WCS logo

Individuals with anti-Williamson County Schools fliers were spotted Thursday afternoon on at least a dozen school campuses in the district, handing out material to parents as they waited in the car rider lines.

The fliers were printed with negative language toward the WCS elementary curriculum, alleging that children were being taught ideas such as anti-Americanism, implicit white guilt and cannibalism. The material stated the information came from a couple of parents’ rights groups, Parents’ Choice Tennessee and Moms for Liberty Williamson County.

The latter group has for several months taken task with WCS and the Board of Education over COVID-19 mitigation strategies and school curriculum, among other concerns.

Anti-WCS flier

Robin Steenman, who heads the local Moms for Liberty organization, said in a Facebook post that Thursday’s activities were not organized by the group, but “I shared the entirety of our research with this new group of fired-up parents and grandparents.”

The incidents took place on 11 elementary school campuses as well as at Grassland Middle School, according to WCS Executive Director of Communications Carol Birdsong. Birdsong sent a letter to school families Friday, condemning the activities.

“We have heard from many parents who were upset and afraid when a stranger approached their cars and distributed materials that were not affiliated with their school,” Birdsong’s letter read in part. 

“This kind of behavior is simply wrong. We do not allow this type of activity from anyone, and finding someone on campus like that can, and did, cause fear, especially given that we serve small children. These actions appeared to be a coordinated, timed effort on behalf of an organized group.”

Williamson Strong, a parents advocacy group that is typically at loggerheads with Moms for Liberty, began hearing from concerned parents Thursday evening and brought the matter to its social media pages. Anne McGraw, a former school board member who helps lead Williamson Strong, recorded a video through its Facebook page Thursday night, strongly suggesting action needed to be taken to prevent this from happening again.

“Today was a tipping point,” McGraw said. “Our county was on the precipice of a really dangerous acceptance of what is definitely not normal.”

In her letter, Birdsong said the district is taking measures to stop any future attempts of this sort.

“While our administrators and [school resource officers] stopped those actions as soon as they learned of them, we are working on a more comprehensive way to address this type of incident, including identifying those individuals and ensuring that they do not come to our campuses again,” she said.