August 8, 2022

Diana Leygerman: Astroturfing In Central Bucks School District: Moms For Liberty And Book Bans

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In the Bucks County Beacon, Diana Leygerman breaks down how Moms for Liberty installed themselves as book banners in the Central Bucks School District.

The president of the Central Bucks School Board and the superintendent are colluding to blame the community for their own ominous policies and poor governance. They have attempted to blame us, the parents and concerned citizens, for pointing out that Policy 109.2, the same policy they had an emergency special meeting for, is a book ban policy. They used their power to email every district parent/guardian, already ethically questionable, to spew lies and half-truths while passing the blame to how others interpreted their policy. What they failed to mention, in their verbose attempt to gaslight their own parents/guardians, was that their policy was lifted from Texas, the state with the largest number of book bans, and that the School Board directors responsible for this policy are members of Moms for Liberty.

They blame us, the parents, for “sowing division in the community” while conveniently forgetting that the division began when their own School Director, Leigh Vlasblom, teamed up with Paul Martino in the summer of 2020 to hold performative town halls about COVID-19, masks, and school closures, during which they blamed other school directors and the district itself. They blame us, the taxpayers, “for creating chaos,” while conveniently ignoring that two of their board directors, Lisa Sciscio and Debra Cannon, and those who worked to elect them, belong to a far-right group called Moms For Liberty. They blame us, the community members, for “misinterpreting” the language of the policy, while conveniently ignoring letters from ACLU, Educational Law Center, NAACP, the American Library Association, the PA Library Association, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and PFLAG, all of which oppose the policy as it is written. Even though every organization that fights censorship has written about Policy 109.2 and how it limits access to books and allows for censorship and book bans, the message from the district’s superintendent blames community members for “misinterpreting” the language, all while forgetting that the superintendent must remain neutral, nonpolitical, and independent of the board majority.

What’s missing from district communication and the overall conversation about these book bans is one extremely important point: Policy 109.2 materialized after Lisa Sciscio and Debra Cannon, both of whom are members of Moms for Liberty, won their board seats.

Read the full story for all the details.

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