*** This is an ongoing blog

Kenosha conservatives are working with an extremist from California to attack KUSD school staff, school board members, and even private citizens in Kenosha over books they want banned from KUSD school libraries. Extremism is bad for our community.

ARTHUR SCHAPER AND MASSRESISTANCE - outside extremist involved in attacks on KUSD

MassResistance is a national anti-LGBT hate group, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has tracked extremism for decades in the United States and which was instrumental in defunding the KKK.

Kenosha Republicans have allowed, and even embraced, this anti-LGBT hate group to operate in Kenosha County.

Kenosha MassResistance is operating under the direction of Arthur Schaper of Torrance California. Schaper has been identified as a White Nationalist by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Kenosha Mass Resistance group is working to ban books with what they consider "pornographic" content from KUSD school libraries. So far, all of the books they've successfully exerted political pressure to remove from, or restrict access to, in KUSD libraries have featured LGBT characters. Which should come as no surprise from an anti-LGBT hate group.

What is disappointing is the way local Republican leaders have embraced, and even actively joined, these efforts.

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Arthur Schaper, (photo: Southern Poverty Law Center)

It starts with area Republicans following the divisive tactics and disgusting rhetoric of Arthur Schaper, an outsider to the Kenosha community.

CHAOS, DISRUPTION, MISINFORMATION, RACISM AND ANTI-LGBT HATE; the political history of Arthur Schaper and MassResistance

Arthur Schaper is so abrasive and extreme that the Republican Party broke with him in 2017, pulling the charter of his chapter. In a statement, the county Republican Chair cited Schaper’s “inappropriate activities” — disrupting meetings, intimidating elected officials and citizens — as a major reason for pulling the charter. “Complaints about his activities from elected officials and everyday citizens reflect badly on the Republican Party,” the statement read.

Schaper was part of a group of outsider agitators who were accused of moving from city council meeting to city council meeting in Orange County California, orchestrating racist and anti-semitic protests, in collaboration with an anti-immigrant group. Orange County locals described their behavior as “toxic.” Schaper’s disruptive behaviors in public meetings led to his arrest in Huntington Beach. At his arrest, he likened his protest to Rosa Parks refusing to sit at the back of the bus.

Schaper's anti-LGBT extremism is well documented. He's falsely claimed that no homosexuals died in the Holocaust and that the pink triangle the Nazis forced imprisoned gays to wear actually signified Catholic priests.

Schaper's behavior was so unacceptable on Fox's Laura Ingraham show, that the producers cut him off during a segment.

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Schaper and his followers showed up to support a Dixon, CA vice mayor who advocated that July should be "Straight Pride American Month" as a counter to June being what he called 'LGBTQF-WTF' month. Schaper attended the meeting carrying a “one man, one woman” marriage sign, just as local Kenosha MassResistance leader Caleb Michael Anthony Laitinen did when his group was responsible, along with Moms for Liberty, for shutting down a KUSD school board meeting earlier this spring (below).

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Kenosha MassResistance leader Caleb Laitinen at KUSD school board meeting in February 2023 mimicking Schaper's playbook.

In Ludlow, MA in 2021, MassResistance followers targeted the Ludlow School District with claims there was pornography in schools, over the district's hiring of a non-binary librarian (whom the group described in blog posts as transgender), and over the district's use of two student's chosen pronouns. MassResistance claimed Ludlow school officials were "indoctrinating" children on sexual and gender diversity topics. Parents in the Ludlow School District filed a lawsuit against the district, claiming the district "hijacked" their children by using the student's preferred pronouns. A Federal court threw out the lawsuit.

The group dedicated a 13-part series on its website that claimed school officials in Ludlow were “pushing radical LGBT and sexual agenda on middle school children.”

In Orange County, Schaper has been called one of Southern California’s most obnoxious conservative, Bible-quoting activists. Schaper says he engages in an “aggressive” attack on the “vulgar, virulent homosexual lobby” that he feels espouses “Orwellian nonsense.”

