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McCormick Defends Girls’ Sports, Confronts ‘Woke’ Education at Moms for Liberty Event

During a recent “fireside chat” with the Northhampton County chapter of Moms for Liberty, GOP U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick spoke as a dad about public policy issues like protecting girls-only sports and spaces in public schools.

“As the father of six daughters, this resonates with me so much. The very idea of allowing  biological males to compete with biological females is fundamentally unfair.

“It guts women’s sports,” McCormick went on. While Title IX protects girls and women’s sports and education, adding biological males “is part of a broader ideological shift.”

McCormick added that, as a parent, he’s concerned about content on topics like sex and gender being introduced to children too young to process it.

“Our schools are introducing transgender ideology to young children before they are old enough to form their own views as adults. And so I think it’s deeply troubling. It’s something that I would be completely opposed to as a senator…We need to get commonsense back.”

The Republican candidate also slammed his opponent, three-term Democrat Sen. Bob Casey Jr., for a letter Casey wrote last year claiming concerns about transgender athletes competing in college and high school sports are “overgeneralized.”

Also at the event was Betsy DeVos, who served as President Donald Trump’s secretary of education.

“This is an issue very timely because the rule the Biden administration has put forward that would extend the definition of gender to include gender identity, the downstream ramifications of that you can’t begin to really articulate all the different ways in which it would negatively impact everything in our culture which already has lots of challenges,” DeVos said.

She called the change, which is set to take effect in August, “fundamentally unfair” and urged people to contact their members of Congress to oppose this rule.

“Bob Casey had a chance to do the right thing and to vote against this,” said DeVos. “And to dismiss it and say it’s not a real problem is absolutely false.”

McCormick said decried the nation’s academic achievement gap compared to other advanced nations.

“We have lost progress and that’s while spending a trillion dollars over the last 50 years on the Department of Education,” he said.

Meanwhile, America is losing a generation to “woke” ideology.

“Just turn on the television and see those kids marching on campuses. They don’t know the difference between right and wrong, between good and evil. It’s not just antisemitism. It’s anti-Americanism. Only about a third of (college students) believe America is exceptional.”

“And my recollection of the history that I was taught is that by any measure, analytically, America has been an extraordinary success…liberating the world from the Nazis, winning the Cold War,” said McCormick. “And it’s had some dark chapters, dark chapters that we’ve overcome and we’re still overcoming. It’s imperfect. But it’s a great source of liberty and wealth for the world. That’s the history that’s unfortunately not being taught. It shows up in our recruiting numbers. It shows up on our campuses. And it’s because of, among other things, this ideology.”

McCormick, who grew up in Bloomsburg, noted that both his parents were teachers, that he went to public schools and that teachers and coaches were the most important influences on his life. A high school wrestler, he went to West Point, became an 82nd Airborne paratrooper, was a successful Pittsburgh businessman and a hedge fund CEO, before entering politics.

“If you have a generation that doesn’t really believe in American exceptionalism, who don’t understand our history, who don’t have the skills, the capabilities to take on this generation of challenges,” McCormick said.  “We are in a complicated world.  The rest of the world is not standing idle.  They’re moving forward.”

One “blessing” of COVID was that parents saw what their schools were teaching their kids and got more involved, he said. McCormick supports school choice.

“That opportunity will create better educational outcomes, that competition will create better opportunity, that competition will create more honesty.  That competition is the pathway to creating equal opportunity for all,” he said.

For DeVos, the big-picture problem is the power of government schools and teachers unions. “The system to which most kids are subjected to today is essentially a monopoly. Unless you have the resources to do something different, your children are headed by a monopolistic structure, and we see from the very top of it, which is the teachers’ union, the AFT and, the NEA, and all the allied organizations, have continued to influence down to the lowest level everything that has gone on in the system.”

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Heritage Backs Moms for Liberty, Sues FBI, Homeland for Documents

Parental rights activist group Moms for Liberty faces slurs by federal government agencies. But The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project is standing up for it.

