Last week, Attorney General Garland said
something extraordinary. He said he would not withdraw his memo in
which he instructed the FBI to get involved with local school boards.
Why would the FBI be interested in parents
meeting with school boards?
If there is a reason for law enforcement
to be involved it’s probably something local law enforcement can handle.
So the direction will have the effect of
intimidating parents who speak out about their children’s education.
Make no mistake about it.
The Attorney General should withdraw that
Here are the facts:
On September 29th, the National School
Boards Association sent a letter to President Biden asking for help from
federal law enforcement against concerned parents who are getting involved at
local school board meetings. That letter compared parents to domestic
terrorists. It even suggested the PATRIOT
Act should be used against them.
On October 4th, Attorney General Garland
put out a memo telling the FBI and other parts of DOJ to work with local
governments on a supposed spike in harassment, intimidation and threats of
violence against local school boards.
The National Security Division is included
too, apparently because they deal with domestic terrorists and the PATRIOT Act.
Attorney General Garland has since
testified that he gave the Department of Justice this instruction because of
what he read in the National School Boards Association letter to President
Biden from just five days earlier. This is an extraordinary deployment of
federal law enforcement, when we have problems like a historic murder surge and
an open southern border.
What have we learned since then?
First, we learned the White House helped
write the original letter from the National School Boards Association to the
Next, we learned that state school board
associations had nothing to do with putting together that letter. Over 20 of
them have publicly disavowed it.
Think about that.
The White House helped write a letter to
itself comparing parents who love their kids to domestic terrorists—but the
actual members of the National School Boards Association had nothing to do with
On October 22nd, the National School
Boards Association apologized for its original letter that started this whole
mess and was never even authorized by its own board.
Meanwhile, 17 state attorneys general have
written to Attorney General Garland saying there has been no spike in violence
against local school boards.
So, the idea that parents pose any sort of
federal threat to local school boards is all just made up – what looks to be by
the White House, for political purposes.
Despite all that, the attorney general
says he will not change one thing about his memo telling the Department of
Justice to focus on local school boards.
That memo stands, as far as he’s concerned.
He says he doesn’t see how it could be
interpreted to mean the FBI will go after impassioned parents. He says there
are lines in Constitutional law that law enforcement can’t cross.
Well that’s true, but he’s been working with
the Constitution his entire adult life. However, most parents and most
school-board members aren’t experts in the First Amendment.
These parents are reading the attorney
general’s own words to mean that when they speak passionately at local school board
meetings, they could get in trouble with the feds.
So, parents are going to stop speaking up
at local school board meetings.
And that’s what’s known as a chilling
That might be what some at the White House
or the National School Boards Association wanted all along, but it’s a horrible
thing for democracy, and it should never happen in the United States of
Attorney General Garland has said how he
wanted to de-politicize the Department of Justice. Now he wants federal
prosecutors parsing what parents say to their local school board members.
This is because he thinks there’s a
disturbing spike in violence by parents, but he’s not actually sure if that’s
And this instruction is going to scare
parents out of speaking their minds at local school board meetings.
But the Attorney General won’t change his
instruction to the FBI.
Mr. Attorney General, parents are not
domestic terrorists, and you have only one reasonable choice. Withdraw your
memo and focus on the real threats. Stop being a pawn for the White House by
politicizing the Department of Justice.