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At the meeting in Dixon, CA, local news media reported that one of Schaper’s followers mocked a 14-year-old gay girl who began to cry listening to Schaper and others disparaging gay people. “Fake tears!” yelled one of the women with MassResistance at 14-year-old Amelia Lacey.

“How lowball do you have to be to come after a 14-year-old girl?” the crying girl responded.

The Dixon Chief of Police had to eventually ask Schaper to leave the meeting until he could control his behavior.

In fact, Schaper’s behavior in disrupting government meetings is so extreme, the Los Angelos Times wrote an article about him titled “The Political Theater of right-wing activist Arthur Schaper.”

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In Chula Vista, CA Schaper attempted to disrupt a Drag Queen story hour. “Queer role models? That’s not sensible. This is a rigorous agenda undermining people’s individual liberties, it is undermining our culture,” Schaper said.

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In Ridgeland MI, Schaper called LGBT materials in the public library “abusive” and wrote about LGBT books that “encroaching sexual perversion has become all too pervasive in public libraries over the last five years.”

Schaper is part of a group of outsiders who were accused of moving from city council meeting to city council meeting in Orange County orchestrating racist and anti-semitic protests, in collaboration with an anti-immigrant group. Orange County locals described their behavior as “toxic.” Schaper’s behavior in public meetings led to his arrest.

In Rio Rancho, N.M. Schaper was accused of threatening librarians over books for LGBT students, saying “families matter, marriage matters, and gay marriage is an onslaught on God’s natural order and His goodness. It’s also a stunning, devastating attack on our children and the future of any country.”

Schaper has disrupted public events of Hispanic leaders in California by screaming at them “anchor baby” and “illegal alien.” Schaper has proudly touted his disruptions and cancellations of meetings by saying “Being nice doesn’t work.”

In Rep. Maxine Waters’ 43rd California district in July 2017, with a mostly Black crowd and called the Los Angeles Democrat “the crazy Black lady” and refused to stop. He was escorted from the room by the police and claimed he was being discriminated against.

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In Norwalk, CA in July 2023, Schaper falsely claimed in public meetings of the Norwalk La Mirada Unified School District that high school counselors in the district “teach kids they can change their sex like flipping a switch, it’s unacceptable” and spread unfounded claims on social media that Planned Parenthood was training the staff at the high school’s student center; he also claimed that Planned Parenthood pushes an agenda of “sex mutilation” on students and influences them to be become transgender.

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Schaper at Norwalk La Mirada School District, Norwalk CA

Schaper and his followers even went door to door in the community dropping off fliers (see below) containing false statements about school board members, fueling public school culture wars against the Norwalk-La Mirada School District; according to local news.

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Norwalk La Miranda Unified School District Superintendent John Lopez said, “It’s disappointing that we have an opportunity to help our community by giving them resources they need and groups are putting a spin on things that aren’t happening. LGBTQIA+ wasn’t even addressed in any of our frequently asked questions because that never came up until now.”


Using similar tactics here in Kenosha, Schaper and Kenosha leaders of Mass Resistance are using social media posts on a WI MassResistance Facebook page (example below) to target KUSD school board members and the district Superintendent in an attempt to pressure them to ban books from KUSD libraries that they consider "pornographic," most containing LGBT characters.

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Kenosha's MassResistance group appears to have worked in conjunction with a right-wing anti-LGBT TikTok account called the Libs of TikTok. The Libs of TikTok has a history of fueling unprovoked social media harassment against teachers, hospitals, small businesses, and more. Kenosha's MassResistance group indicated in a post on their Facebook page (below) that social media backlash forced the shutdown of KUSDs Twitter account this week from people angry about claims their was "sexually explicit content in KUSD libraries." The social media attack forced the shutdown of KUSD's Twitter account (see post below from MassResistance) that served the parents of a school district of 43 schools with 19,244 students, as well as the Kenosha community.

