Parents Gather At Justice Department, Declare They’re ‘Not Domestic Terrorists’ After AG Garland Orders Department, FBI to Probe School Board ‘Threats’

Northern Virginia parents plan to protest in front of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Sunday, according to a flyer posted online.

A flyer reveals plans for a “Parents Are Not ‘Domestic Terrorists’ Rally Oct. 17. “Stand up, speak up, fight back!” the memo reads. “Bring friends, be heard … you can make a difference!”

News broke Wednesday that a Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) student was allegedly raped in a school bathroom in May by a male student who wore a skirt. The victim’s father, Scott Smith, was arrested at a LCPS school board meeting weeks later for resisting arrest, and the perpetrator – who was charged with two counts of forcible sodomy – allegedly assaulted another girl at the school he transferred to following the initial incident, Daily Wire reported.

Minutes before the Smith’s arrest, the superintendent stated that public concerns about transgender bathrooms were misplaced and claimed there was no record of any assault occurring in the district’s school bathrooms.

Loudoun County’s prosecutor, who had close ties to the LCPS school board and would have known about the incident, appeared in court personally to prosecute Smith for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, Daily Wire reported. The prosecutor had campaigned on a platform of ending “mass incarceration.”

In response to a Sept. 29 National School Boards Association letter which likened parents protesting at school board meetings to “domestic terrorists,” the Department of Justice announced plans for the FBI to cooperate with local law enforcement in every federal judicial district to address threats against school administrators and other school staff.

“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.

Earlier, Attorney General Merrick Garland, in response to the association’s letter, said so-called “threats” made by parents at increasingly rowdy school board meetings, in which they have been pushing back on controversial and divisive curriculum such as critical race theory, as well as sexually explicit books in school libraries, would not be tolerated.

The decision to assign the DOJ and FBI to look into the parental pushback has drawn plenty of criticism.

Ethics and Public Policy Center senior fellow Roger Severino told the DCNF that such behavior is “prosecutorial abuse.”

“To unleash the DOJ on concerned parents and pro-lifers without cause is prosecutorial abuse in the name of politics,” said Severino, the former director of the Office of Civil Rights under President Donald Trump’s administration.

“If Garland truly cares about threats in education, he should investigate woke college mobs who routinely physically intimidate and threaten speakers who dare to present a conservative point of view on campus,” Severino added.

“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.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation contributed to this story.