• Moms for Liberty was founded by two former school board members in 2021.
  • The conservative group has grown to over 95,000 members across 200 chapters in 37 states.
  • At its first national event, members strategized how to minimize the influence of teachers' unions. 

At its first national gathering on Friday, the conservative group Moms for Liberty made plans to elect its own candidates to school boards and minimize the influence of teachers' unions, according to NBC News.

The event in Tampa, Florida, drew 500 people, including Republican lawmakers, NBC News reported. A critical goal among parents at the summit was to win school board seats, according to Politico.

The group was founded by two former school board members, Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich, who, according to their website, are "dedicated to fighting for the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government."

The founders told NBC News the group's main issues are challenging mask mandates in schools, banning library books about gender identity, and limiting academic discourse on critical race theory. Last year, one of the group's chapters said it would offer $500 to anyone who caught teachers using critical race theory.

Co-founder Justice told NBC News, "it's been said we're some political powerhouse, but the truth of the matter is, you have a whole new segment of the American population engaging in politics now, and they weren't really political before."

Speakers at the summit criticized teaching techniques such as social-emotional learning, which teachers use to help children manage their feelings, saying it is a way for schools to incorporate communist ideals, NBC News reported. The outlet said the crowd cheered when an activist said many school mental health programs were "another form of indoctrination."

Florida Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Rick Scott and Gov. Ron DeSantis, were among the speakers. During his speech, DeSantis said "we have drawn a very clear line in the sand that says our school system is for educating kids, not indoctrinating kids."

DeSantis has aligned himself with the group, stating that school board positions "have a significant impact on families' lives." In March, DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education Act into law, also known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill because it limits teaching on sexual orientation.

The organization is registered as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization and therefore does not have to disclose its donors. Critics say the group has created divisions among parents and frightened educators out of the profession.

According to the Moms for Liberty Twitter page, the group has over 95,000 members across 200 chapters in 37 states.

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