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The Republican Party of Kenosha County and Moms for Liberty are also actively working together with MassResistance to ban LGBT content from school libraries, cherry-picking content from LGBT stories, often books that involve coming-of-age stories about LGBT teens on their journey of self-discovery, including learning about their sexuality, their gender identity, and their gender expression, while on a journey to self-acceptance. In these books, teen characters, as teens do both in other books and in reality, question their sexuality or how sex might work.

The Republican Party of Kenosha, Moms for Liberty and MassResistance book banners focus in particular on books that are LGBT coming-of-age stories told in comic-book style photos, called graphic novels, which have grown increasingly popular among teen readers. These books have been particularly targeted because they are still a relatively new and evolving medium, and older people simply are less comfortable with them. Parents also may be more uncomfortable with something depicted visually than with words alone. Book banners choose these books to generate outrage and spur people to call to ban the books, often without having even having read the book themselves.

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There are concerned parents on both side of the issue of what is appropriate book content in schools. There are parents on the both sides of the issue as to whether books in school libraries should contain content that helps teens deal honestly and openly with their sexuality and gender. There are parents on both sides of this issue who have feelings about having those stories told in pictures. And there are parents on both sides of the issue of whether books in KUSD libraries should contain content for LGBT students.

Many of the parents advocating for book bans are doing so because they believe it will protect students.

But culture war issues like LGBT books are also a political tool.

“There's no question that groups have formed on social media, that they are sharing excerpts from books—often under the heading that they're concerned about material and books—and they want other parents to know,” says Jonathan Friedman, director of free expression and education at the writers’ organization PEN America. “Sometimes that mingles with a much more insidious, skeptical, and critical point concerning schools and libraries in schools and their purpose. So it's difficult to draw the line in some cases between groups that are just concerned parents and groups that are active on other political causes.”

Some of the people, especially those leading the Kenosha County Republican Party and Kenosha Moms for Liberty, are conservative political activists and have led ongoing political attacks against KUSD schools which has advanced their conservative agenda, in part by fanning anxiety over book content and by sowing distrust of public schools, public teachers and curriculum. Kenosha Moms for Liberty, which includes the local leader of MassResistance, and the Republican Party of Kenosha County are all political organizations which have opposed, for example, school closures during Covid, mask requirements, anti-trans bathroom access, Pride flags in classrooms, public library content, etc.

Kenosha is an important swing county in an important swing state to the 2024 presidential election. Nation-wide we've seen efforts to keep conservatives enraged and engaged over culture war issues as one way to recruit and activate concerned parents into conservative political activism.

So who are the local Kenoshan's who have partnered with a White Nationalist anti-LGBT hate group leader to ban books in KUSD schools?

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Caleb Michael Anthony Laitinen

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Blaise J. Mahoney

Although he lives in California, Schaper is directing the actions of Kenosha's MassResistance leaders, bringing his extremism to our community. He has lead zoom recruiting meetings in Kenosha and also directed local Kenosha leaders to obtain a Freedom of Information Act request from the KUSD school district relating to a citizen who has disagreed with their book ban on social media (see below).

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Caleb Laitinen and Blaise Mahoney first made their Kenosha MassResistance group public at the KUSD School Board meeting on August 22, 2023 at a KUSD school board meeting. Laitinen read a passage from a book that contained a reference to racism as well as a short passage containing a sexual interaction between two LGBT characters. In addition to claiming there is "smut" in KUSD libraries, Mahoney is opposed to teachers displaying flags as "indoctrination," although he is not specific about which flags, and claims KUSD school clubs are also being used as a way for people from the community ("suspect adults") to "indoctrinate" KUSD students. Mahoney then suggests KUSD accept sample policies from the anti-LGBT hate group MassResistance to implement in KUSD schools.


So far the group has successfully pressured the KUSD school district to remove three LGBT titles and to restrict access to one additional title. In social media posts, they say they've just begun.