Thursday, it filed a lawsuit on behalf of Moms for Liberty against the Biden administration, demanding the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) produce all records concerning the parental rights organization and the Biden administration’s coordination with the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

The lawsuit comes after the agencies refused to comply with the Oversight Project’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for those documents, Heritage officials said in a press release.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)  released a report that listed Moms for Liberty as an “extremist” coalition of “far-right antigovernment parents” who are known for “intimidating and harassing teachers and school officials.” It also claimed that Moms for Liberty is “one of the most recognized names in the anti-student inclusion movement,” citing the group’s opposition to critical race theory.

SPLC officials have visited the Biden White House many times, and media reports have highlighted concerning examples of federal law enforcement agencies relying on the SPLC’s “hate group” list to weaponize the federal government against American citizens.

“President Biden needs to leave the moms alone,” said Mike Howell, director of the Oversight Project at The Heritage Foundation. “But his crooked administration won’t because these parents are the only thing standing between the government and your children. We know that the radical Southern Poverty Law Center has targeted the patriots at Moms for Liberty, which resulted in an unhinged mob harassment campaign. We also know the Biden administration and their weaponized law enforcement agencies work closely with the Southern Poverty Law Center. In fact, our recent investigation discovered that SPLC employees visited the White House 11 times in the past three years, including six meetings with the president himself.

“Under our rights as American citizens, we demanded from these agencies all communications about Moms for Liberty. In clear violation of the law, these agencies are withholding this information. So now, we are fighting back for parents across the country and suing President Biden and his corrupt administration.”

Tiffany Justice, co-founder of Moms for Liberty, said, “Moms were harassed and targeted by their own federal government for speaking out during the COVID school shutdowns. The Department of Justice labeled parents of public-school kids’ domestic terrorists.’

“Then, the SPLC puts a target on our backs by falsely accusing us of antigovernment extremism,” said Justice. “Exercising our free speech rights to attend public school board meetings that decide how our public schools operate is not ‘extremism.’ It is American. We are very thankful the Heritage Foundation is standing with our moms and fighting to get the public information surrounding the Biden administration’s work with the SPLC. Why would they not comply with public records requests? What do they have to hide? We look forward to the truth coming to light.”

Moms for Liberty began in 2021 in response to COVID restrictions that forced many students to take classes online. Its members are parents, former school board members, and concerned citizens who educate and empower parents to fight for their rights. It has been active in school districts around the country, fighting against gender ideology and critical race theory.

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GIORDANO: Philly Needs More ‘Moms For Liberty’

It is rare for the local media, the mayor of Philadelphia, or everyday citizens to pay much attention to almost all conventions that come to Philadelphia. However, the convention last week of the Moms for Liberty group drew a ton of analysis and attention.

It also drew protesters who were determined to drive the group out of town. What is it about this growing group of women that prompted Mayor Jim Kenney to call them “problematic “and necessitated substantial numbers of Philadelphia police to surround their hotel to protect them?

The group was formed because of the frustration and anger many parents felt as their children were blocked from school due to COVID protocols that shut down schools for excessive periods. It also focused n concerns about the masking of children after schools reopened and the belief that the teachers’ unions were the powers behind these unscientific mandates.

Moms for  Liberty has taken off and now has many chapters and thousands of members. Vicki Flannery, the head of the Montgomery County chapter, told me they have 1,400 members, and I’ve been told the Bucks County chapter has even more. What is it that has these area suburban moms joining and pushing back against all comers?

The answer is simple. It’s their kids!

However, many area public officials, pundits, and progressive mobs have another answer. They say they’re haters! They claim the Moms are racist, homophobic, and enemies of free expression. They seem to think that parents that object to books in school and school libraries that are so graphic that they can’t be read at school board meetings are for book bans. In Philadelphia, they announced the Moms were defiling the values of Philadelphia by meeting at the Philadelphia Marriott and the Museum of The American Revolution. The museum was vandalized, and the Moms were greeted at the Marriott by a mob spewing profanities.

