The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has labeled Moms for Liberty, a grassroots organization advocating for parents’ rights, as an “anti-government” and “extremist” group in their 2022 Year in Hate & Extremism report released Tuesday.
In a statement released alongside the report, a representative from SPLC stated that Moms for Liberty stood out among a dozen groups as the premier “anti-student inclusion” group. The SPLC report alleges that the mommy group employs tactics such as intimidation and harassment of teachers and school officials, targeting teachers’ unions, and supporting legislation that progressives don’t like.
SPLC listed the group’s alleged heinous activities:
They have publicly battled teachers’ unions, labeling them as “cartels” and “terrorist organizations.” They condemn corporations, like The Walt Disney Co., that are supportive of the LGBTQ community. They lobby for parental rights bills, such as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, and advocate for anti-critical race theory bills. These groups offer rewards for identifying teachers who violate newly enacted anti-critical race theory (CRT) laws and file complaints after passage of these bills.
Other very naughty behaviors alleged by the SPLC include… basic civic activities:
…[They] endorsed 270 school board candidates during the 2022 mid-term elections. It is their stated goal to have a chapter in all 3,000 U.S. counties and to “recruit moms to serve as watchdogs over all 13,000 school districts.”
During the mid-terms, Moms for Liberty claims to have “flipped” 17 school boards to parental rights-supportive majorities.
They also featured former Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos as a keynote speaker at a summit once, which is apparently how you get on a “watch list.”
Moms for Liberty, founded in January 2021 by Tina Descovich, Tiffany Justice, and Bridget Ziegler, represents concerned parents who are passionate about shaping their children’s education. The organization has grown into a national network with over 200 branches.
In response to the “extremism” label the nonprofit children’s advocacy group was awarded, Descovich and Justice wrote:
Name-calling parents who want to be a part of their child’s education as ‘hate groups’ or ‘bigoted’ just further exposes what this battle is all about: Who fundamentally gets to decide what is taught to our kids in school – parents or government employees?
We believe that parental rights do not stop at the classroom door and no amount of hate from groups like this is going to stop that.
Championing Parental Rights and Curriculum Content:
Moms for Liberty represents concerned parents who are passionate about shaping their children’s education. They initially emerged in response to COVID-19 restrictions in public schools but have since expanded their scope to safeguard parental rights in all aspects of education. Their goal is to empower parents to have a voice in the curriculum and policies that impact their children’s education.
Moms for Liberty is vocal about their opposition to left-wing curriculum content, such as polarizing discussions of race like Critical Race Theory and LGBTQ+-adjacent topics such as gender theory being taught to young students. They believe that controversial topics should be approached in a balanced and age-appropriate manner while allowing parents to guide these conversations at home. Their intent is not to erase history or stifle dialogue but to ensure that education systems respect diverse perspectives and include parental input.
Promoting Family Values and Conservative Principles
While Moms for Liberty emphasizes their non-partisanship, it is worth noting their members and shared conservative values align with the Republican party. Their work has received support from Republican leaders like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who champions the importance of parental involvement in shaping their children’s education. When Ziegler founded the group, her husband, Christian, was Vice Chairman of the Florida Republican Party. In 2021, he reportedly credited the group with getting “20- and 30-year-old females involved with the Republican party.”
By engaging young mothers, Moms for Liberty and their members play a valuable role in expanding conservative values and being involved in their local communities.
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Safeguarding Educational Systems
Moms for Liberty members actively participate in school board elections to promote policies aligned with their core missions and values. They seek to protect educational systems from ideological agendas that may infringe upon parents’ rights or undermine traditional family values. Moms for Liberty serves as a vital voice for parents who feel their concerns are overlooked or dismissed. And sometimes, getting representation means doing it yourself.
In last year’s elections, Gov. DeSantis made a groundbreaking endorsement of a slate of school board candidates, many of whom were members of Moms for Liberty and other parental groups.
Moms for Liberty represents a growing movement of parents who are passionate about their children’s education and the preservation of parental rights. While critics may label them as extremists, their efforts seek to empower parents, promote educational choice, and ensure that the curriculum aligns with the common values of American families.