In a continued pressure campaign, Kenosha MassResistance has even begun posting with the suggestion that KUSD school district employees may be breaking the law and could be fined or imprisoned for having content in school libraries (see example below).

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MassResistance's political attacks have not been limited to elected officials and school district employees. They have gone after private citizens who have written to the school board to voice their support for keeping diverse books in KUSD libraries. Below is a social media post by MassResistance, presumably by Arthur Schaper, targeting a private citizen and a member of the KCDP board because she wrote to the school board supporting keeping diverse books in KUSD libraries and because she shared links to news articles that covered Schaper's extremists activities throughout the United States. Hatred and intimidation to silence others is a hallmark of MassResistance's activities.

Mass Resistance attacks Kenosha Dem board member


Kenosha MassResistance is now working in conjunction with the Kenosha Moms for Liberty group. The two groups have an overlap in membership. Moms for Liberty is another national right-wing extremist group with followers operating in Kenosha. The Kenosha Moms for Liberty group was started by Republican Amanda Nedweski, who sits on both the Kenosha County Board and the Wisconsin State Assembly. Both Kenosha MassResistance and Moms for Liberty say in social media posts that they are intent upon removing books they don't approve of from public school libraries.

The state leader of Moms for Liberty tweeted recently (below) that the groups plans to continue removing books from school libraries, part of an organized nation-wide plan to hurt public school education (more about that later.)

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Amanda Nedweski, a Republican, became infamous in Kenosha County for leading her Moms for Liberty followers in disrupting KUSD school board meetings during COVID, riding the publicity from her divisive political activism into elected office.

Here's a video of the February 2023 KUSD school board meeting shut down by security for safety concerns after members of the Kenosha Moms for Liberty group and Kenosha MassResistance leaders created a disturbance. Security also felt it necessary to escort school board members to their cars after the meeting. This is the same meeting where members of Kenosha's MassResistance group held anti-LGBT signs and anti-Choice signs - neither of which had anything to do with KUSD school board business. As their White Nationalist anti-LGBT mentor Arthur Schaper advocates, they believe “Being nice doesn’t work.” But their divisive and disruptive tactics made it impossible for the school board to carry out their important business, was intimidating and disrespectful to other parents and community members, and made it impossible for their voices to be heard.

Members of Kenosha Moms for Liberty have also engaged in attacks on Kenosha's Public Libraries. Among the demands Kenosha Moms for Liberty has called for are:

  1. No library member hand any reading material directly to a child; they must hand to a parent and the parent will hand to the child;
  2. Sever all affiliations with the National Endowment for the Arts because they consider the organization "partisan";
  3. Stop promoting the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read program because they believe the NEA is partisan; members of Moms for Liberty protested this year's NEA Big Read book Homegoing, which featured the rape of a slave; their call to action against the library claimed the book is pornographic and may "stimulate a rapist to act out";
  4. Sever all affiliations with the NEA;
  5. Cancel all affiliations with the American Library Association, the oldest and largest library association in the world because they think it is "partisan"; the ALA has taken a strong stand in favor of the Freedom to Read;
  6. Remove posters that say "We Read Banned Books";
  7. Remove Trans Day of Visibility display;
  8. Do not honor LGBT month.

You can watch the Secretary of Kenosha's Moms for Liberty speak at a Salem Library Board meeting earlier this year; a man from the community who happened to be in attendance responded to her, surprised at the demands he heard from members of Moms for Liberty to control the Public Library.

The Republican Party of Kenosha County has joined together with the Kenosha Moms for Liberty group and Kenosha MassResistance in their effort to control content in public libraries. The Republican Party of Kenosha County has been actively involved in actions to censure and remove books (see social media post below). Through such actions and their attacks on public and school libraries, the local Republican Party is politicizing our public libraries, while simultaneously claiming they don't want our libraries to be politicized. By keeping parents who are concerned enraged and engaged, it is a way to channel them into political action.

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The Republican Party has also joined Moms for Liberty and MassResistance in claiming there is pornography in KUSD schools and encouraging their members to fight against this (see social media post below).

