," whatever that means. Mickey herself called the uproar "overwhelming."

In the end, Mickey's boss, Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Justin Robertson, capitulated to the group and canceled the event, despite its nationwide membership representing a vanishingly small minority of 95,000 parents in a country with a population of 331 million people.

On social media, people were appalled by Mothers for Liberty's response.

Hopefully the next school system Moms for Liberty attacks will have more courage to stand up to them than Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Justin Robertson.

Bullies only get stronger when you back down, as many of us learned in elementary school.