Several parents groups in New Jersey were dubbed “anti-government” by a nonprofit legal advocacy organization in its “year in hate and extremism” annual report.

Southern Poverty Law Center has added the New Jersey Project and New Jersey Parents Involved In Education, along with six local chapters of Moms for Liberty.

“Anti-government groups are part of the antidemocratic hard-right movement,” the SPLC defined the category in its 2023 report and corresponding map.

“They believe the federal government is tyrannical, and they traffic in conspiracy theories about an illegitimate government of leftist elites seeking a ‘New World Order,’” the center added.

SEE ALSO: NJ schools trans student policy attracts some Democrat attention

NJ extremist groups by SPLC (Canva, Townsquare Media)
(Canva, Townsquare Media)

SPLC spoke more specifically about parents’ rights groups in its report the previous year.

“Reactionary anti-student inclusion groups have been popping up from coast to coast, claiming to battle for parents’ rights. Just like their predecessors, their rhetoric takes on marked anti-LGBTQ, racist and nationalist themes, excluding from their parental concern large demographics segments of American society,” according to the SPLC 2022 report on Hate and Extremism.

Kids classroom books (Canva)
Kids in classroom, books (Canva)

Asked for comment on being included in the report, Moms for Liberty Morris County Chapter Chairperson Kristen Cobo said the group is “dedicated to educating and empowering parents to stand up for what’s best for their own children.”

“We denounce any hateful rhetoric and have been successful in advocating for age-appropriate, educationally suitable content in schools,” Cobo said in an email response to New Jersey 101.5.

“We encourage parents to get involved in local school boards and be an active part of the solution. We advocate for the due process clause of the 14th Amendment that protects the fundamental right of parents to direct the care, upbringing and education of their children.”

Moms for Liberty was founded in 2021 in Florida by two moms, Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich. It has grown in New Jersey to include chapters for at least six counties.

New Jersey Project was founded by three parents: Tara Edel, Eric Simkin, and Mike Gleisberg, NJ Spotlight reported last year.

There has also been a strong affiliation, including linked websites, between NJ Project and the Chaos and Control blog started by Nicole “Nik” Stouffer and Kristen Sinclair.

The third group included by the center, New Jersey Parents Involved In Education — NJPIE — has a Facebook page with 94 members as of June 2024.

“We are the New Jersey state coalition of USPIE. We are a national coalition of states attempting to abolish the US Dept. of Education,” according to the page, created in December 2015.


Each of the groups labeled as “anti-government” have taken repeated stances against the inclusion of gender identity and explicit LGBTQ references in school curricula.

While its members defend the missions of these NJ parent groups categorized negatively by the SPLC, content shared online could muddy the argument of denouncing “hateful rhetoric.”

Within the past month alone, Moms for Liberty co-founder Justice, followed by Moms for Liberty members, have shared social media content from at least one SPLC Designated Hate Group, the American College of Pediatricians

ACPeds was created long after the medically and scientifically reputable American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), with a strikingly similar name.

The American College of Pediatricians opposes adoption by LGBTQ couples, supports sexual orientation conversion therapy for gay youth and has legally filed an anti-abortion stance, as outlined by GLADD.

As for the SPLC annual report on extremist and hate groups, the center has received prominent criticism for “overcounting” such groups. Skeptics like Jesse Walker with the libertarian Reason magazine have said it intentionally inflates the annual map of extremism.

Other detractors, such as Nathan Robinson of Current Affairs, say that instead of a growing list of so-called hate groups, regardless of size, the center could better spend its money and time focusing on systemic injustices.

NJ schools that made the most calls to police

These are the 30 schools in New Jersey that made the most notifications to police during the 2022-23 school year for reasons including violence, weapons, vandalism, substances and harassment or bullying. The number of arrests made by police at the schools is also provided when applicable. The schools are listed by number of police calls from least to greatest. The data comes from the state Department of Education's annual School Performance Report.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

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