Marietta — In a story that has gained national attention, the Cobb County Board of Education thankfully votied 4-to-3 in favor of parental rights and upholding the recommendation of the superintendent to protect children from transgenderism! They upheld the firing of the teacher who read the book pushing radical and unrealistic transgender concepts at the cost of Cobb taxpayers.
Cobb RA member & Cobb GOP education liaison Audrey Neu said: “Our board members showed tremendous courage tonight. Both the state law and county policy are clear on this issue. Parental rights must be upheld and respected by the teachers and staff. I’m thankful we have a Superintendent and Board willing to stand up and protect the children of Cobb County.”
As we reported previously, the ordeal began when a Cobb County teacher read a book promoting transgenderism to a group of gifted ten-year-old children without their parents’ knowledge and permission. A parent complained and the superintendent fired the teacher. The firing was appealed to a three-person panel of retired educators.
Local activists thought the panel would easily affirm the firing of the teacher, but even though the tribunal affirmed the contested facts in the appeal, acknowledging that rules were broken, they recommended that the teacher not be fired. The story swelled with national attention from the media as the Cobb Board of Education met last week to decide whether to accept the recommendation of the tribunal or of the superintendent.
Cobb RA members and other concerned activists in the county sounded the alarm and mobilized numerous people to show up at the board meeting Thursday evening to encourage them to do the right thing during the time for public comments. They argued for parental rights over education and against brainwashing children in the unrealistic radical ideas of transgenderism at taxpayer expense.
In Cobb County, the only elected civil government board that Republicans still have majority-control over is the Board of Education. The county commission is now composed of three Democrats to two Republicans, but even when Republicans still controlled the county commission Republicans frequently voted for Democrat policies such as tax increases rather than spending cuts. Constituents wondered if one of the Republicans in the majority Board of Education would likewise in this instance join with the Democrats to absolve the teacher.
If she was allowed to get away with this violation, how might other educators be emboldened to push the envelope in the future?
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) defended the teacher, arguing among other things that the book should be allowed to be read to enable a free-flow of ideas. The SPLC betrayed their hypocrisy, however, since they were the organization that back in 2001 sued Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore for having a Ten Commandments monument in the state Judicial Building. In that case, the SPLC argued that it was too offensive for an adult attorney to happen to see the Ten Commandments in his peripheral vision as he walked by to the law library—but the SPLC has no problem with minor children being forced-fed transgender ideology at the cost of the taxpayer!
This shows that although groups such as SPLC have claimed they defend freedom of expression, what they are really in favor of is using state power and tax-funding to coercively censor ideas they don’t like and to push ideas they do not. They do this not just on adults, but on vulnerable and impressionable minor children. They want to censor ideas contrary to their worldview, and indoctrinate children in the faith-based presuppositions of their worldview even though they have spent decades making that accusation against Christians in the public arena. This hypocrisy illustrates that they are devoid of credibility.
Thankfully, the Cobb Board of Education voted along party lines to uphold the firing of the teacher. Those in favor of parental rights and protecting children overwhelmingly outnumbered the other side.
Today the Cobb School District is adjudicating the appeal of a teacher who was fired for reading a transgender book to her class. This hearing began yesterday morning and is likely to be long and hard fought on both sides.
The charges brought by the Cobb School District are insubordination and willful neglect of duties. The school procedure for teachers, who want to use materials that parents may find objectionable, was ignored by Rinderle. Testimony shows that the teacher did not attempt to get a consent form signed by the students’ parents, nor did she inform the parents that the book she chose without their permission was about “gender identity,” “gender fluidity,” and “gender non-binary.”
On March 8th, in a class of 10-11 year-old gifted students, Katie Rinderle read and held a class discussion about the book My Shadow is Purple.
The back cover reads: “My Dad has a shadow that’s blue as a berry, and my Mom’s is as pink as a blossoming cherry. There’s only those choices, a 2 or a 1. But mine is quite different, it’s both and it’s none.”
The cover of the book features a boy wearing pants, but his shadow is wearing a skirt.
