Moms for Liberty came to Philadelphia in 2023 and lost afterwards

Indivisible Bucks hosting an anti-Moms for Liberty rally outside the Philadelphia Free Library on June 30, 2023. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

December 28, 2023

Moms for Liberty came to Philadelphia for their 2023 conference and was treated appropriately by the City of Brotherly Love. Afterwards, their candidates lost nearly two-thirds of their races. 

Pennsylvania became a flashpoint for school board races and the culture war issues that encapsulated them in 2023. 

Moms for Liberty, the right-wing extremist organization whose platform basically consists of banning books and marginalizing LGBTQ students, decided to host their annual conference in Philadelphia last July and found out what it meant to be welcomed by the City of Brotherly Love. 

Residents from Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs held three days of demonstrations outside the conference and months later they had the opportunity to vote Moms for Liberty endorsed candidates out of school boards across the region. 

The Keystone covered the demonstrations outside of the Moms for Liberty conference throughout that weekend and spoke with parents about Moms for Liberty harming the Central Bucks and Pennridge school districts. 

The two school districts became flashpoints over the past several years when the school boards passed book bans, marginalized LGBTQ students and teachers, banned transgender athletes from participating in sports or whitewashed their curriculum when teaching the history of slavery and the civil war. 

“In our school district, we’re really seeing several different outside influencers impacting education policy for our kids, and we’re seeing teachers, many parents and students’ needs and wants being pushed aside in favor of partisan policies that don’t reflect the local needs of the community,” Kate Nazemi, a parent living in the Central Bucks School District, told The Keystone at the time

Jane Cramer, who lives in the Pennridge School District, echoed the same sentiments. 

“Right now in Pennridge, our students have lost a lot of their rights. It’s been a slow process, but the past few months, it’s really escalated,” she said.

At the time, Pennridge hired Jordan Adams from Vermilion to implement a right-wing school curriculum that was developed by the conservative, Christian Hillsdale College.

“So now our curriculum is basically going to get the Floridia treatment. Any type of diversity within our curriculum is going to be taken out. Our teachers are going to be micromanaged. Our teachers, administrators and principals are leaving. It’s very concerning” Cramer added.

After Moms for Liberty left Philadelphia, the extremist group was dealt blistering defeats across the country. In the Philadelphia suburbs, Democrats running for school boards in Central Bucks and Pennridge school districts swept all their races defeating Moms for Liberty backed candidates. 

Nationally, the organization backed more than 130 candidates running for local officers in 2023 and lost nearly two-thirds of their races according to an analysis from Indivisible.

2023 ended on a high note when Karen Smith, the new school board president at Central Bucks School District, was sworn in using a stack of banned books. After she was sworn in, the school board voted to repeal the district’s policies banning books, marginalizing LGBTQ students and teachers and banning transgender athletes from sports, 





Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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