School Board members are passing and enforcing rules that affect children, rules that are going to be unpopular and create a heated response and opposition by parents. Unfortunately, we don’t live in your grandparents America anymore, free speech is no longer an option for parents to express their anger – keep quiet, let the government, and local officials do what they will with your kids, say anything that hurts someone’s feelings or intimidates them and you’ll be investigated by the FBI… its not your grandparents America anymore.
A recent DOJ memorandum from Attorney General Merrick Garland calling for the FBI to monitor threats, intimidation, and violence at local school board meetings is, in one respect, drawing praise from opponents. It reveals, they say, that Garland is not the moderate jurist President Obama once nominated to the Supreme Court, but rather an extremist whose agenda threatens bedrock principles of free expression. Doug McKelway explains what’s in Garland’s memo, and why so many are concerned about it.
Sen. Josh Hawley on Tuesday tore into Attorney General Merrick Garland over a memo he issued Monday night directing the FBI and other Department of Justice entities to focus on identifying and prosecuting threats of violence and harassment of school officials and board members.
The memo came after months of school board meetings nationwide that often featured contentious exchanges between officials and parents who oppose controversial policies like mask mandates, teaching critical race theory and more.
In some cases, parents have been kicked out of meetings for refusing to wear masks, leading to allegations that school boards were trying to silence dissent. In one specific instance, an entire school board was forced to resign after hot mic comments showed board members mocking concerned parents.
“All around the country, Americans are speaking out against the radical racist ideology sometimes called ‘critical race theory.'” Hawley wrote in a letter to Garland. “Americans have responded to this radical ideology by winning elections for local school boards and protesting peacefully at school board meetings. Yet your memo yesterday to the FBI and local U.S. Attorneys ignored all of this and warned of an insurgence of ‘threats of violence’ and ‘efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views.’”
“I certainly share your view that threats of violence have no place in this country, but the backdrop of your memo strongly suggests that your concern is not violence, but democratic pushback against critical race theory,” the senator continued.
Hawley said Garland and the DOJ should stay out of “regular democratic activity” and that it “provided no evidence of actual, genuine threats of violence.” Instead, Hawley alleged, the DOJ is simply aiming to paint opponents of critical race theory as “enemies of the republic.”
Hawley’s letter asks Garland’s office to provide him with any materials the DOJ plans to disseminate in connection with the attorney general’s memo, and a list of who was consulted as the memo was prepared.
Garland’s memo came shortly after a letter from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) to President Biden that said some rhetorical clashes between school boards and parents are going too far and amount to threats against board members.
“The National School Boards Association (NSBA) respectfully asks for federal law enforcement and other assistance to deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation,” it said in the letter last week.