‘Accused me by name’ -- Michigan Sen. McMorrow blasts striking claims by Education Committee Chair

The senator’s rebuttal gathered millions of views online in the hours after it was posted
Senator Mallory McMorrow responds to accusations from Education Committee chair
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 11:42 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A senator from Royal Oak took to the Senate floor to defend herself against accusations by a senator from Brighton that she supports sexualizing children.

Senator Lana Theis (R-Brighton) sent out a fundraising email accusing political opponents of grooming on Monday. “Grooming” is the act of gaining a child’s trust in an effort to exploit or physically abuse them.

Theis is Chair of the Senate Education Committee. She had attempted to open a Senate session on April 14 with a prayer which appeared to reference Republicans’ push to remove lessons that mention LGBTQ+ issues or white supremacy in American history.

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In response, Democratic senators Rosemary Bayer (D-Beverly Hills) Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia) and Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) walked out of the chamber.

In the email Theis accused her political opponents of being “outraged they can’t groom and sexualize kindergarteners or [teach] that 8-year-olds are responsible for slavery.”

“These are the people we are up against,” Theis wrote. “Progressive social media trolls like Senator Mallory McMorrow (D-Snowflake) who are outraged [they] can’t groom and sexualize kindergarteners or that 8-year-olds are responsible for slavery.”

Theis did not provide evidence supporting her accusations.

Sen. McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) responded in a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday.

“I didn’t expect to wake up yesterday to the news that the senator from the 22nd district had, overnight, accused me by name of grooming and sexualizing children,” McMorrow said. “In an email fundraising for herself.”

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McMorrow called the email by Theis a “hollow, hateful scheme” and said she believed she was targeted because she shares demographic similarities with Theis.

“So then what? So then you dehumanize and marginalize me. You say I’m one of them,” McMorrow said. “You say, ‘She’s a groomer. She supports pedophilia. She wants children to believe that they were responsible for slavery, and to feel bad about themselves because of it.’”

A video of the speech received millions of views in the hours after McMorrow posted it to her professional social media account. She included a transcript of the speech in a thread below the video.

McMorrow said, “I am a straight, white, Christian, married, suburban mom who knows that the very notion that learning about slavery or redlining or systemic racism somehow means that children are being taught to feel bad or hate themselves because they are white is absolute nonsense.”

Theis’s statements and McMorrow’s response are included below.

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