Critics of President Biden blasted him and the Justice Department for targeting parents who have been showing up angry at various school board meetings around the country and venting frustration at divisive critical race theory curriculum as well as filthy, perverted sexual content in books that are often accessed by younger grades.
On Monday the DoJ instructed the FBI to begin work on curbing “harassment” and “threats of violence” against school administrators after the department said the number of such incidents has risen in the past year. The move comes just a few days after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) pushed Biden to take action against the rise in “malice, violence, and threats,” which the association said could constitute “a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
“America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat. 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,” the letter from NSBA President Viola Garcia and NSBA interim Executive Director and CEO Chip Slaven noted.
“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 letter said.
Conservatives railed at the administration for turning the Justice Department loose on parents, some of whom have been disruptive at local school board meetings and have been arrested.
“Parents are speaking out against Critical Race Theory in schools. Now the Biden administration is cracking down on dissent,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) tweeted in response to the DOJ announcement.
“At his confirmation hearing, Merrick Garland promised not to follow the Obama model of weaponizing DOJ to target & persecute his political opponents,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said. “Just a few months in, he’s already breaking that promise.”
Blake Masters, a GOP candidate who is running for U.S. Senate in Arizona, stated, “It can happen here. It’s happening here. Your government is being weaponized against you.”
The NSBA, meanwhile, celebrated the Justice Department’s decision in calling for a crackdown on parents and citizens allegedly “intent on causing chaos and disrupting” school board meetings.
“The individuals who are intent on causing chaos and disrupting our schools — many of whom are not even connected to local schools — are drowning out the voices of parents who must be heard when it comes to decisions about their children’s education, health, and safety,” NSBA CEO Chip Slaven said in a statement.
“These acts of intimidation are also affecting educational services and school board governance. Some have even led to school lockdowns,” he added.
“The U.S. Department of Justice’s swift action in response to NSBA’s request is a strong message to individuals with violent intent who are focused on causing chaos, disrupting our public schools, and driving wedges between school boards and the parents, students, and communities they serve,” Slaven said.
“We need to get back to the work of meeting all students’ needs and making sure that each student is prepared for a successful future. That’s what school board members and parents care about.”