The battle between parents and school boards continues to heat up as the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it will get involved by investigating and prosecuting the “immediate threat” of domestic terrorism against school board members.
Days after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent a letter to the White House soliciting “the expertise and resources of the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service, and its National Threat Assessment Center regarding the level of risk to public schoolchildren, educators, board members, and facilities/campuses,” the DOJ is complying.
“Local school board members want to hear from their communities on important issues and that must be at the forefront of good school board governance and promotion of free speech. However, there also must be safeguards in place to protect public schools and dedicated education leaders as they do their jobs,” the NSBA wrote, stating that parents were coordinating across state lines and via online platforms, which, they claimed, justified federal involvement.
The letter claimed that school board members were facing violent threats due to mask mandates and also “because of propaganda purporting the false inclusion of critical race theory within classroom instruction and curricula. This propaganda continues despite the fact that critical race theory is not taught in public schools and remains a complex law school and graduate school subject well beyond the scope of a K-12 class.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland responded to the letter this week, saying, “Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values. Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety.”
Garland instructed the FBI to work with U.S. attorneys as well as local and state officials. He said that more measures would be announced and that the DOJ would “prosecute when appropriate.”
The backlash against this plan was immediate and continues to build. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted, “Attorney General Garland is weaponizing the DOJ by using the FBI to pursue concerned parents and silence them through intimidation. Florida will defend the free speech rights of its citizens and will not allow federal agents to squelch dissent.”
Investigative journalist Christopher F. Rufo, who has covered the parental pushback against the use of CRT, anti-racism, and other non-academic materials in K-12 schools, tweeted, “Teachers union president Randi Weingarten endorses mobilizing the FBI against parents who oppose critical race theory. The education unions want to reclassify dissent as ‘domestic terrorism’ and use the full power of the federal government to suppress your basic rights.”
Bob Woodson, founder of the Woodson Center and its 1776 Unites project, told Just the News that the DOJ is making it appear as if parents are “firebombing school board meetings.” He said, “It ought to be the parents that need protection” from intimidation by school boards and superintendents.
Elicia Brand, a parent from Loudoun County, said in an interview with Fox News that parents “owe this to our children” and generations after to “stand strong in their fight for freedom. I encourage all parents to stand strong in their fight for freedom and parental rights and never falter in the face of unjustified threats.”
She added, “I hope the proper authorities are used to find those who threaten violence or speak such hateful words, but they will not find them in the Loudoun County parent community, as we stand against that. Moms and Dads will stand strong in our faith of doing right and our peaceful mission to protect our children even more now that this letter has been released, as we are at the tipping point where the free America that we love can quickly be the America to be feared. We owe this to our children and the generations that follow.”
“Civic participation is not domestic terrorism,” tweeted Wenyuan Wu, executive director at Californians for Equal Rights Foundation. “Holding elected officials accountable is not a hate crime.”
The NSBA’s claim that school boards want to hear from members of the community and that it is propaganda to say that Critical Race Theory is taught in schools is peculiar considering the ongoing saga in Loudoun County, Virginia. The controversy started because of Loudoun County’s usage of curriculum based in Critical Race Theory and the suspension of a teacher for refusing to comply with the school’s policy on transgender pronouns.
The school board routinely made it difficult for parents and even teachers to speak out against the board’s policies. The NSBA mentions a particular Loudoun County school board meeting in which a man was arrested. That meeting was shut down by the school board ahead of schedule and declared an unlawful assembly by the sheriff’s office, leading to the arrest not because of violence, but because some attendees spoke out against the board’s policies and chanted, “Shame on you.”
A review of the threats that the NSBA mentions hardly amounts to domestic terrorism. There are a few examples of potentially threatening language and one alleged incident of a man punching a school board member, not exactly something the FBI needs to be involved in. In fact, it was Loudoun County teachers, staff, and a local prosecutor who compiled a list of parents who opposed Critical Race Theory in order to “infiltrate,” “expose them publicly,” and use hackers against them.
What’s happening here is projection. What schools and school boards have been doing, they are now accusing parents of because parents’ opposition to leftist dogma threatens their plans.
The DOJ is operating as an arm of left-wing activism to intimidate parents into submission. Keep in mind that U.S. Secretary of Education Michael Cardona recently refused to say that parents are the primary stakeholders in their children’s education. That’s because to the left, kids belong to the state, not to parents, and it is the government who controls what children learn.
No one wants school board members to be threatened or harmed, and local authorities should investigate such activity. Involving the DOJ, however, is a power move in order to label opposition to the hostile activities of school boards as domestic terrorism and to cover up that schools are, in fact, teaching critical race theory and other leftist propaganda. The left loves to weaponize federal law enforcement in local affairs for political purposes, and that is exactly what is happening in this situation.
At the same time, the DOJ doesn’t label Black Lives Matter or Antifa activities as domestic terrorism. These organizations are given a pass to riot and utilize social media to attack harmless groups such as churches and prayer rallies.
Perhaps federal law enforcement should be focusing on issues that actually threaten national security such as the crisis at the border, Chinese espionage, and foreign terrorists rather than surveilling, harassing, and prosecuting lower and middle class parents who don’t want their children brainwashed, abused, or exploited.
In late 2019, as the Democrats geared up to impeach him, President Trump tweeted out a meme of himself explaining what he believed was actually happening. It was dismissed by some as fearmongering at the time but now seems prescient: “In reality they’re not after me, they’re after you. I’m just in the way.”
The DOJ’s announcement this week sure makes it seem that the D.C. elite are, in fact, after the American people. How else can anyone explain the massive federal law enforcement apparatus being unleashed against parents of K-12 schoolchildren.