I think the mothers’ group has tapped into an issue that might play a big role in our area in the 2024 presidential race. Can swing voters in suburban Philadelphia be won over by a Republican candidate who emphasizes the rights of parents in all matters affecting their kids? For example, several suburban Philadelphia school districts will not inform parents if their child wants to be known as a different gender in school. The argument they seem to make is that this is a civil right of the child, and also, school officials feel that many parents may not react well to the news.

This stance is not a winner with many, many parents. In fact, many parents believe it is indefensible. However, it is part of the orthodoxy of growing numbers of progressives and substantial numbers of Democratic Party elected officials.

The moms’ group was also labeled racist because they objected to various forms of Critical Race Theory being taught to their kids. Philadelphia area historian groups huffed and puffed and attacked the Moms claiming they wanted to hide America’s true history. It seems to me that those groups don’t want to acknowledge the growth and evolution of America. They are stuck on grievances.

The crux of all this is that Moms for  Liberty represents traditional America, and various Philadelphia politicians and far-left groups not only reject that vision but regularly love to mock it. These New Age Philadelphia values have given us a progressive mayor who quit last July 4th, a police commissioner who can’t recruit cops or mitigate crime, and a district attorney who believes he is still a defense attorney.

Moms for  Liberty chose Philadelphia because they love our founding principles and wanted to be around them near our Independence Day. I  think many Philadelphians could learn something from them.

‘Moms for Liberty’ Rocks Cradle of Democracy

In a display of the political power of the parents’ rights issue,  five Republican presidential candidates—including former President Donald Trump — appeared at this weekend’s Moms for Liberty Joyful Warriors National Summit in Philadelphia.

The crowd of more than 650 at the Philadelphia Marriott cheered Gov. Ron DeSantis, who noted, “I think moms are the key political force for this 2024 cycle.”

Tia Bess, outreach director for Moms for Liberty, introduced DeSantis, describing how she fought to reopen Florida schools for her autistic son, who needed in-person learning.

“I made a decision to fight for my kid,” she said. “It was my governor who put the power back in the hands of the parents with a parental bill of rights…Gov. DeSantis reopened schools in the fall of 2020.”

DeSantis said Florida enacted a parents’ bill of rights because he understands schools should “support students and parents” not “supersede the rights of parents.”

“Parents have the fundamental right to direct the education and upbringing of their children…Every parent in this country should have the wherewithal to send their child to the school of their choice.”

He said his state has universal education savings accounts where the money follows the students in Florida. There are also 363,000 students in charter schools. He said Florida ranked third and fourth in the country in fourth-grade reading and math. Florida parents also have the right to know what curriculum is being taught.

DeSantis also refuted claims that keeping sexually explicit content out of school libraries is a “ban” and touted Florida’s efforts to force textbook companies to change “woke” textbooks “that were totally off their rocker.”

“We don’t subcontract our leadership out to woke corporations,” DeSantis said about Disney’s opposition to the ban on teaching young children about gender ideology. “We oppose the sexualization of children,” said DeSantis. “We will fight any institution seeking to rob our children of their innocence. On those principles, we will never compromise.”

Trump gave a wide-ranging speech, touching on parental rights and foreign policy and criticizing Biden’s “corruption” for taking “millions and millions of dollars from China.”

Moms for Liberty co-founder Tiffany Justice talks to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“He recently ordered his top political opponent arrested. That’s me,” said Trump.

“They’ve even targeted you, patriotic parents, at school board meetings,” he said while ignoring bad actors. “Antifa. BLM. Corrupt thugs, they don’t go after at all.”

“We have proven beyond all doubt there is no earthy force beyond the love of a mother for her children,” Trump said. Mothers across the country have “taught the radical left Marxists a lesson they’ll never forget: Don’t mess with America’s moms.”