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Kenosha's MassResistance Facebook page and the Republican Party of Kenosha County have also shared each other's content to amplify their book banning efforts.


Amanda Nedweski founded the local Moms for Liberty group, riding into public office on the media attention that the political disruptions her group created. She has publicly posted about the group's actions in shutting down KUSD school board meetings; below is a photo shared on social media of Nedweski and her fellow Moms for Liberty group members where they call themselves "School Board Crashers." The photo was taken at the February 2023 KUSD school board meeting which was forced to be shut down due to security concerns. Members of MassResistance also participated in the actions that led to the meeting being cancelled. Shown in the photo below of the "School Board Crashers," as they refer to themselves, are the Chair of the Republican Party of Kenosha County, Sandy Wiedmeyer; Amber Infusino, now the head of the Kenosha Moms for Liberty; Kim Tjader Chesser and Karen Stratton Bichanich, both members of Kenosha Moms for Liberty.

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Amber Infusino also attended the national Moms for Liberty conference in Philadelphia in the summer of 2023. She is pictured at the conference (below).

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Eric Meadows, a conservative and current KUSD school board member, is a active and vocal member the Kenosha Moms for Liberty group.

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Like the members of the Republican Party of Kenosha County, and his group Moms for Liberty, Meadows is supporting efforts to ban books in Kenosha.

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Meadows has been a controversial community figure, joining in attacks on KUSD prior to being elected to the school board. Like Nedweski he political notoriety gained through attacks on the KUSD school district to get him elected. During his campaign and since being elected he has advanced conservative culture wars issues on his social media page. At a recent school board meeting, Meadows argued against including the phrase 'for the greater good' in KUSD community competence standards, as you can see in this video. Community contributors are active participants in their communities. They are willing to contribute their talents and knowledge in ways that improve the world around them. They are respectful, inclusive, and have developed a civic identity. Apparently, Eric Meadows believes that preparing KUSD graduates to be good citizens of the community was not desirable and a way to change them into what he called "social justice warriors." Thankfully the rest of the school board disagreed with him.

Eric Meadows was the victim of an unacceptable election error by the KUSD school district, when the district failed to properly post notice about his school board seat. He is currently suing the district. Unfortunately Meadows also choose to turn that error into another culture war attack, appearing on Fox News to claim the error was a plot by liberals to remove him from the board. Instead of simply allowing the courts to address the situation, Meadows chose to create a political circus, pitting community members against one another and sowed chaos, causing a KUSD school board meeting to be shut down. You can read more about Meadows situation here and here.

Unfortunately the lawyer Eric Meadows retained in his lawsuit against KUSD is also infamous in Wisconsin for his political theater. Eric Kardall was part of Republican's false election claims about fraud following the 2020 election, which cost Wisconsin taxpayers millions. Kardaal, of the John Birch Society, participated and profitted from Republican's election investigation led by Michael Gableman following the 2020 election. That politically driven investigation, initiated without evidence after Republicans failed to overturn the election in court and also failed to change the election results using fraudulent electors, found no fraud but has cost Wisconsin taxpayers over $2 million. Kardaal's Chicago-based lawfirm filed over 20 lawsuits in Wisconsin over the 2020 presidential election results. They were all rejected.

KUSD School Board member Eric Meadows is pictured below with members of the Kenosha Moms for Liberty group, along with fellow KUSD School Board and Moms for Liberty member Kristine Schmaling (in white).

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Schmaling indicated on a social media post earlier this year that July should be commemorated as White History Month.

Kristine Schmaling was also recently photographed socializing with MassResistance's anti-LGBT extremist group leader, Caleb Laitinen (below).

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The head of Kenosha's anti-LGBT group MassResistance, Caleb Laitinen, has also been photographed socializing with a number of other prominent local Republicans, such as Representative Bryan Steil. None of the Republicans in the photos below have condemned MassResistance's anti-LGBT politics or the activities of local MassResistance members in Kenosha. None have made any public statements disavowing the anti-LGBT White Nationalist, Arthur Schaper, or his divisive involvement in the Kenosha community.

