Parents across the nation are pushing back after the Biden administration responded favorably to a request by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) that the president use the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to silence parents opposed to policies implemented by local school boards. The NSBA wants parents who object to their agenda to be investigated by federal agents for potential charges of domestic terrorism or hate crimes.
School board meetings across the country have become raucous, with parents frustrated over remote learning, mask mandates, and curriculum that contradicts the values of many parents and families, such as CRT and radical sexual education.
The NSBA wants President Joe Biden to invoke the Patriot Act and hate crime legislation to go after parents who protest school board policies, Newsmax reports. School board members say they feel threatened and intimidated by parents.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is using the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute protesters at school board meetings. Garland directed the FBI and U.S. Attorneys to work with local law enforcement to investigate alleged threats against school board members, administrators, teachers, and staff.
These types of disturbances are not federal offenses, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board notes. Under the Constitution, police powers are under the jurisdiction of state governments and the localities to which they may delegate those powers. Garland is inserting himself not as a federal law enforcement authority but as a culture warrior, the Journal argues.
“Is there a culture-war issue that Merrick Garland won’t jump into?” the board writes. “We can’t think of one, and now the Attorney General is nosing the Justice Department into debates at local school boards. We hadn’t heard that an angry parent is the equivalent of ISIS.”
The school board meetings in question devolve into shouting and confrontations because parents and taxpayers are frustrated with the boards’ policies and decisions. They are required to send their children to school and forced to pay for it through their local property taxes and state taxes, yet their opinion is not respected by school boards, The Wall Street Journal notes.
Terri McAuliffe, the Democrat candidate for governor of Virginia, says parents should have no say in the teaching of their children.
“I’m not going to let parents come into schools and take books out and make their own decision,” McAuliffe said in a recent debate.. “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
Michelle Emerick, mother of two boys, says she thinks parents “absolutely” have the right to be involved in what and how their children are taught.
“I believe that parents are just frustrated at the current situation and that they have the right to speak about their concerns when it comes to their own children,” Emerick said. “It is a constitutional right to protest.”
A group of organizations issued a joint statement and letter addressed to the NSBA expressing disgust at the use of federal law enforcement in local matters such as school board meetings. The letter says parents involved in their children’s education are not terrorists. They are concerned parents and citizens, the letter states.
“The association of legitimate protest with terrorism and violence reveals both your contempt for parents and your unwillingness to understand and hear the sincere cries of parents on behalf of their children,” the letter reads. “To equate parents with terrorists dishonors the thousands of victims of actual terrorism around the world. Have you no shame?”
The letter notes the continued decline in test scores and student achievement across the nation. The trend was downward prior to the pandemic-related school closures and accelerated when teachers’ unions blocked reopening plans and left students without in-person learning for more than a year in some states.
“It is appalling that you would choose to threaten your fellow Americans for having the courage to hold you accountable for your failures,” the letter states.
Former teacher and mother of three Terri Cline says it sounds like the Biden administration is trying to weaponize the FBI against its political adversaries.
“I think somebody should check the constitution,” Cline said. “Parents should have the right to express their opinions in an open and safe atmosphere. Also, I thought school boards fell under the control of local governments and not the federal government.”
Rebecca Friedrichs, founder of For Kids and Country and a former teacher with 29 years of experience, says the NSBA is “in cahoots” with the teachers’ unions and they are weaponizing government agencies to attack parents.
“While the NSBA and teachers unions can twist Biden’s arm to defend them, the reality is parents across America are awakening to the communist takeover of our schools and are pushing back,” Friedrichs said in a press release. “No longer are parents ignorant of the fact their children are being indoctrinated by a racist, sexually charged, anti-American, anti-family, anti-decency agenda pushed by union-controlled school boards who claim to be public servants.”
“I think the president’s time and efforts would be better spent on border control and economic growth,” Cline said.