Attorney General Merrick Garland sparked major controversy for his announcement that the FBI would investigate parents who spoke out at school board meetings in recent months. Now, parents are pushing back.
“Dear @TheJusticeDept Merrick Garland and @FBI Director Christopher Wray,” Virginia mother and Parents Defending Education member Asra Nomani wrote on Twitter. “This is what a domestic terrorist looks like? You are criminalizing parenting, and you owe the people of America a swift apology.”
She went on to sign her tweet “‘Domestic Terorrist,’ Asra Nomani.”
In another tweet, Nomani wrote that the Attorney General has issues a “declaration of war” on parents by Merrick Garland.
Nomani is an author and former Wall Street Journal columnist. Her group, Parents Depending Education, has been researching how school boards across the country are weaving “woke” ideas concerning race and other topics into public school education.
Nomani is just one of many parents outraged over Garland’s decision. In recent months, parents across the country have begun protesting at school board meetings amid their concern about critical race theory making its way into school curriculums, as well as debates over transgender policies and COVID mandates.
“Attorney General Garland is weaponizing the DOJ by using the FBI to pursue concerned parents and silence them through intimidation,” said Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. “Florida will defend the free speech rights of its citizens and will not allow federal agents to squelch dissent.”
Lawmakers and nonprofits have also pushed back against Garland.
“This is a coordinated attempt to intimidate dissenting voices in the debates surrounding America’s underperforming K-12 education – and it will not succeed. We will not be silenced,” said Nomani’s group Parents Defending Education.
Garland argues the point of the program is to keep schools safer.
From the Department of Justice:
Citing an increase in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school board members, teachers and workers in our nation’s public schools, today Attorney General Merrick B. Garland directed the FBI and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to meet in the next 30 days with federal, state, Tribal, territorial and local law enforcement leaders to discuss strategies for addressing this disturbing trend. These sessions will open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment and response by law enforcement.
According to the Attorney General’s memorandum, the Justice Department will launch a series of additional efforts in the coming days designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel. Those efforts are expected to include the creation of a task force, consisting of representatives from the department’s Criminal Division, National Security Division, Civil Rights Division, the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, the FBI, the Community Relations Service and the Office of Justice Programs, to determine how federal enforcement tools can be used to prosecute these crimes, and ways to assist state, Tribal, territorial and local law enforcement where threats of violence may not constitute federal crimes.