And the “radical left slandered Moms for Liberty as a hate group,” he said. “These people are sick.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a progressive activist organization, included Moms For Liberty on their “Hate Map,” along with groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

Trump mentioned the border crisis, the Ukraine-Russia war, and Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. Trump predicted he would win suburban women, a key demographic because those women oppose endless wars.

“I will stop World War III,” Trump said.

Warrington Supervisor Vanessa Maurer and pro-life activist Kathy Barnette

“We will put parents first,” said Trump. “We will put children first. We will put America first again.”

Trump added, “We want our children to love America as much as we love America.”

If re-elected, he would send the responsibility for education back to the states and do away with diversity, equity, and inclusion mandates.

He also promised to ban “sexual mutilation in all 50 states,” a reference to performing permanent sex-change medical procedures on children.

“Instead of taking children to church, they’re taking them to drag shows,” he said. “We must take school boards back.”

He reminded the group that he appointed 300 federal judges and three U.S. Supreme Court justices. He praised the high court’s ruling Thursday overturning affirmative action and the landmark ruling last year overturning Roe v. Wade.

Former South Carolina governor and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said moms care about everything from crime to national security. She mentioned the country’s $32 trillion debt and blamed Republicans and Democrats for wasting money.

On education, she said, the country had problems with poor test scores before COVID.

Ambassador Nikki Haley

“You’ve got biological boys playing in girls’ sports,” she said. “This is one of the biggest women’s issues of our time…We have to fight for our girls.”

While massive protests predicted by opponents of parental rights failed to materialize, about 100 or so protesters gathered outside the venue during Trump’s speech. And vandals defaced the Museum of the American Revolution, where the Moms held their welcome dinner Thursday evening.

Warrington Township Supervisor Vanessa Maurer came to support Moms for Liberty when she heard about protests, even though she’s not a member.

“I like their message,” she said. “When I saw all the protests saying they wanted to shut down a ‘group of domestic terrorists,’ I thought, ‘I know a lot of these moms. This is ridiculous.’ If we don’t stand up and support these groups that are supporting our liberties and our freedoms, then it’s really going to be lost. We have to have people start speaking up and support people who are supporting our freedom of speech, our liberties, and our faith.”

Kathy Barnette, a pro-life activist who ran for Congress and the U.S. Senate, gave the invocation Friday morning.

“I’m a mom,” she said to DVJournal. “There is no more powerful group of people than moms from conception to whatever the natural end may be. There is no more powerful role for our nation than a mom who cares about her family, her children, and the kids the country they’re going to inherit. This is amazing to see moms take their role.”

“I homeschooled my kids,” she said. “Ten years ago, I saw what parents are seeing now…Today all these moms being involved is encouraging.”

Upset over school COVID lockdowns, Whitpain resident Maureen Bogat started the Montgomery County chapter of Moms for Liberty with Vicki Flannery.

Then parents saw what was being taught.

“My child was online one day, and she was told…because she was White, she was privileged. There was no such thing as reverse racism. I’m like, ‘What is this? Shut that off now. What is that garbage they’re teaching you? What does it have to do with school?’ It opened parents’ eyes.”

Tina Descovich, who founded Moms for Liberty with Tiffany Justice, said they both were school board members in Melbourne, Fla. and decided to launch the organization to help all moms advocate for their children because of what they’d learned “behind the education curtain.”

“We saw the authority and power that school boards have to impact student learning,” she said. “With the education crisis we have in America right now, with two-thirds of fourth graders not being able to read on grade level, with the lowest reading scores since the 1980s and the lowest math scores that have just come that are the lowest we’ve had recorded, we feel we need to get quality people serving on school boards so that we can improve educations.”

Asked about the recent brouhaha over one chapter’s inclusion of a quote from Hitler in their newsletter, she said, “It was a mom in a small local chapter. She put the quote in the newsletter as a warning about who controls education controls the country. She put it as a warning.”

