Chaya Raichik speaks

Chaya Raichik speaks on June 18, 2023 at the annual Young Women's Leadership Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas.

(Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/cc)

Far-Right Homophobic 'Libs of TikTok' Creator Appointed to Oklahoma Library Panel

"This is part of a disturbing trend of allowing disreputable and inflammatory outside voices to have influence over Oklahoma public education," the state's largest teachers organization lamented.

Oklahoma's top public education official on Tuesday tapped the founder of a far-right social media page—whose posts one critic noted "were often followed by violent threats and actions towards LGBTQ+ people"—to serve on the state's Education Library Media Advisory Committee.

Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Education Ryan Walters, a Republican, announced the selection of Chaya Raichik—who lives in California and has no formal background in education—to serve on the Midwestern state's influential panel. Raichik is the publisher of Libs of TikTok, a popular account on X, the social network formerly known as Twitter. She frequently posts videos disparaging LGBTQ+ educators, whom she often calls "groomers" of children and teens.

"No one has done more to expose what the radical left is all about than [Raichik] and @libsoftiktok," Walters claimed on social media. "Her's (sic) is a powerful voice to protect Oklahoma kids from porn in schools and woke indoctrination."

Raichik has often claimed that teachers are "indoctrinating" children, in part by discussing gender identity and pronouns in classrooms, while Walters—a former state education secretary—has repeatedly made false claimsabout the existence of sexually explicit materials in schools.

As Rolling Stonereported, Libs of TikTok has been temporarily suspended from Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram. According to the outlet:

Libs of TikTok primarily operates by singling out accounts or institutions deemed promoters of "woke," or inclusive ideology, often reposting videos that have been edited or stripped of context. Despite Raichik's claims that she simply reposts content that's already available online to 'expose' the 'crazies,' threats, hate mail, and intense vitriol against those featured on the account tend to follow shortly after. Raichik's activity has been linked to bomb threats against schools and hospitals, and intimidation campaigns against those featured in her content. Raichik sees this as a point of pride.

Oklahoma House Minority Leader Cyndi Munson (D-85) told Rolling Stone that Raichik's appointment "is not a surprise, but disheartening and dangerous."

"As each day passes, [Walters] becomes more of a threat to the safety of our public school administrators, teachers, students, and families," Munson added.

The Oklahoma Education Association (OEA)—the state's largest teachers organization— said in a statement to HuffPost that "Oklahoma has thousands of qualified active and retired library media specialists in addition to education experts capable of evaluating Oklahoma standards."

"However, instead of elevating Oklahoma educators, an out-of-state political actor with no expertise is appointed to... [the] Library Media Advisory Committee," the group added.

"This appointee posted a doctored video which provoked attacks on a Tulsa union educator, which led to bomb threats that shut down an Oklahoma school district for days," OEA noted. "This is part of a disturbing trend of allowing disreputable and inflammatory outside voices to have influence over Oklahoma public education."

"Oklahoma's educators deserve to have their voices heard and represented by those invested in Oklahoma communities," the group added.

Walters has previously faced criticism for his support of efforts to establish the nation's first religious charter school in Oklahoma, widely seen as legal test case that could alter the principle of separation of church and state.

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