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AG Garland orders coordinated crackdown against ‘threats’ to school boards by parents

Attorney General Merrick Garland
by WorldTribune Staff, October 6, 2021

Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered the FBI to begin investigating parents who confront school board administrators over Critical Race Theory and mask mandates.

Garland on Oct. 4 addressed a "partnership" involving "federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement" to address "threats" against educators who are using public schools for their own agendas.

"I am directing the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working with each United States attorney, to convene meetings with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial leaders in each federal judicial district within 30 days of the issuance of this memorandum," Garland wrote.

Garland's order comes after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) wrote a letter to Joe Biden urging his administration to use federal law enforcement agencies against parents and investigate them for “domestic terrorism and hate crime threats.”

Garland warned that while debate is protected under the Constitution, that protection does not extend to "efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views."

The Department of Justice, he said, will "prosecute" events it dislikes and further, "will announce a series of measures designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel."

Garland did not cite any instance of actual criminal activity at school board meetings.

"While there have been instances of protesters disrupting meetings and refusing to leave, the board members also have refused to allow people to express their views, have shut down meetings arbitrarily, have forged ahead with indoctrination programs to which parents object and refused to allow them to opt their own children out, and more," WND's Bob Unruh noted in an Oct. 5 analysis.

Nicole Neily, chief of Parents Defending Education, told the Daily Caller News Foundation, "It is shameful that activists are weaponizing the US Department of Justice against parents. This is a coordinated attempt to intimidate dissenting voices in the debates surrounding America’s underperforming K-12 education – and it will not succeed. We will not be silenced."

The Parents Defending Education Organization, which has 427,000 members from several parents organizations, released a joint letter to the NSBA. The letter, written on behalf of its members, made clear that the NSBA’s claims of “hate” and “terrorism” were shameful and it is a “thinly veiled threat, intended to intimidate into silence and submission the very constituents that your members ostensibly represent.”

An excerpt from the letter: "Citizens are angry that school boards and school officials around the country are restricting access to public meetings, limiting public comment, and in some cases conducting business via text messages in violation of state open meetings laws. They are angry that schools are charging them thousands of dollars in public records requests to view curriculum and training materials that impact their children and that should be open to the public by default. They are angry that pandemic-related learning losses have compounded the already-low reading, writing, and math proficiency rates in America’s schools. They are angry that rather than focusing on declining student achievement, large numbers of districts have chosen to fund, often with hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money, “social justice” and “diversity, equity, and inclusion” programs with finite resources.

"Your members refuse to listen to these concerns – and your association has chosen to smear their constituents rather than engage with them in good faith. It is appalling that you would choose to threaten your fellow Americans for having the courage to hold you accountable for your failures.

"We will not be bullied. We will not have our speech chilled. We have a constitutional right to petition our elected officials, and we will continue to do so.

"We ask that your organization – and your members – engage respectfully and constructively with the country’s parents, grandparents, and concerned citizens so that we might work together to address and improve the quality of America’s public education system for all children."

Garland's "mobilization of [the] FBI against parents is consistent with the complete weaponization of the federal government against ideological opponents," Rhode Island mother Nicole Solas, who is waging a public records battle with her school district over race-related curriculum, told Just the News.

"It ought to be the parents that need protection" from intimidation by school boards and superintendents, civil rights veteran Bob Woodson told Just the News. He cited Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe's recent statement that parents shouldn't tell schools what to teach.

"Nobody's making a case that lawlessness is being tolerated," said the founder of the Woodson Center and its 1776 Unites project, which advises school boards on history curricula and publishes its own lessons. The Department of Justice is creating the impression that parents are "firebombing school board meetings."

Former President Donald Trump told the John Solomon Reports podcast he was "somewhat surprised" by Garland's move, though "nothing surprises me too much anymore." He said parents were "very wounded by what's taken place by, in many cases, radical left school boards."

Meanwhile, the Conservative Treehouse reported that Garland's family is getting rich from selling Critical Race Theory materials to U.S. schools.

"Garland’s daughter is Rebecca Garland. In 2018 Rebecca Garland married Xan Tanner. Tanner is the current co-founder of a controversial education service company called Panorama Education. Panorama Education is the 'social learning' resource material provider to school districts and teachers that teach Critical Race Theory."

The report continued: "Yes, Merrick Garland’s daughter is married to the founder of the company who helps schools, teachers and staff deal with the modern challenges of 'systemic racism' by 'reimagining' the way to social learning 'through an equity lens'. As you have seen in the linguistic judo presented by the education material providers in the past, that’s exactly what CRT education materials are about.

"Last month Garland’s son-in-law raised money, at least $60 million, to expand their business operation."

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