CONSERVATIVE CHAMPION: Beth Reams
We are proud to announce Beth Reams as a Conservative Champion. Learn more about Beth’s inspiring story below.
Tell us about how you became a conservative. What experiences led to your now-held beliefs?
To understand what being a conservative is; it’s really about values. The four F’s, faith, family, fairness, and freedom. While both of my parents are conservative, politics was not pushed upon me growing up. My brother and sister and I worked with one campaign for a congressman when I was in elementary school, but I had no idea what I was doing! I did not get too involved in politics until I became a teacher. I was the faculty sponsor of the Conservatives Club at the private school where I taught for 25 years, a position I did not have to fight for seeing as how education is a predominantly liberal profession. As I led this club, I learned a lot from my students. They were passionate about their love for our country, their respect for our democracy, and their concern for the future of America. This made me become more aware of all that was going on around me. I began paying more attention, becoming more focused on standing up for my values and beliefs and standing up for my students who were oftentimes treated differently due to their political affiliation. With each election, I paid closer attention and became more devoted to what I believe are Republican values.
Trump becoming President was a turning point for me. When I saw the hate, anger, fear, lies and disrespect thrown at myself and my students by people with opposing views, it made me dig my heels in to try to be a voice for my values. I was infuriated at how people spoke to me and treated me as a Trump supporter. I was frightened to see what our society was doing to their own communities as “protests”. I was angry at watching our country tear at the seams in anger and hostility down the lines of political affiliation, knowing this is what my children were becoming a part of, this new America. I was bothered by how my students were treated immediately following the election and what they were told, IN the classroom, by teachers who held opposing views. I watched as a teacher told a student, a student who was asking for a teacher to join a discussion group about the election, the teacher said to her “you’re going to have to ask someone else because I’m on a spiral of depression and have lost all faith in humanity”. This was an adult, speaking to a child, about Trump becoming our President. This lit a spark in me to be better and do better for the sake of my children and my students. I wanted to stand up for faith, life, respect, freedom of speech and the value of civil discourse. I wanted classrooms and schools to be safe for all students and faculty from all sides of the aisle. Also integral in my dedication was when my conservative beliefs, my personal Facebook posts, became a focus of the administration at my school. A pro-life post about valuing ALL lives, born and unborn, was brought to me by my principal as an example of racism. At the very beginning of COVID when our government was shutting down schools and churches, yet allowing liquor stores and planned parenthood to remain open, a post about not following government mandates blindly, was thrown at me as being anti-semetic. When my conservative students sent out a group message after Biden won the Presidency, telling all the kids not to go to school angry, not to be rude, just walk in and be respectful, unlike how they were treated four years ago, I congratulated them and told them I was proud of them for this approach. I reported multiple concerns that students brought to me about being treated/graded differently due to their political affiliation, and got told none of it was true.
25 years of exemplary evaluations in the classroom, dedication to the students in numerous clubs, sports and activities outside the classroom, yet standing up for my beliefs ended my teaching career at this private school.
What issue(s) do you think are the most important at this time for the conservative cause? Why?
What the current administration has done to our economy, our society, and our way of life, in such a short time is appalling. We are no longer respected around the world. Americans have no faith in our leadership. We need COMPETENT ADULTS leading the country and an America First agenda. Peace through strength will be lost forever if we continue down this path. As I look around at the world, I fear the change I see in my America, the America my children are now entering into as young adults, Not only is the economy a disaster, our society has decided to go astray from the four F’s I mentioned before. We are losing sight of faith, valuing life, respecting others opinions and freedom of speech. Taking personal responsibility for anything seems to be an unknown virtue in today’s America.
Our education system is the other area that must be tended to. Schools are being overrun with indoctrination. Our children are being taught/shown things that should never be in a classroom. The administration is losing sight that the number one focus of schools should be education, not politics, not social grooming.
Of course, as a woman, a mother who has experienced the joy of birth and the heartache of miscarriage, the value of life is another cause near and dear to my heart. As a woman of faith, it is difficult to not only watch the heated debates on abortion, but also I question where Americans put faith on thier list. I believe with all of my heart that if we had more Jesus in America, we would have a lot less anger, hate and fear.
