U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland just announced that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is taking steps to combat “threats of violence” against school officials — but the real target of the initiative appears to be the parents of American school-children.
Some are wondering, however, whether the effort is really aimed at silencing the left’s political opposition.
The new initiative was revealed in a memorandum that Garland sent to federal authorities on Monday.
“In recent months, there has been a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s public schools,” Garland claimed.
He continued: “While spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views.”
Accordingly, Garland said that “in the coming days, the Department will announce a series of measures designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel.”
As part of this initiative, Garland said that he has directed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to hold meetings with “federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders in each federal judicial district.” Garland claimed that the “meetings will facilitate the discussion of strategies for addressing [the] threats . . . and will open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response. ”
Garland issued this memorandum less than a week after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) wrote a letter to President Joe Biden urging his administration to address the exact same issue referred to by Garland.
“America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat,” the letter reads. “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.”
As Breitbart reports, neither Garland nor the NSBA gave examples of what Garland referred to as the “criminal conduct” that both implied is taking place.
What we do know, however, is that a significant number of parents are less than happy about the way their children are being educated and have responded by calling out education officials. Many parents, in particular, have been passionately protesting the teaching of Critical Race Theory in public schools. Others have also protested coronavirus restrictions.
The concern raised here is that Garland and the DOJ, at the behest of the NSBA and its ilk, have launched this initiative in an attempt to silence such opposition, which would be in line with the recent trend that we have seen of censoring conservative viewpoints. Time will tell whether this turns out to be the case.