If anyone has wondered what it would take to get the Left to shield innocent eyes from sexual content, wonder no more.
All it took was a campaign sign in a northwestern Austin suburb to do the trick.
As a turn of events over the week, supporters of a progressive incumbent on the Leander ISD Board of Trustees, Dr. Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia, blotted out the controversial term “groomer” in a photo of a sign shared to Facebook.
The redacted photo was of a small campaign yard sign placed in front of or onto one of Gonzales-Dholakia’s highway signs. The smaller sign read “Remove Gloria the Groomer from LISD” and appeared to be attached to the larger sign.
“Groomer” has become a demonym used by conservative activists to describe those who stand by allowing age-inappropriate sexual content to be used in academic settings — presumably, they say, as a way to prepare (e.g. “groom”) children for sexual activity. Left-leaning Twitter recently banned the use of the term in reaction to its recent spread.
Like in many school districts around the nation, Leander ISD parents and taxpayers have locked horns with the administration over content in library books, supplemental instructional materials, and summer reading lists. Much of the challenged content was deemed pornographic and not age-appropriate by numerous outraged “mama bears” and local conservative activists. Supporters of the status quo say teenagers need to be exposed to adult themes to help them understand complex sexual topics and develop sympathy for those in alternative lifestyles.
Gonzales-Dholakia said via social media a police report was filed over the sign placement, which she called “sophomoric.” She did not address directly accusations of “grooming.” She called prior uses of terms such as “pedophiles,” “witches,” and “leaches” [sic] in recent city political spats out of place and unwarranted (editorial note: there actually were witches involved at one point).
“Both Leander and [adjoining city] Cedar Park have rejected these types of attacks and candidates in the last couple elections. And it’s time for another resounding rejection of their immature and dirty politics of division and name calling,” Gonzales-Dholakia said. […] To those who choose to sling mud from the shadows, I sure hope you’re not a candidate for the LISD Board of Trustees … because there is no seat for cowards here.”
“Hypocrisy alert,” a statement from rival PAC Texas Parents United countered. “Some day we’d like to get a copy of the Leftist rule book for public discourse from the radical Leftists on our school board … We need change in Leander ISD. New leaders that will protect our kids.”
The PAC pointed out that Gonzales-Dholakia had posted Spanish-language sexual slang terms with no redaction.
Nonetheless, the PAC denounced the “groomer” sign placement.
“We denounce this juvenile campaign tactic and ask that it stop immediately. TPU is committed to excellence in not just education but honor in how we manage our ExceLISD campaign activities. There’s a better way forward for our children, our teachers, and our community.”
Gonzales-Dholakia is opposed by conservative Brandi Burkman in the Nov. 8 board election. She is running independent of the PAC.
“This behavior is unethical and it saddens me that our community is so torn that anyone would use such tactics,” Burkman said via Facebook. “I do not believe that anyone that supports me would partake in activity like this and I hope that authorities are able to figure out the responsible parties.”
Disclaimer: The author was a candidate in the race for Leander ISD for one week before withdrawing. He will not appear on the 2022 ballot. He chaired a committee to assist Texas Parents United PAC in selecting candidates and received no compensation for his volunteer efforts.