Alumni upset as new Brandywine school board seeks oversight of sex ed, ‘explicit’ books


A group of Brandywine alumni are pushing back against proposed changes by the school district’s governing body.

Following the victory of four 1776 Project PAC and We The Parents candidates in the November election, the Brandywine Community Schools Board of Education is preparing to discuss and create several new oversight committees at its regular meeting Monday, Jan. 23. A group called Brandywine Alumni and Educators for Educational Freedom has been formed and plans to speak in opposition to the proposed actions of the board at the meeting.

The 1776 Project PAC is a conservative political action organization “dedicated to electing school board members nationwide who want to reform our public education system by promoting patriotism and pride in American history,” according to its website. The PAC is also focused on stopping Critical Race Theory – a set of ideas holding that racial bias is inherent in many parts of western society – from being taught in schools.

The 1776 Project sent out a tweet in November celebrating new Brandywine board members Tom Payne, Angela Seastrom, Michelanne McCombs and Elaine McKee.

“All four of our candidates in Brandywine, Michigan have won their elections,” the post said. “We just flipped the Brandywine school board from liberal to conservative.” 

Each of the four new members also are We The Parents Michigan candidates. We The Parents believes parents have the fundamental right to direct the care, teaching, and education of their children, and has pledged to “fight to remove all forms of woke politics (i.e. sexual, racial, political and gender indoctrination) from our schools,” according to its website.

On Monday, the board plans to discuss, then vote on creating the following committees and advisory boards, according to the meeting agenda:

  • Curriculum Committee
  • Sex Education Advisory Board
  • Tutoring Program Committee
  • Parent/Community Involvement Committee
  • Parent / Guardian Curriculum Transparency Committee
  • Explicit Material Book Review Committee
  • Library Inventory
  • Executive Committee

Brandywine Alumni and Educators for Educational Freedom is a private Facebook group run by graduates of the district. It has amassed nearly 100 members in less since forming late this week. The group released a statement ahead of Monday’s meeting:

“As you may be aware, the majority of the school board for Brandywine Community Schools changed during the November election. At the board’s second meeting, scheduled for Monday, January 23, the board intends to create several committees, many of which could result in drastic changes to the education Brandywine students receive. …

Please note that each of these items are to be discussed and voted on during Monday’s meeting, and public comment will take place AFTER action is taken on each of these items, giving the community zero opportunity to weigh in before a vote. Nonetheless, a group called Brandywine Alumni and Educators for Educational Freedom has been formed to show support for educators, oppose censorship of books, curriculum, and communication, and protect the future of the school district.

Many members of this group intend to speak on topics relating to book banning, sexual education, Critical Race Theory and educational freedom. Excellent sources have shared that the proposed committees have been created to address these topics. It is crucial that our community is informed of the agenda that is being rushed through our school system, and that all taxpayers are given seats at the table of these committees and advisory boards.”

This meeting will take place at 6 p.m Monday in the Brandywine High School Library/Media Center at 1700 Bell Road, Niles.