A portrait of Education First Alliance president and Michele Morrow campaign manager Sloan Rachmuth, with a green chalkboard background and a pride flag and a silhouette of a student desk in the middle ground.
Molly Butler / Media Matters

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Former campaign manager for North Carolina’s extremist superintendent candidate used right-wing media to attack LGBTQ inclusion in education

Sloan Rachmuth promised a “reckoning” against gender-affirming care, which she compared to bestiality, eugenics, and genocide

Update (6/6/24): Following publication, Media Matters received information that Rachmuth was recently replaced in her role as Morrow’s campaign manager, though she has continued to promote fundraisers and events for the campaign. Language in this article has been updated to reflect the change.

Education First Alliance President Sloan Rachmuth put her conservative group in North Carolina on hold to serve as a campaign manager for extremist Michele Morrow’s campaign for the state’s superintendent of public instruction. In years of right-wing media appearances, Rachmuth has espoused inflammatory rhetoric and advocated for policies that exclude LGBTQ people in the classroom and public life.

Media Matters previously reported that Morrow is a right-wing commentator who subscribes to the QAnon conspiracy theory and has connections to another extremist group.

  • Sloan Rachmuth has been embraced by right-wing media, where she espouses inflammatory rhetoric against the inclusion of LGBTQ people in education and public life

  • Rachmuth calls North Carolina “the mecca, if you will, for child sex-change procedures.” In an interview with conspiracy theorist Dinesh D’Souza, Rachmuth claimed that the “medical-industrial complex” in North Carolina made the state a nexus for gender-affirming care, while also making the hyperbolic and inaccurate claim that  “99.9% of the American population doesn’t want offered to their children … screening for transgenderism, which is what we have here in the state.” [Media Matters, 5/4/22; Rumble, Dinesh D'Souza Podcast, 8/3/23; The Hill, 9/18/23]

  • Rachmuth claims gender-affirming care providers in the state are funded by a donor who plans to transition all children to fulfill “perverted, private fantasies.” White nationalist host Stew Peters invited Rachmuth to amplify her attacks on gender clinics hosted by North Carolina’s universities, where she claimed a private donor helped fund the clinics “for his own private, perverted fantasies of making all children eunuchs.” Rachmuth then went on to share names, photos, and contact information of doctors at these clinics with Peters’ audience. [Rumble, The Stew Peters Show, 6/8/23; Media Matters, 3/13/23]

  • Rachmuth compared the use of puberty blockers to eugenics. Joining former One America News host Liz Wheeler on her self-titled podcast, Rachmuth and Wheeler criticized a gender-affirming care provider for discussing the use of puberty blockers to manage “right” and “wrong” puberties in youth who are or may be transgender. Rachmuth said, “I imagine that eugenicists spoke this way of protecting society from the ‘wrong’ people being able to breed. It’s sickening. … These are the people who want to get their hands on our children.” Later in the episode, Rachmuth attacked a prospective homeless shelter for transgender youth and suggested it may be a hub for child trafficking. [Rumble, The Liz Wheeler Show, 5/19/23, 5/19/23]

  • In another appearance on Peters’ show, Rachmuth branded gender-affirming care as “ghoulish” and “akin to bestiality.” Just after the host quoted a Bible verse claiming that those who harm children should “have a millstone tied around his neck and … be thrown into the depths of the sea,” Rachmuth again compared gender-affirming care to eugenics and then to genocide. She went on to say that gender-affirming care providers are putting people “on the road to being basically automatons.” [Rumble, The Stew Peters Show, 10/6/22, 10/6/22]

  • Rachmuth promised a “reckoning” over gender-affirming care. In yet another interview with Peters, Rachmuth agreed with him that the parents of transgender youth should be arrested for allowing them access to gender-affirming care. [Rumble, The Stew Peters Show, 5/4/23]

  • Rachmuth supports and shares rhetoric with other right-wing extremists in education. While advocating for bills in North Carolina that would infringe on the rights of transgender youth, Rachmuth told Peters, “We need to get rid of these radicals in these bureaucratic organizations.” This rhetoric mirrors that of Oklahoma State Superintendent Ryan Walters, who claimed the education system was “run by Marxists.” Rachmuth has called Walters one of “America’s best State Superintendents”; GLAAD has since called for state legislators to remove him from office for fostering a hostile education environment for LGBTQ people after the death of high school student Nex Benedict. [Rumble, The Stew Peters Show, 7/7/23; Media Matters, 1/2/24, 2/28/24; Twitter/X, 3/4/24; GLAAD, 3/12/24]

  • Rachmuth’s claims have been used to prop up eliminationist rhetoric against transgender people. While pushing Rachmuth’s spurious claims that North Carolina universities are transitioning toddlers, Daily Wire pundit Michael Knowles reposted her rhetoric on X (formerly Twitter) with the caption, “For the good of society and especially for the good of the poor people who have fallen prey to this confusion, transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely—the whole preposterous ideology, at every level.” Knowles espoused the same rhetoric at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2023, which was embraced by right-wing media writ large. [Twitter/X, 5/1/23; Media Matters, 3/4/23, 3/8/23]

  • Rachmuth’s Education First Alliance advocates for trans exclusion at its core

  • The Education First Alliance considers trans exclusion to be among its major issues. The Alliance’s issue page states that, “children's dignity is violated through the presentation of … trans-sexualism” in public schools, and another section claims, “because of sexual politics pushed by Progressives, girls have become spectators in their own sports with the end-goal of eliminating girls.” [Education First Alliance, archived 2/25/24]

  • The organization has been a part of right-wing media’s attacks on transgender student athletes. The Education First Alliance publicized an incident in which a high school volleyball player in North Carolina was injured by a transgender player on the opposing team. Following the Alliance’s coverage, the story received considerable attention from right-wing media, and the injured player has gone on to openly oppose trans inclusion in sports alongside former college swimmer and OutKick pundit Riley Gaines. [Education First Alliance, 10/11/22; Fox News, 10/21/22; The Daily Wire, 10/22/22; Twitter/X, 4/19/23]

  • The Education First Alliance has touted its influence in passing laws that restrict the rights of transgender people. After the North Carolina state legislature passed restrictions on transgender athletes to play on teams consistent with their gender identity, the Alliance held a phone banking event to push the state’s ban on gender-affirming care for youth. Following the event, the organization’s website said, “House Republicans moved the issue of banning child sex change treatments to the front burner,” in a post headlined “EFA day of action brings back child sex change ban in the General Assembly.” Several sitting state lawmakers also previously attended a “Make Education Great Again” conference hosted by the Alliance on how to stop “grooming.” [Education First Alliance, 6/20/23; Rumble, Education First Alliance, 5/15/22]

  • The organization has previously spread misinformation that targeted institutions providing gender-affirming care. In May 2023, the Education First Alliance published a post by Rachmuth claiming that colleges and universities with gender clinics in North Carolina were using “experimental treatment” on toddlers aged 2-4 years old, despite also quoting a doctor who explained prepubescent youth do not medically transition. Other spurious claims in the piece, such as the idea that a 2-year-old girl playing with a toy truck would be fast-tracked into transitioning, have been further debunked. [Education First Alliance, 5/1/23; FactCheck.org, 5/22/23]