Attorney General Merck B. Garland sees a growing domestic threat to the country’s public schools, while other local board of education meetings are struggling to identify anything inferior to angry parents.
The Justice Department is under pressure to provide specific reasons for Mr. Garland’s October 4 hot contest. to advise Motivate the FBI to respond to the “alarming increase in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence” against school officials.
The only details about the incidents came from the National School Boards Association, which gave about a dozen or two dozen examples of disruptive behavior on September 29. Letter President Biden was urged to bring in the Fed and suggest that “the classification of these heinous acts could be equated with a form of domestic terrorism and hate crime.”
So far, however, Republican lawmakers have struggled to find domestic terrorists and perpetrators of hate crimes.
The NSBA letter cites only a few examples of alleged “extremism” across the country. However, most of the examples fall far short of the US government’s definition of domestic terrorism.
11 Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee ask Mr Garland explained in an October 7 letter “how none of this enhances the definition of criminal harassment.”
The curriculum refers to the postponement or adjournment of school board meetings due to noise from parents and community members objecting to the mask mandate or critical race theory.
There was an Illinois man. Arrested Last month, he allegedly killed a schoolteacher who tried to save him from a meeting. In Detroit, someone saluted a protest mask with a Nazi salute. An Ohio school board received a hate mail with the threat, “We’re coming after you.”
At a June 22 Chaos School Board meeting in Loudoun County, Virginia, Scott Smith was arrested and charged with manslaughter and disorderly conduct. They. told Correspondents this week said they were upset because their daughter was sexually assaulted in a school toilet on May 28, an incident that is now under investigation.
Certainly most of the treatment is objectionable, and in a handful of cases it is potentially criminal. He said only actual violence was cited in the Illinois conflict, despite the NSBA’s claim that “these threats and acts of violence have become more common.”
In addition, all incidents fall under the purview of local law enforcement agencies, not the FBI.
“While we agree that there should be security measures in place to protect public schools and education leaders as they do their job, the examples provided by the NSBA are often more noisy than individual schools. Specific acts of violence against board members. ” The House Republican letter was led by Colorado rapper Doug Lamborne.
In their letter, NSBA President Viola M. Garcia and Interim Executive Director Chip Sullivan insisted that the situation needed federal intervention, including a look at possible violations of the USA Patriot Act.
“Although local and state law enforcement agencies are working with public school officials in many communities to prevent further disruptions in education services and school district operations, law enforcement officials in some jurisdictions are working,” he said. Needs help
Mr Garland said federal resources would be used to discourage these threats, identify them when they occur and take legal action when appropriate.
The Justice Department did not respond to requests for details from the Washington Times about the threats, and any figures could give the department an increase in incidents.
Breaking I led a letter with my 12. ouse House GOP Joe Biden’s colleagues condemn his dictatorial crackdown on parents who express their First Amendment rights across the country. Thank you for the support of my colleagues on this important letter.
Read more pic.twitter.com/X9JRyDwaA4
– Rep. Doug Lamborn (epRepDLamborn) October 13, 2021.
School board meetings can be hot – ask anyone who has ever attended a public hearing on school closures or boundary changes – but a unique factor about recent clashes is that the issues are more national than local.
The NSBA warned of nationwide efforts to disrupt school districts, saying “groups are publishing watch lists against school boards and spreading false information that boards are adopting important race theory curricula.” And working to sustain online learning.
Of Association Linked to the “School Board Watch List”, a campaign launched by the conservative group Turning Point USA, which seeks to identify school districts across the country that promote left, racism and anti-American propaganda. They are abusing their power to move forward. ”
The watch list includes only “publicly available sourcing and content”, not “misinformation,” said Andrew Coliot, a spokesman for Turning Point USA.
“If the NSBA doesn’t like the fact that parents know about the radicals who run their child’s school, it’s a matter for the school boards, not the parents concerned or the TPUSA,” he said. ۔ ” Ironically, they are complaining to the government about the watch list of a private organization to put TPUSA and other concerned parents on the official watch list.
In its letter, the NSBA said that “acts of intimidation and violence” were forcing school board members to resign, and linked two instances, though one of them, the Wilson County School Board of Tennessee. Of June White, told Local shops where he wanted to spend more time with his family.
After Mr Garland issued his directive, Mr Sullivan said several school board members and education leaders had received death threats and that outsiders had been accused of disrupting meetings.
“People who intend to create chaos and disrupt our schools – many of whom are not even affiliated with local schools – are drowning out the voices of parents when it comes to their children’s education, health and safety. When it comes to decisions, they should be heard, Mr. Sullivan said in a press release on October 4.
Not all state teachers support the NSBA’s request for federal intervention.
Parents defended education. Arrived Of the 47 state school board associations affiliated with the NSBA, 15 have distanced themselves from the national effort: Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming
For example, the Delaware School Board Association stated that it had made it clear to the NSBA that it did not agree to send letters without prior consultation with state organizations, and that the DSBA itself Don’t let him be associated with it. Federal Joining Application
A statement on the parents’ defense education website said: “The DSBA does not agree in the strongest terms that parents and citizens protesting call school board meetings’ domestic terrorists’ and The protests are being likened to “hate crimes.”
Defending parents, Nicole Nellie, president of education, said the definition of “threats” and “harassment” had “changed from a real legal standard to an interpretation.”
“I have no doubt that this is also happening in districts across the country, where tough questions and kisses are being reported, which is laughable,” he said in an email.
The Senate was not buying the story of the terrorists as parents as Republicans, who said “the FBI should not be involved in ending and criminalizing the conversation under controversial actions.” Lawmakers also raised concerns about free speech.
The Senate GOP’s letter states that “heated contests reported between concerned parents and school boards often include speeches that are clearly protected by the First Amendment.” “Federal law enforcement muscles should never be used against protesting parents.”
As far as Senate Republicans are concerned, “these measures look a lot like civil disobedience in public policy protests, a strategy that is often accepted by Democrats as virtuous when they oppose policies.” ۔ ”
Among those celebrating the Justice Department’s move was Randy Wingerton, president of the American Federation of Teachers, who thanked him in a tweet.
Michael Watson, Research Director According to the Conservative Capital Research Center, the NSBA is primarily funded by member associations but receives five-figure donations in 2019 and 2020 from the country’s largest teachers’ union, the National Education Association. Done
Mr Watson said: “The NSBA and the Department of Justice have taken action other than the constitutionally safe speech of the teachers’ union critics, the critical race theory curriculum, and the highly restrictive COVID policies demanded by the unions. It’s hard to see that as a thing. ” Said in an October 7 post.
James Verney contributed to this report.