The School District said reading the book is inappropriate, but the defense argued it was merely a difference of professional judgement between educators. The defense attorney argued that the Board doesn’t have authority to fire someone for “political reasons,” but only for educational reasons.
“We are here to defend Katie Rinderle from the culture war. We are here to prevent a group of parents from running out a good teacher… This is what happens when politics overtakes education. The politics of outsiders and angry parents do not come into the classroom.”
The defense attorney alleged in his opening argument that parents who were concerned were the ones being “political,” not the teacher. He also made the point that “only a few parents complained.”
The room was full and many of the attendees were wearing purple T-shirts with the words “Ban Bias Not Books”, as if they believe all books are appropriate for elementary school minors.
Audrey Neu, the School Board Liaison for the Cobb GOP, and a Cobb GRA member, helped to keep parental rights supporters informed of the developments of the case and many of them showed up for the hearing to support the school’s decision to terminate Ms. Rinderle’s employment with the school.
“Thank you to everyone who took time out of their day to attend day one of the teacher tribunal. Based on the evidence presented and questions asked, it is clear Cobb School District is determined to defend parental rights and maintain educational standards, as defined by the state of Georgia. This is a direct result of the strong leadership Cobb has in place. We will have to wait and see what day two testimony holds,” said Audrey Neu.
The panel deciding this case is made up of retired principals who were appointed by the school board. These retirees are not in an age demographic that is likely to be supportive of sodomy or transgenderism.
The class was for gifted students, sometimes called a target class. Target classes only meet one day a week. One parent testified, that if she had been notified the book My Shadow Is Purple was going to be read, she would have requested her child stay with his regular teacher.
One of the school policies referenced by the prosecution prevents teachers from trying to influence students toward one political party or a partisan side of an issue, however, in 2022 Ms. Rinderle read a book to her students by Stacey Abrams, then candidate for Governor. Rinderle admitted to posting a book review about it on social media, tagging Abrams. Some parents complained about her introducing a book by a political candidate.
Rinderle admitted that her students were doing “service projects” on “LGBTQ+ advocacy,” but she had informed her Principal about it.
The attorney for the school district called Rinderle to the stand as her first witness. Referencing the cover of the book she said: “Would you not agree with me that a skirt is traditionally worn by girls?”
“I don’t feel comfortable talking about a gender norm. Females can wear many different things,” said Rinderle.
Another question had to do with whether Rinderle was aware that transgenderism is a “controversial, hot-button topic,” to which Rinderle replied indicating that she was not aware of that.
“One wonders which is more concerning, that we have a teacher who is indoctrinating children in ideologies that have no basis in reality, or that a teacher employed by Cobb schools is unaware of the national controversy over transgenderism?” said Nathaniel Darnell, a Cobb County parent and the Cobb Republican Assembly Chairman.
“I am deeply disappointed to hear of yet another example of our tax dollars funding the indoctrination of children in woke ideology, but I am grateful that the school district in this case has taken action to protect children and parental rights. I am hopeful they won’t back down,” said Darnell.
After the tribunal the panelists will have five days to present their recommendations to the Board of Education. The Board of Education consists of four Republicans and three Democrats, one of the few areas still controlled by Republicans. The Board is expected to vote on the matter at their August 17th meeting.
The attorney for the teacher’s defense showed that Ms. Rinderle was never trained in or given examples of what a “political or partisan issue” was or what the terms “controversial” or “sensitive” meant.
He compared it to “hot button topics” such as slavery in the South. However, parents today aren’t divided over whether slavery is moral or immoral. Parents do not send complaint emails anytime a teacher talks about the existence of or immorality of slavery.
But morality really is the core of the issue, here. There is a school policy that says that parents have the right to direct the moral and religious views of their children. But experience would show us that a thorough education about the world cannot be neutral. Ethics and morality are inescapable.
The narrative of history, what is considered societal progress, the information a teacher or author chooses to exclude or feature, all of these decisions are impacted by someone’s presuppositions and worldview. Not to mention the questions of which historical characters are the heroes or the villains, and the theory about the origin of the universe.
Is There Really Such a Thing As a “Neutral” Classroom?
