Quick hit: The film that claims teachers are grooming students, and the candidates that support it

What happened: A film that has been screened by Nebraska for Founders’ Values and the Protect Nebraska Children Coaltion roughly two dozen times across the state makes the case that schools are sexually harassing students to “groom them for homosexual activity… with pedophiles.” State and local school board candidates endorsed by the groups regularly appeared as guest speakers at these public events. Neither group agreed to comment about the film, “The Mind Polluters;” many candidates who have appeared at screenings also declined. One candidate who did speak said the film proves that schools are teaching children that it’s acceptable to have sex with adults.

Why it matters: Many of the claims in the movie are patently false, experts say. The Nebraska Department of Education and the Nebraska State Education Association – the teachers’ union –  don’t always see eye to eye. Both agree that “The Mind Polluters” has no basis in reality. 

“This movie is pure propaganda,” wrote NSEA President Jenni Benson in an email. 

A spokesman for the Nebraska Department of Education pointed out that teachers are, in fact, the biggest reporters of child abuse in the state.

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By Matt Wynn

Matt Wynn is the Executive Director of the Nebraska Journalism Trust, which launched and funds the Flatwater Free Press. He has spent 13 years at news organizations across the country, most recently on the investigative team at USA Today. He lives in his hometown of Omaha with his wife, Sarah, and three children.