Moms for Liberty has nearly 100,00 members with 195 chapters in 43 states, with Pennsylvania the second highest after Florida. There are chapters in 27 Pennsylvania counties, including Philadelphia, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Bucks Counties.

Far-Left Activists Label Moms for Liberty a ‘Hate Group,’ DelVal Moms React

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a far-left political organization, has drawn scorn for labeling Moms for Liberty and other parental rights organizations as “hate groups,” including them on the same list as neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan.

While often referenced in media reports as a neutral authority on hate crimes, the SPLC makes no secret of its left-of-center politics. In its report lumping parents protesting school board policies with the white supremacist militia movement, the SPLC made repeated partisan attacks against Republicans. It also claimed “backlash is a political strategy,” not a natural response from concerned parents. Among their list of indicators that Moms For Liberty is an “extremist group” is its support for shutting down the federal Department of Education, a policy embraced by millions of Americans and multiple presidential candidates every four years.

The SPLC report included 523 “hate groups” in its latest map, which includes 230 chapters of Moms for Liberty, No Left Turn in Education (based in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania), and other parents’ rights organizations. It also includes the Family Research Council and the Alliance Defending Freedom, both organizations promoting religious liberty and Christian beliefs, on the “hate groups” list.

In response, Moms for Liberty tweeted, “Last year, the Biden White House worked with the NSBA to label Parents Domestic Terrorists. Today, the SPLC labels our organization – an org full of moms who care about their kids – a Hate Group. This is a coordinated attempt to silence and suppress us.”

Tiffany Justice, a founder of Moms for Liberty, told DVJournal the SPLC’s actions are “absurd.”

“They put our picture next to the KKK? How ridiculous is that?”

Asked why the parents’ rights movement is facing so much backlash, Justice said it starts at the White House. “Look at what Joe Biden said. ‘There is no such thing as someone else’s child. Our nation’s children are all our children.’ Parents are saying, ‘No! They are my children.’ We have a right to oversee their upbringing. The culture war is in the classroom, parents are getting involved in protecting our kids, and now they’re fighting back.”

That’s not the only Biden connection. The Washington Free Beacon reports the author of the new SPLC report met with Biden’s National Security Council counterterrorism director John Picarelli at the White House earlier this year.

Locally, Moms For Liberty members are bewildered by the SPLC label.

“We are an organization of moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, concerned citizens who are fighting to have a say in our children’s public education,” said Vicki Flannery, founder of the Montgomery County chapter of Moms for Liberty, told DVJournal in a podcast interview Wednesday. “You would think everybody would be pro-parental rights,” said Flannery. “Everybody who’s a parent wants what’s best for their child. And it’s baffling that something so simple has become so complex.”

Flannery got involved in 2021 when she saw that her nieces and nephews in Florida did not have to wear masks at their elementary school, but her 3-year-old’s preschool in Pennsylvania required them.

Guy Ciarrocchi, a Republican who ran for Congress in Chester County last year, called it “yet another sad chapter in the history of the 2020s, where so much is upside-down. An organization created to fight back against actual hate desecrates its own history by labeling an organization of moms standing up for their own children as ‘hate.’ After years of being told that parents don’t care enough to get involved, these moms stand up and speak out for their own children—only to be vilified. Sad indeed.”

Jeremy Tedesco, Alliance Defending Freedom’s senior vice president of corporate engagement, said, “The Southern Poverty Law Center is a thoroughly discredited, blatantly partisan activist outfit known for sexism, racism, and condoning domestic terrorism. No one should be listening to the SPLC. It is preposterous to now see the SPLC target moms and dads who simply want to have a voice at school board meetings—this is an organization that has lost its way entirely.”

Hugh Brown, vice president of the American Life League, called the SPLC “a joke.”

