(WHTM) — Tuesday, May 16, is Primary Election Day in Pennsylvania, and at the top of the ballot are state judicial and county commissioner races.

But in communities across the Midstate and the Commonwealth, more people are running for school boards, the latest battleground in the culture wars. Successful candidates won’t get paychecks but they’ll likely get an earful.

Tensions have mounted and parents are taking their frustrations to school board meetings, and increasingly to the ballot box.

“People view schools and school districts as an area where the political wars need to be fought. And I don’t think that that’s what’s good for our kids,” said former Cumberland County Commissioner Rick Rovegno.

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Rovegno is now one of the candidates in Cumberland County running for a school board seat with eyes wide open.

“I’d like to connect, you know, to a little league baseball game. You know, it isn’t the kids that are the problem. It’s the parents in the stands, you know, that are the problem,” Rovegno said.

“People tell us we’re disgusting and we’re liars and we’re all these things we’re not. And it’s very frustrating,” said Mike Gossert, the incoming president of the State School Boards Association.

Gossert says the anger started with COVID-19 mask mandates and intensified over issues like critical race theory, transgender bathrooms, and graphic books.

“The people that are coming in now, while you can tell them the truth, they don’t believe the truth. They don’t want to believe the truth. They want to believe their reality and or some sort of form of the reality,” Gossert added.

State Rep. Barb Gleim has endorsed a slate of Carlisle School Board Candidates who will challenge the educational status quo as well as books. She proudly calls her group conservative.

“I have a bill right now in judiciary that says, you know, parents should be allowed to sue a school district if there’s pornography in the libraries,” Gleim said.

Her critics?

“They’ve been using the word extremist. It’s ridiculous. I mean, we’re all out there, you know, serving others. I’m not an extremist. They’re not extremists,” she added.

But one person’s pornography is another’s impactful first-person account of a childhood rape that might help other kids cope.

“I don’t want to co-parent with these people who have radically different standards for what’s acceptable for their children. They should not be imposing their standards for their children on my family,” Gleim said.

So lots of people are running for school boards. They won’t get paid. They might get insulted.

“It’s very difficult because I’m a human being. We are all human beings out there,” Gossert said.

“I will love a future where a school board meetings are boring again,” said Danielle Gross of Clearpoint Communications.

Being on a school board is one of the few positions that candidates can cross-file because it is technically considered non-partisan, for now.