Tell us about the groups that you are involved with and the efforts that you have been a part of within those groups?
While teaching, I had a lovely relationship with YAF, Young America’s Foundation. Not only did they send us fun Conservative items to give out to the kids, it was also through this group that I was able to arrange for Bay Buchanan to come speak to the students. She was amazing. Students from all political affiliations attended the talk in which she focused on being informed. No matter what “side” you stand on an issue, the importance of information never changes. Being prepared with why you believe the way you do, but also being prepared with what the other side is going to bring up. She used abortion as her own example, but explained how it is true of any topic. She also spoke on the lack of civil discourse in our country, something we all are aware of.
Since the fiasco with my school I have been in touch with the Herzog Foundation, an incredible group trying to bring back Christian, Conservative education options. Through them I was introduced to Chris and Christne Stigall. They then interviewed me for their podcast, Making the Leap. It was a wonderful discussion on my experience in education as a Conservative Christian, as well as my opinion/advice for parents looking at educational options for their children.
I believe the biggest way my voice has been heard was through the Daily Wire. An article “Missouri Math Teacher Dismissed Following Private Conservative Facebook Posts” was written about me in the fall of 2021.
You are clearly someone who is engaged in the community, specifically within groups dedicated to reforming education. What inspired you to take action?
My students inspired me first. To be 15, 16, 18 years old and stand so strong in your Conservative beliefs that you are willing to challenge peers, teachers, administration, is admirable and taught me a great deal. This inspiration went on for years, growing my focus slowly but with strength.
The big “a ha” moment for me was the death of my husband. On August 8, 2021 we were in an ATV wreck and he was killed, by my side, after I attempted mouth to mouth. My husband had always wanted me to speak up against what was happening in education to me, to my Conservative students. I was afraid. I had experienced the power of social media and had been victim to lies being told about me, lies that attacked my character, my profession. Over and over he pushed me, telling me to be strong, that the truth needed to be known. When he was killed, I felt powerless in his death, but I did have power in doing what he wanted, telling the truth, standing up for what was right. That is when I decided to allow the Daily Wire to print the article. That is when I decided to take legal action regarding the discrimination against me. All I can hope is he is smiling down from above with pride.
For those parents who are concerned about the direction of their child’s education, what advice would you give them? Are there any groups they should join? And if already in those groups, what’s the best way for them to be engaged and actually implement change?
When I was in high school my dad decided to run for the school board. He won and served for many years, this was his way of trying to right the many wrongs we saw happening in the school system I was a part of. He became frustrated and ended up leaving when I graduated, after this position had cost him his career. I do believe, however, getting on the board, whatever that looks like in your school, is key. There is much control given to board decisions, in my experience. Being on the board/committee/whatever it looks like at your school is not enough, you have to speak up. I have been through many experiences trying to make change happen and many people have expressed their thoughts, support, opinions to me, but that is not enough. We have to stand up and speak up. It took me a very long time to do this myself. It was scary, it was difficult, it cost me a job, but it was the right thing to do. Change cannot happen when we remain silent, when we allow the wrong to continue.
If you feel your child’s education is not going where you want it to go, have a conversation with whomever is making those decisions. As a teacher I was always open to talking to parents and students, with a goal of making the students’ time in my classroom the best possible. That meant not only providing the mathematics they needed, but also being an ear to listen, a voice to support, a cheerleader, a parent, a nurse, a protector, a safe place. If any of these are missing, have a respectful conversation.
Regarding the direction our education systems are going in general, that’s a whole other issue. We need to be watching carefully and voting appropriately so as not to allow political indoctrination into our kids’ education. We need to look deeper into voucher systems that could allow for more school choices. When there is no choice other than schools that lean liberal, use the classroom as an opportunity to mold minds in one way only, dissuade students from remaining committed to faith, family, freedom and fairness, our society begins to crumble.
How can we overcome those obstacles that are preventing us from advancing those issues?
I believe the best way to overcome any obstacle is to focus on what outcome we want and pursue it respectfully but powerfully. We all have to be better informed about curriculum changes in the school systems. We all have to be better informed about political discrimination in the school systems. We all have to be better informed about who we are electing to positions that can bring the changes we want. I need to do better in all of these.