News and Analysis

Parental Rights Groups Now On ‘Hate Map’ With KKK, Southern Poverty Law Center Decides

Extremist groups include "antigovernment" groups.
Jennifer Pippin, president of the Indian River County chapter of Moms for freedom, attends Jacqueline Rosario's campaign event in Vero Beach, Florida on October 16, 2022. - Rosario's candidacy for re-election to a school board is supported by the controversial group "Moms for Liberty", which claims to defend the "rights of parents" but is accused by its critics of opposing LGBT rights. Long dormant and apolitical institutions, these councils, whose members are elected, have become real powder kegs with the politicization of subjects such as the discussion of gender or sexuality in schools, or the teaching of racism. Education has been at the heart of some mid-term elections. (Photo by Giorgio VIERA / AFP) (Photo by GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images)
GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) put several parental rights groups on its “hate map” alongside the likes of the Ku Klux Klan.

The SPLC, an uber-leftist civil rights watchdog, frequently brands conservative and Christian organizations “hate groups,” and this year that includes parental rights groups like Moms for Liberty and Parents Defending Education.

“Schools, especially, have been on the receiving end of ramped-up and coordinated hard-right attacks, frequently through the guise of ‘parents’ rights’ groups,” the SPLC said in its “The Year in Hate and Extremism” report for 2022, released on Tuesday.

Moms for Liberty is “at the forefront of this mobilization,” the SPLC said.

The list of “hate groups” includes 230 chapters of Moms for Liberty, 12 chapters of Parental Rights in Education, a group called No Left Turn in Education, and several chapters of another group called Parents Involved in Education.

The SPLC said extremist groups include “antigovernment” groups as well as “hate groups.”

The report lists 523 “hate groups” and 702 “antigovernment extremist groups,” a total of 1,225 active groups.

Moms for Liberty is listed on the hate map as an “antigovernment movement.”

“Hate groups hold beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics, while antigovernment groups see the federal government as an enemy of the people and promote baseless conspiracy theories,” the SPLC said.

Moms for Liberty “hijacks” school board meetings and prevents school officials from their normal proceedings, the report says.

Moms for Liberty was started in 2021 by two former school board members responding to COVID restrictions in schools. Since then, the group has expanded its fight to include issues like sexual content in curricula and school libraries, gender pronoun policies in schools, declining grades and test scores, and racial curriculum content with leftist overtones.

Members of Moms for Liberty often show up to school board meetings around the country, sometimes wearing matching t-shirts reading, “We do NOT CO-PARENT with the GOVERNMENT.”

School and teachers union officials have complained about Moms for Liberty chapters disrupting their ordinary course of business.

“I can be sitting in a meeting minding my own business, and they turn around and scream at me that I am a commie and teachers want to see all kids fail,” a teacher’s union president in Brevard County, Florida, told The Washington Post.

The SPLC compared Moms for Liberty with those who fought against school desegregation in the 1960s.


“Galvanizing supporters around supposed ‘parental rights’ and ‘family values’ is nothing new – similar rallying cries were adopted by those who opposed school desegregation during the civil rights movement and by the Moral Majority of the 1980s,” the SPLC said. “These political slogans have been used repeatedly because they are effective, framing the organizing of far-right activists as something done solely out of real concern for children.”

Moms for Liberty’s primary goal is to “fuel right-wing hysteria and to make the world a less comfortable or safe place for certain students,” especially black and LGBT students, the SPLC alleged.

The parental rights group opposes Critical Race Theory, but they are really targeting black history and culture, the SPLC alleged.

The SPLC also said that Moms for Liberty chapters have attacked the book “Gender Queer,” which includes pornographic cartoon illustrations of sex between two males with a sex toy,  as well as oral sex, masturbation, and other sexually explicit content.

The SPLC did not describe the issues that galvanized parental rights groups around the time the pandemic and school lockdowns began, such as pronoun policies and sexual curriculum content.

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