Moms for Liberty labeled “extremist group” by SPLC

June 19, 2023

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has designated Moms for Liberty, which advocates for more parental involvement in public schools, an extremist group over its public stances on several issues that run counter to those held by SPLC.

Moms for Liberty, a Melbourne, Florida-based organization founded in 2021 to oppose Covid-19 mask mandates, has grown into a national organization, including a chapter in Johnson County, Kansas.

It bills itself as: “Moms, Dads, Grands, Aunts, Uncles, and Friends,” with a stated mission of:

“Moms for Liberty is dedicated to fighting for the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.” 

Founders Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich are described on the group’s website as: “Moms on a mission to stoke the fires of liberty.  As former school board members, they witnessed how short-sighted and destructive policies directly hurt children and families. Now they are using their first-hand knowledge and experience to unite parents who are ready to fight those that stand in the way of liberty.”

“M4L” has scheduled a summit in Philadelphia this summer to train school board candidates and is expected to draw attention from presidential candidates. The Philadelphia Inquirer writes the organization’s focus has expanded beyond pandemic restrictions and mandates:

“..the group has since turned its attention to curriculum and library books — becoming a prominent voice in a conservative movement accusing schools of ideological overreach, including teaching about race, gender, and sexuality.”

That expansion of focus concerns the SPLC, which in recent years has also labeled as “extremists” such groups as the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, The Jewish Defense League, and The Nation of Islam. The SPLC’s accusation:

“Moms for Liberty and its nationwide chapters combat what they consider the “woke indoctrination” of children by advocating for book bans in school libraries and endorsing candidates for public office that align with the group’s views. They also use their multiple social media platforms to target teachers and school officials, advocate for the abolition of the Department of Education, advance a conspiracy propaganda, and spread hateful imagery and rhetoric against the LGBTQ community.”

We reached out to Brooke Loo, Chair of the Johnson County chapter, for comment on the SPLC action.  She referred us to a statement from co-founders Justice and Descovich:

“Two-thirds of Americans think the public education system is on the wrong track today. That is why our organization is devoted to empowering parents to be a part of their child’s public school education. That is our fundamental goal, which began just two years ago when teacher’s unions locked students out of schools during the pandemic.

Moms For Liberty chapters

“Empowering parents continues to be our mission today and that has fueled our organization’s growth – like wildfire to now 45 states in the country. 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.”