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Anti-LGBT extremist group leader Caleb Laitinen with WI CD! Representative Bryan Steil

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Anti-LGBT extremist group leader Caleb Laitinen with Republican Mayoral candidate Dave Bogdala

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Anti-LGBT extremist group leader Caleb Laitinen with Republican County Board Supervisor Brian Thomas

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Anti-LGBT extremist group leader Caleb Laitinen with Republican Party of Kenosha County Chair, and part of the Moms for Liberty group, Sandy Wiedmeyer

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Anti-LGBT extremist group leader Caleb Laitinen with Republican Kenosha County Supervisor, Gabe Nudo

What's going on with these book bans, anyway?

PEN America, during the first half of the 2022-23 school year lists 1,477 instances of individual books banned, affecting 874 unique titles, in their Index of School Book Bans The 1,477 instances of individual books banned was an increase of 28% compared to the prior six months, January – June 2022.

At the same time, a 2022 poll found that over 70% of parents oppose book banning. Yet the bans continue. Like the pressure being put on Kenosha Unified School District, many public school districts find themselves in a bind. They face threats and political pressure, along with parental fears and anxieties surrounding the books on their school shelves. School Boards, administrators, teachers, and librarians are told in some cases to “err on the side of caution” in the books they make available. Too often, they do just that.

These efforts to chill speech are part of the ongoing nationwide “Ed Scare” — a campaign to foment anxiety and anger with the goal of suppressing free expression in public education.

Efforts to ban books, limit curriculum and even control the words that can be said in school are part of the politicalization of U.S. Schools. State and local officials’ efforts to undermine public education by playing politics with school curricula run against the interest of most American children and families.

At least 17 states have introduced bills containing gag orders or taken other steps that would restrict how teachers can discuss American history and current events, including pulling books off library shelves in an effort to suppress so-called “divisive concepts”—a shorthand affectation nearly always referring to issues about race and identity.

The anti-public-education movement involves policy decisions that perpetuate discrimination and inequity in education by cutting or reallocating funding dedicated to public schools toward private, usually religious or for-profit schools, which have been proven to significantly benefit the wealthy.

In polling, the majority of Americans oppose the anti-public-education movement.

Book bans and curriculum gag orders dictate or limit whose histories, identities, and voices matter in education and in society.

But IS there pornography in KUSD libraries?

The courts have been clear that pornography in all legal definitions is created with the intent to excite or stimulate. Playboy magazine is produced with the intent to excite or stimulate. Pornographic movies are produced with the intent to excite or stimulate.

Is there pornographic literature in KUSD libraries, then? No.

Is there literature in KUSD schools that some parents object to because it deals with issues of gender and sexuality? Yes.

Is there literature that contains pictures that some parents object to? Yes.

Does that make it pornography? No.

But there is content that makes some parents and community members uncomfortable and/or mad, including information about gender identity and sexual acts.

While some parents object to this content, other parents support having these in schools to help educate students, keep them safe, and better understand their feelings.

Every parent has the right to decide what's appropriate for their own children to read.

Other parents shouldn't have the right to make that decision for all other parents.

MassResistance, Moms for Liberty, and the Republican Party of Kenosha County members are supporting anti-LGBT bans and believe they should have the right to make the decision for ALL other parents about what should and should not be available in our school libraries.

Moms for Liberty members even believe they should have the right to decide what should and should not be available in our PUBLIC libraries as well.


These groups are particularly targeting books for LGBT readers, with almost half of all books banned across the nation being books that contain LGBT content. The ONLY books that have been banned in KUSD libraries are books that contain LGBT content, despite Moms for Liberty and MassResistance group member's disingenuous claim that they are not targeting LGBT books. The groups themselves are anti-LGBT extremist groups and the books banned as a result of their political pressure campaign locally prove their claims that they aren't targeting LGBT books are false. You can read KUSD School Board member Eric Meadow's Facebook statement about the book bans he supported here:

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As an organization, Moms for Liberty nationally has been at the forefront of pushing for the erosion of LGBT rights through Republican-sponsored legislation.


