Actor Scott Baio contends his daughter’s California private school should have vetted acclaimed Atlanta children’s author Laurel Snyder before inviting her to speak Monday and then given parents like him the option to pull their children out of the presentation. Baio found critical tweets by Snyder about Donald Trump, which he deemed objectionable. 
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Actor Scott Baio goes after noted Atlanta children’s author on Twitter over her politics

Fans of writer Laurel Snyder rally to her defense in pungent war of words

I am not an avid reader of Twitter but a local writer directed me there today because of actor Scott Baio’s attack on a well-known Atlanta children’s author. 

Writer Laurel Snyder – among her many books are National Book Award nominee “Orphan Island” and the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner “Charlie & Mouse” --- spoke this week at Baio’s daughter’s private school in California.

The former “Happy Days” star went after Snyder on Twitter once he ferreted out her past political tweets on the elections of Donald Trump and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. 

Baio’s admiration of Trump earned him the stage of the Republican National Convention where he urged, "Let's make America America again."  Like the president, Baio is a denizen of Twitter.

Once Baio sounded the alarm, his followers began to attack Snyder on Twitter, some of whom did not seem familiar with her standing as a celebrated children’s author. 

Then, Snyder fans and fellow writers fought back.

Snyder’s many defenders, some of whom are writers, deployed a lot of verbal firepower, leading a Baio fan on Twitter to advise: “Scott your getting sucked into the liberal abyss, block and move on.” 

The actor took that advice, blocking Snyder’s defenders in what became a badge of honor among them.

The local author who alerted me to the Twitter war made this point: “To me, this is an issue worth discussing because authors do a lot of school visits. Now we have parents who want to prevent their kids from hearing about books from authors with whom they disagree politically...In Laurel Snyder's case, she did say some arguably inflammatory stuff, like women who voted for Kemp need to be sent to ‘misogyny reprogramming centers.’" 

But should Snyder’s dismay on Twitter with Kemp’s election and her disappointment in the Georgia women who didn’t support Democrat Stacey Abrams have any bearing on her proven capabilities and appeal as a children’s author? She doesn’t bring up politics in her discussions and is popular with schools and kids. 

In fact, Baio’s private school she visited in California posted this glowing note on its Instagram account with a photo of Snyder talking to the kids: 

A big thank you to the wonderful Laurel Snyder - author of many acclaimed children’s books - for visiting Viewpoint today! Laurel spoke to the Primary and Lower School students about her journey toward becoming a writer of children’s books, and the importance of taking a break from everyday tech distractions so you can let your imagination blossom. The students loved hearing her tips on how to tap into their inner creativity, and were eager participants in her presentations! 

Many teachers tell me they are careful to keep their political views out of the classroom and off social media. Teachers maintain schools are hypersensitive now since America has become so polarized and politics has become bloodsport.

Your thoughts? 

Past AJC articles about author Laurel Snyder 

Laurel Snyder and her very big year 

How Anna Pavlova's life captured imagination of Atlanta children's book author twice  

Atlanta author gives child’s perspective to Passover Exodus story 

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About the Author

Maureen Downey
Maureen Downey
Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.