The outrage stems from a tweet shared by the Libs of TikTok Twitter account capturing a move by the Arizona Department of Education which would provide a “resource link” for LGBT students to discuss their gender and/or sexuality with LGBT adults and teens.
“The online chat room has a “quick escape” feature in case a kid wants to hide it from their parents,” the Libs of TikTok account adds in the caption.
Screenshots from the chat space show the platform touting the opportunity for teens to “find and give support, have fun, connect around shared interests and get good information.” It also allows teens to “chat with like-minded peers,” and engage in conversations facilitated by “experienced staff who work at LGBTQ+ centers around the country.”
In the comments section, outrage ensued with critics hurling the “groomer” and “pedophile” insults at the chat room’s organizers.
“This is pedo level stuff. Where is Chris Hansen?” radio host Mike Mason wrote in a response.
Former cyclist and outspoken conservative commentator Joe Papp chimed in as well, saying the instance is “literally state-sponsored grooming, Friends,” and writer David Coulson asked, “Do we not teach stranger danger anymore?”
“What could go wrong?” he added.
Additional criticism came from Republican Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers, who called the move “wicked and wrong,” adding that “parental rights are paramount to the evil state.”
Bestselling author Josh Steimle shared the Libs of TikTok post in a quote tweet, tagging Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and asking if he knew anything about the LGBTQ+ push.
Others encouraged parents to take a stand against covert LGBTQ+ policies found in public school systems across the nation and argued that public education departments should neither play a role in teaching students about gender and sexuality nor encourage any behaviors related to either gender or sexuality.