The purpose of schools is to educate. Does that mean keeping books conservatives and extremist groups object to is "exposing" or "teaching" kids about sex and gender issues?!?!

Despite those false claims, books with LGBT content are not, and have never been, required reading. No student is required to check them out from the library. Books about sexuality and gender, like many other types of books, are only there for students who seek these books out. Students are not being "exposed" to the books. Students are not being "indoctrinated" by "pedophiles" and "groomers." And books about LGBT characters will not make anyone gay.

Many of the books targeted for bans by conservatives are LGBT coming-of-age stories, which include autobiographical stories from gay author's who share their personal stories of puberty, questioning their gender, confusion about how sex works, and books that deal with the many complicated feelings that non-LGBT teen coming-of-age stories typically deal with. Many of these challenged books are award-winners.

Graphic novels, or books told with comic-book style pictures, are overwhelmingly favored by today's teenagers. Because some of these LGBT coming-of-age stories are being told in graphic novel format - with pictures -some people find them particularly shocking and objectionable. Yet these books can help teens make smart decisions about being sexually active, including how to safely use a dating app, how to manage consent in a sexual situation, how to deal with feelings about sex and gender. Yet these anti-LGBT extremist groups are advocating for KUSD to ban these books because the stories and information are being told in picture form.

30% of students in high school say they are sexually active; a percentage of those are LGBT young people. Providing them with accurate information that keeps them safe, helps them enjoy their sexual experiences, helps them understand consent and helps them make smart choices is important.

Authors and educators say it is important for young people to have books that introduce them to sexual, gender and racial issues that some kids confront daily. “Books and media are essential portals that enable kids to learn about people beyond themselves Books and media also provide easy access for minority and marginalized children to connect with people like themselves, allowing them to feel like they too belong in the world.

Aside from providing useful information on gender and sexuality, LGBT books carry a far more important message to kids: There’s nothing wrong with them, and they aren’t alone in their experiences. This is absolutely vital for promoting better mental health for LGBTQ+ youth and reducing the stigmas associated with the topics of gender and sexuality.

LGBT students deserve the same right to be safe, accepted at school and find the content they need or want in their school library.

Books with LGBT content are not going to appeal to every reader, will not be sought out by every reader, and will not be approved of by every family. Reading LGBT content does not turn children gay. There are students in our schools who will want to have access to LGBT books and their parents have an equal right to have their values represented in school libraries. Every family should have the right to make the decision about what is appropriate for their own child, but not for anyone else's. The Freedom to Read is guaranteed by the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and shouldn't be infringed upon by others, including extremist organizations.

One of the most banned books in the country, and a book which KUSD administration chose to ban in response to ugly political pressure from members of Moms for Liberty and MassResistance, is Gender Queer.

A KUSD parent who read Gender Queer explains why she felt it was important for KUSD to have this book in its library:

"I read the book a couple of months ago. I have two kids in HS and one of them is queer, she has a lot of friends that are heterosexual and a lot of friends that fall somewhere in LGBTQ+. I’m not as knowledgeable about what makes someone gender queer or have gender dysphoria and I wanted to understand so I could be more supportive of her friends.

I understand concerns with the small pieces of the book that reference sex. I personally wouldn’t want my kids to pick it up until they are in high school. I think those pieces of the book are important as they help articulate the author’s journey and understanding sexuality and what you enjoy is a part of life.

There are a lot of LGBTQ+ people dying in this country due to suicide and targeted attacks, I think it’s important to do our best to understand and support them. I think it’s good that books like this exist and are available to kids (again, HS age and not younger). My kids have friends whose parents aren’t supportive of them and it breaks my heart. If this book can help a child understand and articulate what they are feeling and going through and it can help a parent understand their child, it’s an important book to have access to.

