Exclusive: South Carolina dad who gave chicken feed to his school board refutes harassment claims, says teachers are trying to indoctrinate his kids

A South Carolina father is now a villain to his school district and the local media, all for trying to be involved in his children’s education, he says.

After several contentious school board…

A South Carolina father is now a villain to his school district and the local media, all for trying to be involved in his children’s education, he says.

After several contentious school board meetings – including one where he used chicken feed as a criticism of members’ lack of leadership – he was accused of harassment, served a no trespass notice and effectively banned from the public school district’s property.

But David Cook, a husband and father of two, told The Lion his side of the story.

“The [Beaufort County School District] has taken it upon themselves to target me for exposing the truth,” Cook told The Lion. “Our district talks about the importance of parents being a part of the learning team for the student – except when it comes to a parent holding a teacher accountable, then they’re not a part of the team anymore. They’re a part of the opposing team.”

Cook’s battle started in January, when his 14-year-old daughter was given what he called “a secret survey.”

It asked prying questions about students’ family life, the state of their parent’s relationship, and their preferred pronouns.  

“The survey was all done in absence of the parents’ knowledge and parental consent,” Cook recalled. “That’s really the heart of all of this – that without parental consent, this specific teacher violated at least two or three school district policies and it generates a breach of contract.” 

When Cook reported the teacher’s actions, she was “rewarded with five months of paid leave,” he says.  

The same teacher also flies pride and transgender flags in her classroom and reportedly has a transgender child. 

That might have been the end of it, but then something more disturbing happened, the father recalls. 

During the class’s section on Civil War slavery, his daughter’s English teacher decided to discuss human trafficking as a form of modern-day slavery. The teacher introduced autobiographical accounts of trafficking – including a Kenyan girl’s story of being circumcised at age 10.  

“No one in my daughter’s class asked what [circumcision] was but the teacher felt compelled to tell the kids that, ‘Well, circumcision is the removal of the genitals,’” Cook recounted. “[My daughter] was kind of upset about that and she came home and told us.” 

Cook tried to arrange a meeting with the teacher to discuss the lesson but was stonewalled at every turn. 

“I wasn’t getting answers, so I kept pushing,” he told The Lion. “It turned into a situation where they claimed that I was harassing them because I said I would go to the state level, that I would hold them accountable at the state level, that my only options that were left would be to do that or go to civil court or, if a crime was committed, to turn it over for an investigation. And they blew that up into stating that I was threatening them and harassing them.” 

Cook, his family, and other community members have spoken out about BCSD’s intransigence at school board meetings, but to no avail.  

“The repeated behavior of the district hiding groomers continues,” Cook’s daughter told the school board in a July meeting. “I am tired of being indoctrinated by these teachers who think pornographic and sexually explicit material in schools is OK. It is not OK. I, along with many others, am done with all this nonsense being shoved down our throats.” 

Her father reiterated the point to The Lion. 

“We teach our kids to be accepting. We don’t teach our kids to tolerate someone pushing their views on them in school,” he said. “That’s not the place for it.” 

But now BCSD is making Cook and his family pay for his actions. Not only have multiple police reports been filed regarding his behavior, but Cook was also served a criminal no trespassing notice on Aug. 11.  

“You may drop off and pick up your son and daughter at their respective schools. For any other business necessitating your presence on any school district campus, you shall contact Mr. David Grissom,” BCSD said in a note obtained by The Lion.  

Grissom is the district’s director of protective services.  

“The head of safety and security told these teachers that I was dangerous,” Cook said. “So, I guess when you’re a parent fighting for your kids, you become dangerous.”  

Currently, Cook is weighing the option of getting a restraining order to protect his children from the teachers he says are misbehaving.  

“It’s gone too far,” he explains. “I always support a teacher’s right to free speech. However, because they’re a government employee, that right to free speech stops at the door to the school. They really can’t bring in any ideologies. 

“We want to know that our kids are going to be safe during the day,” Cook continued, “because we’ve already had this problem with teachers being bold enough to say whatever they want and do whatever they want and then get the support of the district to do it.”  

He also blames the district for coordinating a smear campaign against him and manufacturing artificial support at school board meetings, despite his desire to work with the school. 

“I want to be a part of the team. I’m interested in my student’s success,” he explains. “[But] as soon as they know your values, they don’t want you to be a part of the picture.”  

Even some teachers at his children’s schools agree with him. 

“On several occasions in the past year, I have had teachers in my son’s school and in my daughter’s school pull me aside, put their arm around me and say, ‘You’re doing awesome work, don’t stop.’ Because not every teacher believes that what’s going on is right.” 

Since BCSD has shut him out, he’s determined to find another way to influence public education.  

“I’m considering the possibility of running for public office in order to change the way students are treated in schools and to get better laws on the books to protect students in absence of their parents,” Cook said.