“It’s something that began with genuine intent when there was a need to combat racism in the 50s, 60s, perhaps the 70s during the Civil Rights movement. And now, what you see is the perpetual hunt for the next created civil right. Because they have to justify their existence, they are very much just a left-wing, nonsensical group that takes its orders, more than likely, from Washington.”

“We saw the FBI, the Department of Justice target parents here in Virginia and other places, parents attending school board meetings,” said Brown. “So, they’re just following suit. Parents advocating for children is our God-given responsibility.”

Asked about accusations that the Moms for Liberty “hate teachers,” Flannery pushed back, saying her members just want “transparency in the curriculum. Let us know what’s happening. Please stop keeping things from us. We want to work with teachers. We want a good relationship with teachers. We love teachers. We appreciate them. We want to see public schools, and schools, in general, just focus on what kids need to succeed in their future. That is math, science, reading, writing, and things like that. The basics.”

When members talk at school board meetings, they are polite and smiling “joyful warriors,” said Flannery.

In fact, that’s the name of the organization’s national summit, being held later this month in Philadelphia. The scheduled speakers include Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and former President Donald Trump.

In a statement, Justice and fellow co-founder Tina Descovich noted, “Two-thirds of Americans think the public education system is on the wrong track today. Calling parents, who want to be a part of their child’s education, ‘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.”

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Lower Providence Supervisor Targets Moms for Liberty

Lower Providence Township Board of Supervisors Chair Cara Coless is under fire for Facebook posts demeaning the pro-parents’ group Moms for Liberty and urging boycotts on behalf of her politics.

According to its website, the Montgomery County Moms for Liberty “is dedicated to the survival of America by unifying, educating, and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.” They have been involved in the ongoing public policy debate over the balance between parents’ rights and the authority of school boards and education bureaucrats over children in public schools.

But according to Vicki Flannery, founder of the Montgomery County chapter of Moms for Liberty, opponents of their parental rights effort have started playing dirty. She told DVJournal that Coless is part of a Stop Moms for Liberty effort, and they have obtained a list of her members and were distributing it. They have home addresses and places of employment, as well.

“More than anything, I feel bad for my members,” said Flannery. “They’re doing what they feel is best and getting doxed. We’re all neighbors. We may not agree, but we don’t have to ruin people’s lives over it.”

Targeting businesses because the owners or employees support parent activism in public schools is particularly disturbing, Flannery said.

“They want to shut down a business for adults with special needs,” Flannery said. Another business, Local Tap in Lansdale, was targeted because it allows Moms for Liberty to meet there. Flannery pointed out that it has hosted events for Democrats, as well.

At the April Board of Supervisors meeting, two residents complained about Coless’ behavior and called on her to resign. Coless blamed someone else for one of the Facebook posts and said she had merely been tagged in it.

“He took it from a private Democratic group,” said Coless, whose term ends in 2025. “I am 100 percent supportive of free speech. And the freedom of comprehensive education that prepares all students to think critically about facts (and) prepares students no matter their religion, economic status, race, or gender. With that, I believe that Moms for Liberty, a group founded in Florida, supported by political PACs like the Heritage Foundation, is a danger to public education.

“This is still a free country, and I am well within my right as an elected (official) and as a citizen to inform a private Democratic group of a local meeting being held at a business in North Wales. Moms for Liberty is a danger to LGBTQ and transgender citizens…I did not ask for a mob. I did not ask to censor that organization or boycott, as has been termed…I will not be resigning. I will serve out my term.”

Flannery says she is concerned because Facebook posts that included Coless asked people to attend the Moms for Liberty meeting to cause “good trouble.” She was worried enough that she reported it to the police. In the end, no troublemakers came.

“I had to make a guest list (for the meeting),” said Flannery. “And people had to pay to come in.” The endorsed Republican candidates for commissioner, Tom DiBello and Liz Ferry, spoke to the group, along with school board candidates, she said.

Flannery praised Local Tap’s owner, Theresa Modestine, who “took a stand and refused to let us be shut down.”

