Pennsylvania Republican Doug Mastriano—a state Senator who is the GOP's candidate in Pennsylvania's gubernatorial election—claimed there are elementary schools in the state teaching kids how to pole dance.
Mastriano made the claim during a speech to supporters in which he decried the ongoing "sexualization of our kids," though he could present no evidence to back up his claim.
There are no elementary school programs teaching young children how to pole dance but the claim is in line with others from prominent Republicans who have continued to allege the public education system is rife with a "woke" liberal mindset putting America's children at risk.
He also regurgitated attacks against critical race theory a graduate school level analysis of systems and institutions which quantifies areas of disparity in treatment and outcomes that Republicans have falsely alleged is being taught in elementary, middle, and high schools to appeal to the insecurities and fears of their core voting base.
You can hear what Mastriano said in the video below.
\u201cPennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano describes many of the ways "woke is broke" if he's elected.\u201d— The Post Millennial (@The Post Millennial) 1664658071
“On day one, woke is broke. On day one, pronoun games in elementary school are prohibited and banned forever.”
“On day one, the sexualization of our kids, pole dancing, and all this other crap that’s going on will be forbidden in our schools."
"On day one, all the graphic- pornographic books that are in elementary schools will be pulled out. On day one and done, critical race theory is out the window.”
Mastriano—perhaps best known for chartering buses to Washington, D.C. for and participating in the January 6 insurrection—was criticized for his baseless claim.
\u201c@GOP governor candidate @SenMastriano promises to ban \u201cpole dancing\u201d in elementary schools!\nHe didn't name any elementary school that is actually teaching pole dancing.\u201d— John Gross (@John Gross) 1664820907
\u201cThis man has all the charisma of a piece of toast. Also, pole dancing?? He went into his pea brain looking for drag queens and came up with pole dancing?? Come on, man\u201d— Heidi - Boring, but Radical (@Heidi - Boring, but Radical) 1664801098
\u201c1) Invent ludicrous issue.\n2) Convince suckers and rubes to believe ludicrous issue is real.\n3) Invent ludicrous solution.\u201d— Bob Cesca (@Bob Cesca) 1664736415
\u201cLOL on day one I will stop two things that I made up that do not ever happen in any elementary schools. (Crickets on mass shootings)\u201d— Sarah Silverman (@Sarah Silverman) 1664747737
\u201cPennsylvania Republican Doug Mastriano vowed he would ban "pole dancing" and "critical race theory" from being taught in k-12 schools. There is no evidence of pole dancing being taught in k-12 schools. Critical Race Theory isn't being taught in k-12 schools either.\u201d— Dash Dobrofsky (@Dash Dobrofsky) 1664735838
\u201cI must have been really deprived as a child. I didn\u2019t get to take pole dancing and elementary pornography when I was in school.\u201d— Erin McClelland (@Erin McClelland) 1664772074
\u201cHas Doug ever been to elementary school? Or is elementary school not the same in Pennsylvania as it is in Texas?\u201d— Angela M (@Angela M) 1664678447
\u201c\u201cI will ban these 3 things that don\u2019t exist in elementary schools so children can focus more on hiding under their desks during mass shootings.\u201d\u201d— The Volatile Mermaid (@The Volatile Mermaid) 1664708555
\u201cThey have no platform except for increasingly esoteric flailing at libs \n\nMaybe that\u2019s Mastriano\u2019s slogan\u201d— Virginia Heffernan (@Virginia Heffernan) 1664715484
Unfortunately, Mastriano's claims are nothing new for the GOP.
Multiple Republicans have attacked public education in recent months, claiming that Democrats and educators are trying to sexualize young children.
This rhetoric has coincided with the ongoing "groomer" hysteria among conservatives accusing LGBTQ+ people of building relationships, trust, and emotional connections with children so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them.
In March, Rayla Campbell, a Republican candidate running to become the next Secretary of State for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, stunned the state's Republican convention after she claimed schools are teaching 5-year-old children to have oral sex.
Campbell could not provide evidence schools are actually teaching five-year-olds about oral sex, even when pressed by reporters from The Boston Globe.
Instead, she pointed to a bill concerning sex education currently being debated by the Massachusetts state legislature that would create “medically accurate, age-appropriate” sex education programs in schools and include information about sexual orientation and gender identity.
A few months later, she was reported to the authorities after claiming that the highly acclaimed but controversial memoir Gender Queer is an example of "child porn"—only to brandish a copy of it—during a rally.
Last month, erotic horror actress and political commentator Tudor Dixon—the GOP candidate in Michigan's gubernatorial election—suggested schools are out of line on matters regarding gender and sexuality.
After warning schools are working round the clock to turn all their bathrooms into gender neutral ones, she announced if elected governor, she will support a statewide ban on “pornographic” material in school libraries.
Things got awkward after she offered to "send" some examples to a reporter after she could not accurately define what she meant by "pornographic" material.