Progressive groups call out growth of anti-LGBTQ local school board candidates

Group of people protesting
Downers Grove parent Kylie Spahn speaks at a protest outside of a local school board in Des Plaines, where a conservative-led training session was taking place. Photo credit Nancy Harty/WBBM Newsradio

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — As the debate over local school curriculum for sex education and equity moves from school board meetings to the voting booth, competing sides were in Des Plaines encouraging candidates to run next spring.

Several progressive groups staged a protest and press conference outside a candidate training session held in the northwest suburb. They were calling out what they see as a growth in anti-LGBTQ and anti-equality candidates.

Downers Grove parent Kylie Spahn said she’s seen a shift at District 99 meetings in the last two years from concerns over COVID protocols to “fabricated outrage over culturally responsive standards.”

While members of Awake Illinois and Moms for Liberty learned campaign strategy and message development inside the O’Hare Courtyard Marriott, members of Equality Illinois, Anti-Defamation League Midwest and Illinois Families for Public Schools held signs reading “We don’t co-parent with hate groups.”

Tim Thompson, a Naperville District 203 parent and teacher outside that district, said he has campaigned against candidates that he called “anti-everything” in prior local elections.

Mony Ruiz-Velasco, deputy director of Equality Illinois, was among those calling on parents and residents to run against candidates supported by Awake Illinois and Moms for Liberty. Ruiz-Velasco described them as hate groups that are not representative of our society.

The head of Awake Illinois told WBBM the protesters want to distract from their record of failed pandemic policies and public schools with abysmal literacy and math proficiencies.

Shannon Adcock said the workshop is nationally respected and designed to give candidates tools they need to combat the negative spin from "leftist haters" against a growing parents’ rights movement.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Nancy Harty/WBBM Newsradio