U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland mobilizes FBI to investigate disgruntled parents after NSBA equates parents’ concerns to “domestic terrorism”

D.C. – The National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent a letter to President Biden last week urging him to investigate disgruntled parents who voice vehement frustration with their school board. 

In response, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland obeyed NSBA’s demands and directed the FBI and U.S. attorneys offices on Monday to hold meetings with federal, state and local law enforcement to strategize how school boards can legally deal with unhappy parents. 

NSBA’s letter comes after parents across the country have passionately objected to topics such as Critical Race Theory, gender fluidity and graphic reading materials, among other topics, being implemented into school curricula. 

Parents have often voiced their disapproval of course material at school board meetings where they are assumed to have a platform in which they can express disagreement. However, the NSBA feels the criticism of school boards’ actions should be restricted and equated the parents’ objections to “a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes” in their letter to Biden.

School board elections have also notoriously been conducted with low voter turnout, often having a mere 10% or less of eligible voters showing up to the ballot. Therefore, many parents are aggravated that the school board members are not chosen by the majority of voters, yet they still refuse to take parents’ concerns into consideration.

Many elected officials across the country have objected to Garland’s attempt to “weaponize” the DOJ and have sent letters to the NSBA, Biden, Garland and their corresponding state school boards associations conveying their disapproval.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt immediately responded to the news, blasting the directive as “outrageous” and “unconstitutional” in a letter to Garland. 

The NSBA referred to parents’ voiced concerns as “intimidation” tactics, but Schmitt contends the School Boards Association is actually the one using intimidation in their attempts to make parents feel unsafe to give their opinions at school board meetings.

“Joe Biden is weaponizing his DOJ and using the FBI to pursue parents advocating for their kids at school board meetings,” Schmitt said. “It’s meant to quell dissent and intimidate. It’s dangerous and they have no jurisdiction. Not in Missouri. Not in any state.”

Schmitt pointed out that the federal government does not have jurisdiction over local school issues and noted the potentially dangerous precedent this could set in regards to restricting citizens’ freedom of speech.

Similarly, Senate Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden sent a letter to the Missouri School Boards Association (MSBA) asking if they agree with NSBA’s assertion and the DOJ’s investigation into disgruntled parents.

“I want to know if [MSBA] think concerned Missouri parents should be charged as ‘domestic terrorists’ like their federal counterpart is pushing for,” Rowden said. “With the announcement yesterday that U.S. AG Merrick Garland is mobilizing the FBI per the NSBA’s recommendation, very simply – Missouri parents deserve to know who is fighting for them and fighting against them.

“And to be clear – violence is never acceptable,” Rowden continued. “But to generically attempt to classify protests of any kind as ‘domestic terrorism’ is an overt attempt to take away the First Amendment rights of those who disagree with you. This is unacceptable and un-American.”

The NSBA and DOJ are using legal tools such as the Patriot Act, which was passed in response to the 9/11 attacks, in their attempt to carry out investigations of parents. This has brought even more backlash against Garland and the DOJ as many believe unhappy parents should not be punished using the same laws that were implemented in response to the deadliest terrorist attack in history.

“Do you believe concerned parents in Missouri who are seeking the best education solutions for their kids should be punished with the same tools used to punish the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks, the deadliest act of terrorism every committed on American soil?” Rowden asked MSBA in his letter. 

The Heartlander reached out to the Missouri School Boards Association to ask if they agree with NSBA’s assertion that displeased parents should be investigated, but MSBA did not respond.

As mobilizing the FBI and DOJ to investigate issues concerning local school boards – a matter that is not under their jurisdiction – has already brought immense backlash, it’s safe to assume the criticism will continue until Garland rescinds the directive. However, given the Biden administration’s record of standing by controversial decisions no matter how widely they are criticized, it wouldn’t be a surprise for Garland to double down on his decision and defend it.

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