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Meet the pro-public school activists who compare moms to the KKK

by

Daily Caller News Foundation

  • To combat pro-parental rights organizations, Defense of Democracy formed, a group that pushes for teachers’ control over school curriculum and LGBTQ material.
  • Defense for Democracy battles with Moms for Liberty, a coalition of parents fighting for transparency in the classroom, comparing the group to the Ku Klux Klan. 
  • “Parents asking questions about public school is allowed in a free country. It’s radical cancel culture that calls someone a racist ‘KKK’ member just because they care about what is happening in their kid’s classroom, funded by taxpayer money. We are for parental empowerment, plain and simple, and our members in 44 states represent every race, color, socio-economic background and sexual orientation. Hateful comments cannot change those facts,” Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich, Moms for Liberty co-founders, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

After grassroots parental rights organizations sprung up across the country demanding more involvement in their kids’ education, a new parents group arose in response to assert teachers’ control over the classroom and promote LGBTQ material, comparing their opponents to hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

In May 2022, Laura Leigh-Abby and Karen Svoboda founded Defense of Democracy to combat Moms for Liberty, a coalition of parents fighting for transparency, after seeing several of the group’s endorsed candidates running for school board on Christian messages, according to Vice. The group, with chapters in 48 states, labels itself as bipartisan in its effort to protect the civil rights of teachers, students and librarians from “hate groups” such as Moms for Liberty, according to the organization website.

“We treat Moms for Liberty like the KKK,” Karen Svoboda, co-founder of Defense of Democracy, told Vice. “If you knew that a KKK meeting was happening in a church down the street from your house, everyone would be alarmed, we would be picketing, we would be protesting, we’d have a petition. And that was exactly what we do.”

Throughout the nation organizations such as Moms for Liberty and Republican lawmakers are pushing to increase parental rights in education; the U.S. House of Representatives passed a piece of legislation in March which would require school districts to annually post their curriculum online, allowing parents to review the materials. In November 2022, Moms for Liberty endorsed more than 270 school board candidates and saw victories across states such as Indiana, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Ahead of the school board elections, Moms for Liberty-endorsed candidates encouraged voters to “vote like a mother” and to weigh which candidates would give them the most say in their child’s education.

Defense of Democracy told Vice it approaches Moms for Liberty as if they were the KKK, calling the group a “Christo-fascist organization” and “hate group” on their website.

“It’s alarming that instead of giving any clarification on this question, some immediately jump to name-calling and hatred,” Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich, Moms for Liberty co-founders, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Parents asking questions about public school is allowed in a free country. It’s radical cancel culture that calls someone a racist ‘KKK’ member just because they care about what is happening in their kid’s classroom, funded by taxpayer money. We are for parental empowerment, plain and simple, and our members in 44 states represent every race, color, socio-economic background and sexual orientation. Hateful comments cannot change those facts.”

After seeing the Moms for Liberty endorsed candidates posting signs reading “Christ is King,” Leigh-Abby put out her own signs up around her upstate New York town that read “teachers shouldn’t be preachers,” Vice reported. Leigh-Abby’s campaign against the Moms for Liberty candidates garnered a record number of votes that led to their defeat.

“So we immediately realized, okay, grassroots does work and we can get people to fight this,” Leigh-Abby told the outlet.

In Orange County, New York, a superintendent of a school district, resigned after Moms for Liberty demanded “Gender Queer,” a book that depicts illustrations of oral sex, be removed, according to the Daily Voice. Defense of Democracy defended the administrator who was criticized for reading “Pink Is For Boys,” a picture book about gender being non-binary, to kindergartners, according to The River, New York-based outlet, reported.

A student volunteer for Defense of Democracy told The River that the atmosphere of the school community changed as soon as Gender Queer was challenged in the district.

“We are devastated that this excellent administrator is gone, and furious that such an infantile and ludicrous group of people could have so easily created this kind of chaos in our community,” the group told the outlet.

The group says it is “committed to nonpartisanship” and that some of its most vocal members are considered “conservative” but “happen to know and love people in the BIPOC [black, indigenous, people of color] and LGBTQ+ communities,” the organization’s website stated. The organization does not advocate for what is taught in “individual classrooms” though “promoting a ‘religious worldview’ by a public school official is intolerable at any level.”

Members of the group are expected to “regularly advocate for marginalized communities,” the organization website showed. Defense of Democracy says it does not take stances on “specific books” and “gun safety” is an important aspect of its beliefs.

In June, Moms for Liberty is hosting a “National Summit” for parents fighting for their rights in the classroom held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, according to the group’s website. Since the announcement, Defense of Democracy started a petition on behalf of a parent volunteer, to convince the Marriott to oust Moms for Liberty from the venue.

As of May 23, 26,407 people have signed the petition including organizations such as “STOP Moms for Liberty,” “Loudoun 4 All,” a coalition of Virginia parents challenging “far-right extremist campaigns,” and “Illinois Families for Public Schools,” a group working against school vouchers.

“Please sign this petition to show LGBTQIA+ kids; kids who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC); kids of Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) descent; Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist kids; and kids of every religion, that you stand beside them, and that our parents and our residents know what is best for kids and what should be in our curriculum, not outsiders full of hatred and enmity toward anyone who is not just like them,” the petition stated.

On May 21, Defense of Democracy held their first ever “drag show fundraiser,” according to several tweets from the organization. The organization hosts “Protesting 101” every Monday where members learn “how to create a safe, legal, peaceful protest,” the website stated.

Defense of Democracy did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

1 Comment

  1. The radical left knows indoctrination of children is their ticket to controlling the laws of the land‼️Parents MUST continue the fight to take back control of our schools and remove radical leftist activists from our children’s educational space‼️

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