When my kids were younger, we went to the library and picked out books together. I was able to see what they were reading and we could have conversations about what is an appropriate book to check out. I’d like to think those conversations have carried over into their teen years.

I think this book belongs in the YA section of libraries so that it is accessible to both teens that are trying to figure themselves out and parents that would like to support them."


Kenosha has experienced the repeated disruption, including cancellations, of school board meetings by members of extremist groups Moms for Liberty and MassResistance, as well as leaders and members of the local Republican Party.

Disruption of important government meetings; the resources required to handle the hundreds of book challenges Moms for Liberty and MassResistance have promised to make against school districts, including our own; the expensive lawsuits districts like KUSD find themselves mired in as a result of these challenges; and the continued marginalization of LGBT students and families is bad for our schools and for our community.

Divisiveness, name calling, the erosion of trust in our teachers, administration and school staff, and the exhausting political theater are bad for our schools and our community.

There are better ways to establish conversations about book content in school libraries and how to determine what is "appropriate" for KUSD students.


  • Spread the word. Post on social media. Talk to your friends, family, fellow parents, neighbors. Go to step 7 for how to work together to push back on these bans.
  • Support our school district by thanking teachers for their hard work, thanking administrators, thanking library staff who are underfire by extremists, thank school board members who stand up for the Freedom to Read.
  • Write to the district's administrator, head of library services and school board to tell them you support the Freedom to Read in our schools and support a diversity of book content, even content that may make some conservative parents uncomfortable:

KUSD School board members:

Yolanda Adams

Mary Modder

Todd Price

Rebecca Stevens

Todd Battle

Eric Meadows

Kristine Scmaling

KUSD Head of Library Services:


KUSD Superintendent:


  • Attend KUSD school board meetings and speak out in support of the Freedom to Read.

Regular School Board meetings are usually held on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 P.M. at the Educational Support Center, 3600 52nd Street Kenosha. Citizens comments are heard at the start of every meeting. You can sign up to speak in advance or when you arrive at the meeting.

  • Watch school board meetings on the KUSD YouTube channel.
  • Take action with PenAmerica.
  • Organize a group to pushback on KUSD book bans, there are lots of great resources on how to do this:

The Parent Playbook: A Step by Step Guide for Mainstream Moms Who Are Tired of the BS (you can also sign up for their helpful emails at the bottom of their website)

Organizing to Defeat Book Bans In Your Community

Fight For The First Guide

GLADD Book Bans: A Guide for Community Response and Action

National Coalition Against Censorship Action Kit

United to Read Guide

  • RUN FOR SCHOOL BOARD!!! We have a great training coming up that progressives interested in running for office or helping on a campaign can attend right here in Kenosha. Learn more and register here. The Kenosha County Democratic Party also provides training and resources for people interested in running for office!
  • Read banned books.


Anti-LGBT extremist and White nationalist Arthur Schapler is NOT a part of the Kenosha community. Yet because people like Caleb Laitine and Blaise Mahoney have chosen to invite in his influence, adopt Schaper's divisive political playbook and involve him in their attempt to ban books in KUSD schools, it is having a harmful impact on our community.

There are concerned parents on both side of the issue of what is appropriate book content in schools. There are parents on the both sides of the issue as to whether books in school libraries should contain content that helps teens deal honestly and openly with their sexuality and gender. There are parents on both sides of this issue who have feelings about having those stories told in pictures. And there are parents on both sides of the issue of whether books in KUSD libraries should contain content for LGBT students.

Working through what is appropriate for KUSD school libraries is an important community conversation that needs to happen in Kenosha. But embracing out-of-state anti-LGBT hate group leaders and engaging in extremist activities are not productive or healthy ways to accomplish that.

ALL parents who live in Kenosha care about their children and want them to be safe and receive what they need when they are at school.

We can do better to accomplish that than sowing hatred and division.

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