by Reagan Reese
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) added two prominent parental rights in education groups to its 2022 hate and extremist list on Tuesday.
The group lists 1,225 groups or organizations that Southern Poverty Law Center deemed hateful and against the government. Moms for Liberty, a coalition of parents fighting for transparency in education and Parents Defending Education (PDE) were noted as hateful and/or extremist.
“These groups were, in part, spurred by the right-wing backlash to COVID-19 public safety measures in schools,” the SPLC report stated. “But they have grown into an anti-student inclusion movement that targets any inclusive curriculum that contains discussions of race, discrimination and LGBTQ identities.”
Moms For Liberty has chapters across the country that advocate for transparency in their child’s education; the organization endorsed more than 270 school board candidates in November 2022 and saw victories across states such as Indiana, South Carolina and North Carolina.
Ahead of the election, Moms for Liberty encouraged voters to “vote like a mother” and to consider which candidates would give them the most say in their child’s education.
“At the forefront of this mobilization is Moms for Liberty, a Florida-based group with vast connections to the GOP that this year the SPLC designated as an extremist group,” the SPLC report stated. “They can be spotted at school board meetings across the country wearing shirts and carrying signs that declare, ‘We do not co-parent with the government.”
PDE is a national grassroots organization that advocates for parental rights and unearths gender identity and racial justice curricula in the classroom; the group filed a civil rights complaint to the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights in May alleging that a Missouri school district was hosting a race and sex based affinity group. In the same month, PDE filed a lawsuit against an Ohio school district over a policy that allegedly punishes students who intentionally “misgender” their peers.
“PDE’s work to combat discriminatory programs in school — from racially —segregated ‘affinity groups’ and ‘healing spaces’ to speech-chilling bias response programs to parental exclusion policies – speaks for itself,” Nicki Neily, president of PDE, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “It’s sad that the SPLC’s ever-expanding definition of ‘hate’ now means little more than ‘opinions which we dislike,’ because their self-serving clout-chasing undermines justice for actual victims of discrimination.”
Throughout the country, parents are pushing back on gender identity and social justice curricula being taught in schools; in Maryland, parents protested a school board that refused to let them opt their child out of lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation.
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Reagan Reese is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Moms for Liberty Supporters” by Moms for Liberty.