Seventeen state attorneys general have sent a letter to President Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland over the Department Of Justice’s response against parents protesting their local school boards.
The uptick in backlash from parents this year has to commonly do with issues of either COVID restrictions in school districts, or the teaching of critical race theory in the school curriculum.
On Oct. 4, Merrick Garland released a memorandum stating: "The Justice Department will launch a series of additional efforts in the coming days designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel."
The response by the DOJ was spurred by an earlier letter sent by the National School Boards Association on Sept. 2 pleading for the Biden administration to use the weight of the federal government in retribution against these angry parents showing up to school board meetings.
The NSBA said Biden should use "the PATRIOT act" against parents on the grounds of it qualifying as "domestic terrorism."
This letter from the AGs notes the failings by the NSBA letter to supply examples of any "legitimate instance of violence," adding that each and every of the fifty states in the USA is competent enough to handle such cases if they ever appeared. All that the NSBA could provide were disorderly conduct matters.
(They do note, however, how the Biden administration has failed to bring the rioters from Summer 2020 to justice and worked to deter such behavior from a policy standpoint.)
What bothers these Attorneys General is how Merrick Garland’s DOJ amplified the hearsay of the NSBA letter.
"The October 4, 2021 Memorandum repeats the canard that ‘there has been a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff,’" they mention in bold.
When it comes to Garland’s memorandum, the attorneys general say Garland is working under a "flawed premise" and, by throwing down the gauntlet like his department has done, it’s an act of intimidation working against "the First Amendment rights of parents to address school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff on educational matters by seeking to criminalize lawful dissent and intimidate parents into silence."
The letter goes on to say that Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco failed to fully defend the veracity of the DOJ memo when scrutinized by Senators Hawley and Cotton.
The message is signed by the AGs of the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.
The letter from the attorneys general says the First Amendment rights are protected for the parents speaking at school board meetings, because it’s the education of their children they’re concerned about.
The issue of mask mandates in schools reached a new height last week when a Wyoming honor student ended up arrested over such a measure. When it comes to the general conduct of school boards, Loudoun County Schools faced controversy over their handling of a sexual assault situation in a school’s gender neutral bathroom.