ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Moms for Liberty has been labeled as an "antigovernment extremist" group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The organization was founded in 2021 by former Florida school board members Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich. Bridget Ziegler, who is currently a Sarasota County school board member, was also a co-founder but has since left the group, SPLC said.
The non-profit group was originally formed during the height of COVID-19 decrying many of the safety measures implemented in school classrooms, especially mask mandates.
"Moms for Liberty is a far-right organization that engages in anti-student inclusion activities and self-identifies as part of the modern parental rights movement," the SPLC said. "The group grew out of opposition to public health regulations for COVID-19, opposes LGBTQ+ and racially inclusive school curriculum, and has advocated books bans."
Since then, the group has spread nationwide and has local chapters throughout Florida and across the U.S. Prominent GOP political figures, including former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, have spoken at the group's summit. GOP Sen. Rick Scott of Florida has also been a supporter of the group.
"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," the SPLC said in part. "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."
On its website, Moms for Liberty states its mission as the following: "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."
However, the SPLC says that while its website "appears to align" with the aforementioned mission, Moms for Liberty's "social media accounts and real-world activity of the national organization and its chapters reflect views and actions that are antigovernment and conspiracy propagandist, anti-LGBTQ and anti-gender identity, and anti-inclusive curriculum."
Moms for Liberty, highlighting itself as an "org full of moms who care about their kids," tweeted Wednesday that the SPLC's label is a "coordinated attempt to silence and suppress us."