The Cobb County School system claims to strive for a “neutral classroom” and yet they cannot be neutral about morality. Questions such as: Should historic slavery be presented as moral or immoral? Should government welfare, increased statist involvement in people’s lives, be considered moral or immoral? Was the Federal Reserve a positive or negative development for American economics? Does absolute truth exist? Does man have a moral obligation to care for the environment? If so, when and how does that moral obligation override property rights?
The answers to all of these kinds of questions hinge on a moral framework, which is in turn based on a theological framework. Each of these subjects, though perhaps addressed only implicitly in a classroom setting, would stem directly from the teachers’ basic standard of morality. Educators simply cannot escape their own worldview as they attempt to teach children about the world in which they live, and the more they attempt to be unbiased and avoid any moral presuppositions, the more boring and meaningless their lesson becomes.
Woke-ism is in fact a facet of a religious or theological viewpoint. Woke-ism defines something considered to be akin to a “sin” in that worldview (racism, intolerance of LGBT-ism, etc.) and then lays out a means of atoning for that sin (e.g., reparations, affirmative action, social justice, special rights for certain identity groups, etc.).
Secular humanism and it’s accompanying statism are also of a religious or theological nature, as has become clear in recent days. “No god will save us,” declared the Humanist Manifesto II (1973), “we must save ourselves.”
It has a competing standard of morality. It has a specific competing belief about the origin of the universe, a belief about God (denying His existence), a belief about salvation (man must save himself), and a method of salvation by which man would save himself — and that method is statism.
Therefore, American civil government schools cannot really be said to be “neutral.” They teach the religion of humanism or a conglomerate of religious views, depending on the teacher.
Humanism invariably leads to statism. G.K. Chesterton hit the nail on the head of statism when he said:
“It is only by believing in God that we can ever criticize the government … Once abolish God, and the government becomes the god. That fact is written all across human history; but it is written most plainly across that recent history of Russia; which was created by Lenin. There the Government is the god, and all the more the god, because it proclaims aloud in accents of thunder, like every other god worth worshipping, the one essential commandment: ‘Thou shalt have no other gods but me!’ “ —G.K. Chesterton
Unlike Christianity and other theologies, Woke-ism’s standard of morality isn’t found in any allegedly inspired holy book. It also is not consistent, since many of the proponents of woke beliefs also adhere to post-modernism and maintain that “what’s true for you, is true for you. What’s true for me, is true for me.”
We maintain, like our founding fathers, that the laws of the United States ought to be based upon a transcendent moral standard: “the laws of nature and of nature’s God.” This is a much more consistent standard that protects both the interests of the individual and of the community. A standard of morality based on God’s revealed Law and the laws discovered in nature is anything but neutral and yet provides the greatest liberty and justice the world has ever seen.
When the Cobb County School System strives for “neutrality” in education, they want what never has been, and what never will be.
Transgenderism in the public school system is just one reason why the 2021 Georgia Republican Assembly convention passed a resolution urging all Republican families to remove their children from these harmful institutions and the 14th District GOP passed a similar resolution at their convention earlier this year.
If you would like to encourage the Cobb School Board to uphold the decision to protect children, send them an email saying “Thank you for protecting minor children from transgender indoctrination.”
Marietta, GA—Cobb RA members & other concerned citizens packed the room at the Cobb County Commissioners Meeting on July 25th to speak against the proposed tax increase. Roughly 30 citizens spoke, the overwhelming majority opposing the proposed property tax increase.
Many of the homeowners demonstrated how significantly their property tax bill has increased and explained how higher taxes harms their family. One gentleman asked the board, “What should we cut from our budgets? Should we turn off the AC in Summer and our heat in Winter? Should people turn their pets in to the County shelter because they can no longer afford it? Should we drive on bald tires? Should we stop buying presents for our children and grandchildren? Please let me and the thousands of other homeowners know what we should cut in order to pay for this tax increase.”
The vote did not occur until after 9:30pm. Cobb County Republican Commissioner Keli Gambrill (previously endorsed by the Cobb RA and victorious in a contested primary) made a motion to substitute the proposed Democrat budget with a decrease from 8.46 mills to 7.168 mills for the general fund. Cobb Republican Commissioner JoAnn Birrell seconded the motion.
