Opposition to the extremist group Moms of Liberty is growing ahead of the 2024 election.

by Rachel Hale, Barn Raiser

At July’s Wood County chapter meeting of Moms for Liberty’s growing, national conservative organization that has drawn scrutiny for its extreme rhetoric on hot-button issues, the discussion turned to a topic that had been decided 30 years ago: whether the local high school should have a valedictorian.

The Marshfield School District discontinued the practice in 1993 on a 4-3 vote partly due to concerns that it put too much pressure on students. Since 2010 the district has recognized the top 5% of graduating seniors, but has stopped publicly ranking students by GPA.

moms for liberty activists pose in front of a banner

For some parents, it was a reminder that school policies didn’t reflect their values.

“The pushback on it is that whole ‘Well, we don’t want to exclude someone,’” says Mary Schueller, the Wood County Moms for Liberty chair who graduated from Marshfield High School in 1995. “Well, not everybody gets a participation ribbon for valedictorian and salutatorian. They worked really hard for that.”

“That’s the sort of stuff we’re fighting,” she added.

Moms for Liberty has attracted condemnation for their promotion of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, opposition to race-focused history lessons and calls to ban books they deem inappropriate for children.

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