February 2024: School Moms by Laura Pappano

In the book, Pappano discusses how the You Belong Campaign got started! Join us as we welcome Laura to Doylestown, PA on Wednesday, February 21st. More info here.

About the Book: 

For well over a century, public schools have been nonpartisan gathering places and a vital center of civic life in America. People from different backgrounds have been educated together. Parents have come together to support their child’s local school. But something has changed. Public schools have become the focus of far-right attacks that are not about education. Suddenly, parent involvement is not about baking treats or donating classroom supplies. It is about organizing to protect the very existence of public schools.

Laura Pappano argues that extremist challenges facing public schools are not brand new but have surfaced throughout history, most recently before now in the 1990s, as far-right groups unsuccessfully tried to stop sex education in the wake of the AIDS epidemic. Recent efforts to make public schools more responsive and inclusive as demographics have shifted, along with the challenges of pandemic schooling, have given the far right an opening to sway parents frustrated and exhausted by unavoidable educational disruptions.

With help from big donors, political action committees, and conservative networks that are bringing national campaign strategists to local school board races, the far right is executing an agenda to use public schools—that hopeful image of America’s future—as a way to gain political power and install extremist Christian values in our public institutions.

Groups like Moms for Liberty and Parents Defending Education are attacking revised history curricula they have dubbed as “CRT,” banning books, and making wild claims that schools are “indoctrinating” students with Marxist ideologies. Far-right politicians are passing anti-LGBTQ+ laws and “parental rights” legislation to disrupt the professional selection of classroom materials and make teachers fearful of doing their jobs. On the other side, groups like Red, Wine & Blue—along with fed-up PTO moms—are organizing on Facebook, meeting in coffee shops, and recruiting school board candidates to counter the attacks.

Combining on-the-ground reporting with research and expert interviews, School Moms delves into these battles to reveal what is at stake and why it matters for the future of our public schools.

Learn more and order your copy on her website!

Our book clubs meet in various locations throughout the United States! If you are interested in hosting or attending a book club, 

please contact us at youbelongcampaign@gmail.com

Book clubs in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Illinois zooming with author Laurie Frankel

Previous Book Club Titles

Email: youbelongcampaign@gmail.com

The You Belong Campaign is a 501(c)(3) non-profit.