Sadly, Gambrill’s motion failed and the original proposal for the tax increase just passed along party lines. The Democrats on the Commission voted to raise our property taxes and increase the County budget for next year by $19 Million!
The Commissioners indicated that the increased budget was to offset inflation for County employees, and the additional funds would go to provide salaries, pensions, healthcare, etc. But why should government employees be shielded from the effects of inflation, at the expense of non-government employees?
GOP activist and Cobb Republican Assembly member Pam Reardon said, “We’re going in to a big recession and we are all hurting, but you’re not, because you have our money!”
“We are all feeling the effects of inflation, but our Commissioners are like Marie Antoinette who said, ‘the people don’t have bread, so let them eat cake’, said Cobb RA Member Jan Barton from the podium.
As partisan as the results were last night, many of the activists in the room still remember when it was Republican Commissioners in Cobb County as late as 2017 leading the charge to raise taxes rather than to cut spending. The results of that disastrous policy had much to do with what led to the county commission fliping Democrat in recent years. It is a reminder that is not enough for a candidate for county commission to call themselves a “Republican.” They must be committed to small-government, fiscally-responsible, and low-tax policy as the Republican platform has historically committed.
Likewise the School Board has increased their budget to unbelievable proportions, despite the fact that since 2019, the number of students enrolled in Cobb schools has diminished by 4,000-6,000 students. This departure is a national trend since the Covid lockdowns, as more and more families are choosing alternative education for their children.
“My question is this, why do you need more money to teach fewer students?” asked Abigail Darnell during her public comment. She went on to show that the Fiscal Year 2024 budget for Cobb Schools is more than $1.4 Billion. When that number is divided by the 106,703 students enrolled, it shows Cobb County is spending a whopping $13,579 per student, per year. This amount is far more than what is spent by most homeschool families in the private sector, who are also not given any relief from the school tax that pays for the bloated government education system that they do not use.
One of the many tax reforms needed includes an exemption from the school tax for all families who choose alternative education for their children, or who are empty-nesters without school-aged children.
Special thanks to Cobb RA member Christine Rozman for helping to get the word out about this hearing through her Government Accountability Task Force newsletter, and to the folks at CobbTaxRevolt.com for helping to create awareness as well.
Marietta—This afternoon Debbie Fisher of East Cobb was sworn-in as the new member of the Cobb County Board of Elections representing the Republican Party. She was appointed to that position by Cobb GOP Chairwoman Salleigh Grubbs, who is also a Cobb GRA member. Debbie Fisher has been a tireless activist for election integrity in the county since the 2020 election.
A previous President for the Cobb chapter of the GRA, Debbie Fisher also served with Salleigh Grubbs on her Executive Committee in the Cobb GOP during the last term, and she has been active on the Government Accountability Task Force with Christine Rozman. Not afraid of uphill battles, Debbie campaigned hard in the primary for the Cobb RA’s endorsed candidate Larry Savage when he ran against Mike Boyce for Cobb Commission Chairman after Boyce pushed through a plan to raise taxes in Cobb County. She has frequently monitored the activities of both the Cobb County Commission and Board of Elections and helped to keep her other local Republicans aware of the details on what was going on.
We expect that Debbie Fisher will apply herself with the same level of dedication and scrutiny that she has applied to all of her previous endeavors. She will be an ever-vigilant proponent for honest elections and will do her utmost to expose any suspicious activity and bring accountability where appropriate.
Debbie Fisher is succeeding another Cobb GRA member Pat Gartland on the Cobb Board of Elections. Gartland has served on the board for the last few years, and had served before under previous administrations. Fisher will officially assume her duties at the next meeting of the Cobb Board of Elections in July.
Currently, Cobb County still allows each of the local political parties to appoint a seat to the county Board of Elections. The Democrat appointee was also sworn in today. There are rumors that State Senator Ed Setzler (R-37) is looking to put forward legislation next year that would take this power away from the local parties and give it to the county commissioners, similar to what was recently done in Cherokee County. We believe this would be a terrible mis-step, and hope local Republican activists would make an outcry against such an effort at the state capitol next year.
Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis visited Cobb County last Thursday at the Adventures Outdoors off South Cobb Drive to give a presentation called “the Florida Blueprint.” Many Cobb Republican activists attended.
Although several members of the liberal news media (and some Establishment people) have been eager to pit Governor DeSantis against former President Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary, Governor DeSantis instead publicly voiced his opposition that day to the mistreatment and harassment Trump has received by his recent New York indictment and now arraignment. DeSantis said he would not cooperate with any extradition of Trump from Florida.
Both former President Trump and Governor DeSantis have been popular with the grassroots for being willing to aggressively take the fight to the liberal onslaught in different ways. It appears that many members of the Georgia political Establishment are eager to get behind a DeSantis presidential candidacy — not because, we suspect, they agree strongly with his staunch conservative positions — but because they want to get behind any candidate who they believe has the best chance of beating Trump for the Republican presidential nomination next year. Indeed, the Atlanta political Establishment has opposed implementing staunch DeSantis-type policies here in Georgia even though they praise him. DeSantis, however, has not yet announced for sure whether he will run for President.
The NFRA (National Federation of Republican Assemblies) will be hosting a national Endorsement Convention in Florida in October. Stay tuned for more details on that event to be announced soon!
The Cobb County GOP sends close to the largest delegation to the state convention most years. It also sends delegations to four congressional districts conventions now.
In the past, elected officials have usually been placed at the front of the line to serve as delegates, even though many of these elected officials stand on the sidelines and don’t participate in controversial votes at the conventions, so as not to upset their constituents. Their delegate votes thus are often wasted.
This year the Nominating Committee for Cobb County adopted a new policy: “We chose to prioritize and give preference to our hard-working grassroots volunteers in the county who have labored to help the organization, the cause, and candidate campaigns completely at their own expense—without expecting any financial reward— over elected officials,” said Cobb Nominating Committee Chairman Nathaniel Darnell. Nathaniel also serves as the Chairman for the Cobb County RA chapter. Chris Deeb, the President of the Cobb RA chapter, served as Vice Chairman of the Nominating Committee. Nine other conservatives, activists, and former candidates from the county also served on the committee.
“This was not to disrespect any Republican elected official in Cobb County, but rather to honor the many men and women upon whose shoulders they stand: our grassroots volunteers,” Nathaniel continued. As a result, all Cobb County elected officials were placed on the alternate list by default during early Nominating Committee deliberations. By the conclusion, the committee voted to remove only one Cobb Republican elected official from both the delegate and alternate lists due to bad behavior in the state legislature.
This policy represents a shift in thinking within the Georgia Republican Party: Instead of the grassroots being treated as being at the bottom of the totem pole with the elite elected officials, corporate lobbyists, and paid political industry riding on their backs, true self-sacrificing Patriots were given the foremost respect.
These are people with nothing to gain from their activism (other than just working to make the world a better place). We suggest that this group is more likely to be objective about what is best for the party, since they aren’t thinking about how to climb the ladder or make money in the political industry.
While some paid members of the political industry, such as Brittany Ellison from east Cobb (who has also publicly posted false and vulgar attacks about fellow Republicans on her social media), took to the microphone to complain about being nominated as merely an alternate behind grassroots volunteers, no one at the Cobb County GOP Convention complained about the elected officials taking a back seat. No one made a motion to move up an elected official in Cobb from an alternate to a delegate position. The Nominating Committee’s policy concerning elected officials was therefore approved by the body at the county convention.
Those who sacrificially give of their “three Ts” (their time, their treasure, and their talents) expecting no personal enrichment, should always be given such preference. They are the heart and soul of the Republican Party.
New to the GOP convention process? Need a refresher? The Cobb GOP has announced they are hosting a training from our Cobb County Republican Assembly Chairman Nathaniel Darnell on January 31st at the Cobb GOP Headquarters. He will be joined by attorney and GRA President Alex Johnson. The price to attend? Free!
