Recall Terri Cunningham-Swanson: Part 6

Happy New Year! We took a break, but 2024 is here and we’ve got our eyes on many things. Our legislature returns to session today and we’re in a presidential election year. It’s about to get even wilder. We don’t want it to, but we’re realists. Now, let’s get back to the rest of the story of Terri Cunningham-Swanson and her imminent recall election.

After the publication of Part 5, we saw a call from Lisa Winterstien for Christian tolerance and being better people.

Dec 2023 Lisa W calls for Christian tolerance


They then returned to form within days to mock the teenage manager of the recall campaign.

Dec 2023 Tracy Zeorian mocks Jayden

Dec 2023 Tracy Zeorian mocks Jayden 2
Introducing Tracy Zeorian, the president of the Cass County GOP!


Well, so much for being “mindful” and “better” than everyone else. Ladies, we know you don’t want kids to learn that they don’t owe you anything, but it’s true. Jayden doesn’t have to put up with your toxic behavior. No one does. Also, Lisa claims that kids learn sex and how to sodomize their peers at school. Uh, and she still has her children there?

Dec 2023 Lisa thinks kids go to school to learn sodomy
Seriously, Lisa, are you okay? You don’t seem okay.


Now, back to May 8, 2023, when parents and students packed the school board meeting, KETV and WOWT aired follow-ups to the news of the protest, and Terri had a new dilemma on her hands. She had to submit 52 complaint forms to challenge each book she had removed from the library shelves.

She also had more people reaching out to her about the situation—some parents still waiting for answers as to why she wanted to ban books and other folks from the Omaha metro who wanted to make some interesting connections.

The Book Banning Bunch

As Lisa Winterstien pointed out recently in the support group, when complaining about our observations of this whole situation, context matters.

Dec 2023 Lisa W says context matters


We agree with Lisa, which is why we’re looking forward to this installment. Why?

Because since taking office in January of 2023, Terri hadn’t read the books on her list.

6-1-2023 Terri has not read all the books

We still aren’t sure she has read anything except the bits she personally found objectionable. Her list was curated from the Moms for Liberty member-created websites she relied on for out-of-context quotes that only showcased the words or situations that she didn’t like in the books.

When this was brought up time and again in discussion, both at board meetings and online between Terri and people questioning her agenda, Terri and her followers had only one response: Context doesn’t matter.

For Terri and her supporters, it didn’t matter if the book was sweet, humorous, serious or deep. The list of books that had been removed and reviewed dealt with racism, LGBTQIA identity and acceptance, drugs and abuse, sex and consent, and other real world topics. They didn’t want the material available to their own children… or anyone else’s. The context, they felt, didn’t matter because they didn’t like specific, smaller bits of each book.

It’s funny to see Lisa complaining about context when it comes to facts being presented, along with our questions and those of Plattsmouth parents who have yet to receive answers from Terri. Terri and her followers weren’t so concerned with context when it came to claiming books were pornography. Why do they deem it applicable now?

No worries. We’re presenting everything Terri has been so generous as to put out there in her various interviews, emails and social media posts, but if we’re missing something in all of this, please let us know at!

As we also mentioned previously, Terri received many emails after the May board meeting. Those who supported her received enthusiastic gratitude and prayers in response. Those who disagreed with her and questioned her move to ban books received terse or dismissive responses, or were completely blocked, such as in the case of the parent whose email we presented in Part 3.

That parent reached out to us and explained that she made further attempts to contact Terri, only to find that Terri had blocked her both on Facebook and by email. Terri went so far as to respond passive-aggressively to another concerned resident’s disagreement with book banning by saying she looked forward to their “viewpoint on keeping pornography available to students.”

TCS wants resident to justify their stance

It’s also interesting to note that in this email from May of 2023, she asked the person if they had read all of the books, but admitted on June 1 that she hadn’t read all of them.

The fear-mongering was going strong at this point and hitting a nerve with some people, but others saw through it. A few residents had already posted in the Town Crier about the possibility of recalling her.

This is when everybody’s favorite Moms for Liberty dad showed up to lend Terri a hand. If you haven’t heard of Ed Weniger’s shenanigans, he’s the guy who tucked a handgun into his pants, went to a Papillion-LaVista School Board Meeting on November 8, 2021, and was subsequently charged with unlawful possession of a firearm on school grounds and violation of handgun permit on January 28, 2022. 

The first charge was amended to violation of condition of permit (failure to inform a peace officer) and on June 27, 2022, Ed was sentenced to two years of probation, while his concealed carry permit was revoked. He was also barred from school district board meetings for a year. But these are the people who want to protect children and model “healthy behavior” for them.

The sentence also included cognitive behavioral therapy as directed by his probation officer. Court records don’t delve into probation efforts, so we don’t know if Ed has been told to engage in CBT. Since that incident, Ed returned to Papillion-LaVista board meetings throughout 2023 to continue to complain about books in the school libraries, along with the likes of Linda Vermooten, Loan Eby and Roberta Adams. Why do they keep doing this? One of Terri’s supporters said it best: it’s because they hate the LGBTQIA community and don’t think they should be accepted.

TCS supporters hate gay people
It isn’t about Christianity. It’s about your use of it to justify hating non-straight, non-cis-gendered people.


Ed emailed Terri to suggest they meet up, and also mentioned knowing Moms for Liberty people.

5-10-2023 Ed Weniger


While Terri ignored other email requests for the list of books that she had removed for review, she gladly sent the entire list of books she had targeted to Ed Weniger.

5-13-2023 Book list to Ed Weniger

5-13-2023 Book list to Ed Weniger 2

5-13-2023 Book list to Ed Weniger 3


Her list included the graphic novel version of The Diary of Anne Frank, which is a faithful adaptation of the complete, unabridged Diary.

This was the first of two mentions of Moms for Liberty in Terri’s emails. The second was from another parent in the Plattsmouth School District who pointed out that they were well aware of the Moms for Liberty agenda. In her response to this parent, Terri claimed not to know what the group was at the time.

5-15-2023 TCS to parent
So this list came from Tiffany Carter and Moms for Liberty parent-run websites, as Terri stated in interviews. But that’s the extent of it?


Meanwhile, with 52 books she wanted banned, what was Terri to do? She hadn’t read the books in their entirety, nor did she have time. All she could do was pull out-of-context passages to state her case, and she had 2 weeks to write out 52 challenge forms to be in compliance with the upcoming revisions to Policy 6300.

Then she came up with a plan. She asked her supporters to share the work. Her stated preference was to have 50 people, each willing to complete a single complaint form for a particular title. The problem was that she didn’t have 50 people who believed in her conspiracy theory-laden rhetoric. She did, however, have at least 6 to whom she sent the exact same email:

TCS wants help challenging books


Terri asked those 6 people to challenge the books on her list. She let one supporter know that she would give them a list of titles from her personal email, meaning she was conducting school board business from personal accounts.

TCS conducts school board business from personal email

If it seems sketchy as heck to get a bunch of people together to challenge a ridiculous number of books that they’ve never read, we agree. What we see here is a school board member focusing on their personal agenda and never bothering to read the material they wanted to challenge.

What each person supporting Terri still fails to acknowledge is that the challenged books present multiple perspectives, literature in which adolescents may see themselves reflected. This is especially important for marginalized and under-represented students—LGBTQIA, Black, Latino, neuro-divergent and those grappling with mental health issues.

Terri, are you there to represent all students, or only white cis-het students with perfect GPAs?

More about Nico Emerson

Nicolette "Nico" L. Emerson is an observer of politics in small town Nebraska, especially as it pertains to education, school boards, and adults who want to decide the direction of the next generation.