Oklahoma’s culture war-obsessed superintendent has appointed professional harasser Chaya Raichik — of the account Libs of TikTok — to the state’s Department of Education Library Media Advisory Committee.
In a statement released Tuesday, Superintendent Ryan Walters wrote that Raichik is “on the front lines showing the world exactly what the radical left is all about lowering standards, porn in schools, and pushing woke indoctrination on our kids.”
No one has done more to expose what the radical left is all about than @ChayaRaichik10 and @libsoftiktok. Her's is a powerful voice to protect Oklahoma kids from porn in schools and woke indoctrination.
I'm proud to have her on our team. pic.twitter.com/gYXwgLyNYM
— Superintendent Ryan Walters (@RyanWaltersSupt) January 23, 2024
Raichik has no background in education and worked as a real estate agent before her rise to prominence online. Libs of TikTok — which has 2.5 million followers on X alone — serves to direct harassment at teachers, doctors, hospitals, and other individuals who support the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and the need for comprehensive education on issues of race, gender, and sexuality. Libs of TikTok is banned from TikTok itself and in the past has been temporarily suspended from Instagram and Facebook.
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. After USA Today published an article on a report chronicling Libs of TikTok’s impact, Raichik gloated that she’d made the front page of the paper. Raichik currently uses a photo of herself holding up the paper as the profile picture on her personal X (formerly Twitter) account.
Walters has been working overtime to introduce the influence of extremist right-wing ideologues in Oklahoma’s education system. In September, the superintendent announced that the state had agreed to form a “partnership” with the right-wing media organization PragerU — without subjecting the materials to a state curriculum review. Walters is also overseeing efforts to remove what he calls “woke” ideology from the state’s school libraries, and has accused the American Library Association of supporting the exposure of young children to pornography. Walter’s crusade often conflates “pornography” with literature that references LGBTQ+ individuals.
Libs of TikTok has previously endorsed the removal of books featuring LGBTQ content from school and public libraries, and her online activity singled out specific librarians and educators has led to several titles being removed from bookshelves in various school districts across the country.
In August, multiple Oklahoma schools were targeted with repeated bomb threats after Superintendent Walters shared a post from Libs of TikTok targeting a librarian in the Union Public Schools district. Now, Walters will allow Raichik, who has potentially put Oklahoma students at risk through her content, to influence school policies.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Oklahoma House Minority Leader Cyndi Munson (D-85) wrote that Raichik’s appointment “is not a surprise, but disheartening and dangerous.”
“As each day passes, [Superintendent Walters] becomes more of a threat to the safety of our public school administrators, teachers, students, and families – appointing the person who was behind directing hate and threats to Tulsa Public Schools last year proves my point,” she added. “As the Republican supermajority has dismissed House Democrats’ call for an impeachment inquiry, Ryan Walters has yet to be held accountable and continues to be emboldened to destroy our public schools. What will enough be enough?”
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