Nathaniel and Alex led a great training two years ago for which many expressed appreciation. Nathaniel formerly served as the elected Vice Chair of Communications on the Cobb GOP Executive Committee and has served on the GA GOP State Committee for most of the last ten years. Alex has presided over many Republican conventions, including the DeKalb County GOP Convention.
This January 31st training will provide a step-by-step look at how the convention season is conducted from the Precinct Mass Meeting on February 11th all the way to the GA GOP State Convention in Columbus on June 9-10th. We will also conduct a mock convention to help familiarize participants in parliamentary procedure.
Tonight, the Election Day’s effort finally crossed the finish line of victory in the U.S. House as Republicans finally reached the 218 seats to claim the majority! One of those key seats was won by our endorsed Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-14) with 65.88% of the vote in her district. Greene now represents a western portion of Cobb County.
MTG was the only candidate who received a unanimous endorsement from the GRA State Convention last spring. We look forward to what she will now be able to accomplish in the Republican majority with her committee assignments rightfully restored.
Also in the western part of Cobb County, Keli Gambril won re-election without an opponent in the 1st District of the County Commission with 72,731 votes. We first endorsed Keli when she challenged her predecessor in the Republican primary in 2017. Since then, Keli has distinguished herself as the most conservative member of the Cobb County Commission, and we’re very excited to have her continuing to serve.
On the other side of the county, Jordan Ridley(R-Victoria) won with 61.6% of the vote in House District 22, which includes portions of both northeast Cobb and south Cherokee County. In Cobb alone he got 52.41% of the 11,618 votes cast in our county. 8,596 of his total raw votes came from Cherokee, and 6,089 came from Cobb. The GRA-PAC was pleased to provide funding for Ridley’s campaign early on, and we trust he will prove to be worth the investment by promoting Republican principles in the state legislature. Prior to running for office, Ridley served as the Chairman of the Cherokee County Republican Party.
For Cobb County School Board, our endorsed candidate David Chastain won re-election to Post 4—clinching Republican control yet again for the school board! Chastain won 53.89% of the vote or 25,548 raw votes. Again, Chastain has distinguished himself as one of the more conservative members of the school board over the years. Many residents in Cobb want to keep Republicans in control of the school board because they are concerned about the negative impact to home values if the schools were run by Democrats.
Education has become increasingly recognized nation-wide as a battle-ground in the United States of America. Many pundits have noted that a bulk of the Democrat vote during this recent general election that helped to stifle the projected “Red Wave” was the youth vote fresh out of government school and college.
It’s no wonder, though, given how children these days are being bombarded with a fresh onslaught of liberal and statist ideas in government schools of every kind ranging from Critical Race Theory (CRT), to Transgender fantasies, to even drag queens! Often these kinds of teachings get snuck in because of federal grants (bribes) that come with strings attached. We need school board members to draw a line in the sand and say, “Not in our schools!”
Our GRA members serving on the Cobb GOP Executive Committee—and all of our Cobb RA members across the county—did an admirable job hustling to get out the vote this election cycle! We commend Cobb RA member Salleigh Grubbs, who serves as the Chairwoman of the Cobb County Republican Party, for effectively promoting the campaign effort so as to even help Governor Brian Kemp earn more votes in Cobb than he did in 2017. That year, Kemp got 138,852 votes in Cobb, and this year he earned 142,864 votes.
The 235th birthday of the United States Constitution just happened on September 17, 2022. In celebration of the Constitution Day weekend, the RebelClef Orchestra asked for us to give a presentation on the significance of the U.S. Constitution for a special patriotic evening of symphony music on September 19th. This message was recorded in Whitfield County before an audience of families, students, and seniors from northwest Georgia at Christian Fellowship Assembly in Tunnel Hill. You can watch the video recording of the message now on our YouTube channel.
We encourage you to join us for a special fundraiser for our endorsed candidate for H.D. 39 in south Cobb Olivia Angel on September 30th at the Cobb County Republican Party Headquarters. We were pleased to endorse Olivia prior to her winning the Republican nomination during the primary. She has the conviction to do what’s best for Cobb County and the entire state.
Come Friday evening from 6pm to 9pm to participate in this fundraiser reception!