Progressives have used similar tactics before to target members of the Trump administration, for example, and to try to intimidate U.S. Supreme Court justices at their homes after the Dobbs decision was leaked.

As for Coless, Flannery said, “I think public officials should be held to higher standards. She shared a screenshot of my meeting info.” And also put the tavern on the list of businesses not to patronize. “She has definitely failed her constituents by acting this way.”

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GRADY: Moms for Liberty’s Candidates Fight for Parents’ Rights

It has been quite a tumultuous three years, hasn’t it?

Overnight, our sons’ and daughters’ classrooms were brought into our homes, and parents noticed that a clearly discernible political ideology has been covertly ushered into America’s public school system. It was a shocking realization to most parents that local public schools have shifted focus away from the traditional model of fundamental education and have embraced developmentally inappropriate political ideologies that masquerade as “education” initiatives.

Subsequently, America’s education system was placed in the spotlight as many had come to the same conclusion: The left is purposefully diverting from the fundamentals of education in order to advance an educationally and psychologically detrimental political agenda onto America’s school children.

The mission of educational leadership is clear, the total transformation of our schools and ultimately our nation. Starting with the Department of Education and trickling down to local communities through the NEA, the AFT, and the PSEA. Their methods to achieve this transformation are simple yet effective: Steal independent thought, stifle free speech, and “educate” our children with divisive ideologies while muzzling those who disagree.

These organizations seed school board candidates with funds and manpower. They advocate for “educational” initiatives that undermine our children’s education, and mental health, and they are powerful. However, moms are unafraid powerhouses and educational leadership knows it; that’s why they shut us down, label us, dox us, and fight so hard to destroy those of us who call out their agenda.

Our courage to stand on our morals and speak up was contagious; overnight we had thousands of powerhouses supporting each other across the country. We came together on fundamental issues to protect our children, even if it’s “politically incorrect” or offends the mainstream narrative to do so. Moms for Liberty (M4L), formed out of necessity, is now educational leadership’s worst nightmare. M4L values the importance and fundamentals of the constitutional republic within which we live. M4L members believe that children should be educated in fundamental core subjects such as reading, writing, math, and science without being inundated with political rhetoric, age-inappropriate content, or political ideologies.

The groups against M4L are run by political operatives in the community, funded and organized by national progressive organizations. These groups are directly responsible for fomenting hate, and they need to be exposed for what they are: Partisan extremists.

They publicly spew intentionally negative and divisive messages about our members to their followers, often while hiding behind fake profiles. Our opponents decry our efforts as “nationalism” and “authoritarian.” M4L members stand against school initiatives that teach children to accept destructive content and contort their thinking towards false realities that, data suggests, are significantly contributing to the mental health decline of our children in public schools.

Our opposition attempts to paint M4L as “book banners” because we oppose the developmentally inappropriate sexualization of children, and we stand against inappropriate content being made available in public schools. They know how powerful moms truly are, especially here in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Teachers Union Conference recently featured a session on “Fighting Parental Rights Advocacy,” YES. FIGHTING. PARENTAL. RIGHTS. ADVOCACY.

Meanwhile, the PSEA held a “Combatting Moms for Liberty Attacks on our Teachers and our Schools” training. Clearly, an agenda has been set by Pennsylvania educational leadership: Wipe out Moms for Liberty. Pretty pathetic. The agenda pushers know that M4L is growing as a movement because their deception and destructive agenda are clear to the masses.

Subsequently, the volume of their hateful rhetoric against M4L has grown. Contrary to the deliberate misrepresentations, all 115 chapters of M4L are fighting to SAVE public education. As a result of their political agendas and abysmal policies, only 3 in 10 Pennsylvania eighth graders are proficient in math, an 11-percentage point decline from 2019, according to NAEP data.

