On Friday, The Daily Beast reported that a far-right group in Williamson County, Tennessee, is demanding schools censor a number of books and subjects — including an unusual demand regarding pictures of marine life.
"Registering its website in late 2020, the group 'Moms For Liberty' is one of a series of conservative education groups to spring up in the wake of 2020's racial justice protests," reported Kelly Weill. "The group is currently involved in battles against in-school mask mandates, as well as a particularly heated fight over school books in Tennessee's Williamson County."
Among their demands are that lessons about Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ruby Bridges be cut for being divisive, lessons about civil rights crackdowns be cut for "negative views of firemen and police," and lessons about Galileo be revised for being too anti-church. The story of Johnny Appleseed was also condemned as "sad and dark," Greek and Roman mythology for depicting the goddess Venus naked, and textbooks explaining the effects of hurricanes as too violent for first graders.
But one of the oddest crusades of the group is against a children's picture book on seahorses, which they believe, according to Weill, "is too sexy."
"MFL's Williamson County chapter also takes issue with a picture book about seahorses, in part because it depicted 'mating seahorses with pictures of postions [sic] and discussion of the male carrying the eggs,'" said the report. "The Daily Beast reviewed the text in question via a children's story time YouTube channel. Readers looking for a Kama Sutra of seahorse sex will be disappointed. Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish In The Sea contains nothing more risqué than watercolor illustrations of two seahorses holding tails or touching bellies (never — heavens — at the same time)."
This comes as right-wing activists all around the country seek to stamp out the teaching of "critical race theory" in public schools — an advanced theory of systemic racism that is rarely if ever taught in public schools to begin with. Often, activists are instead turning on people who even teach about racism in any form, or even simply Black educators.