Pennsylvania’s current school leadership is utterly failing our kids. School directors have a duty to obey and defend the U.S. and Pennsylvania constitutions while upholding the American way of life in the operation of our public schools. M4L Chester County School Board candidates will uphold such mandatory duties while creating academic excellence, ensuring the curriculum focuses on developing critical thinkers, innovators, and leaders, and improving math, reading, and writing proficiencies.

M4L Chester County candidates will stand for all students and community members and support the principles upon which this nation was founded, freedom and liberty. Our candidates will ensure transparency within the school districts. Our candidates will ensure that participation in programs, policies, or plans that will infringe one’s deeply held beliefs, or entangle any ideologies into the educational process, will not be blanketed upon students, staff, and administration.


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Counterpoint: Too Much Parental Involvement Hurts Kids

For an alternate viewpoint, see: Point: Education’s Future Depends on Parent Power

I have been a local school board member since my daughters, now 11th-graders, were in second grade. In that time, I have been involved in education policy discussions at the local, state and national levels on issues related to the rights of LGBTQ+ students, standardized testing and the privatization of public education. The rise of the so-called “parental rights” movement in public education has been one of the thorniest, most perplexing issues I have encountered.

There is no doubt that parents play a crucial role in the education of their children. Who would dare argue that they don’t? But in the face of the anti-Critical Race Theory, anti-LGBTQ+, anti-Social Emotional Learning, anti-Diversity Equity and Inclusion juggernaut unleashed by heavily funded, right-leaning astroturf parent groups such as Moms for Liberty, it has become imperative that we have an honest discussion about how much say parents should have in what is (or is not) taught in our public schools.

My district, unlike many, is racially, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse, with 31 languages spoken in the homes of our students. Educating such a diverse student body presents many challenges and requires a nuanced approach to policy and practice that ensures all students have equal opportunities to learn, thrive and grow. While it is easy for school leaders to say they embrace diversity, equity and inclusion, it’s far too challenging to implement policies promoting those principles.

I have spent my time on the school board helping to develop systems that ensure decisions are made collaboratively and with as many voices at the decision-making table as possible. This means making space not only for administrators, teachers, parents and students but also ensuring that historically marginalized groups are represented.

Decisions that affect students should never be based on the whims of those with the most privilege or power and indeed not on who has the loudest voice in the room.

However, the latter has become the hallmark of parental rights activists. They attend meeting after meeting, berating, shouting down, and even making death threats against school board members. During the pandemic, battles over masks erupted at podiums at far too many school board meetings across the country and quickly morphed into demands to ban books, censor curriculum and muzzle “woke” teachers that parents accused of “grooming” their children.

In the 2022 midterm elections, parental rights activists were on the ballot in numerous states. With the support and endorsement of Moms for Liberty, they ran campaigns to become school board members in districts in red, blue and purple states. Moms for Liberty operates county chapters that aim to serve as watchdogs “over all 13,000 school districts.” Chapters empower parents to “defend their parental rights” and “identify, recruit & train liberty-minded parents to run for school boards.”

The “anti-woke” agenda espoused by Moms for Liberty endorsed school board candidates had the greatest successes in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis proudly declared the state of being “where woke goes to die.” But in many other parts of the country, parental rights candidates lost their elections, with even conservative political operatives acknowledging that many of their campaigns were “too hyperbolic.”

Chaos has already erupted in several districts where they succeeded and won board majorities, with newly formed, inexperienced boards firing superintendents or forcing them to resign. One board voted to ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory just hours after being sworn in.

After a decade of experience as a school board member, there’s one thing I can say for sure — the majority of parents, teachers and community members do not respond well to instability and disruption in their local public schools. When school boards run amok and rash decisions make headlines, communities work quickly to restore calm. If parental rights school board majorities continue to govern recklessly, they will undoubtedly face a backlash from voters.

Creating and implementing sound school policies and practices that respect and affirm all students requires collaboration. It does not allow for the divisive, polarizing rhetoric and impetuous, rash decision-making that have become the calling cards of the so-called parental rights movement.