THE POLICE STATE COMES TO K-12 EDUCATION
In light of the Biden Administration’s unprecedented actions in recent days to silence parental dissent against what’s happening in America’s government schools, I’ve collected a number of news stories, documents, Tweets, and videos from the last day or two and I am publishing them all at once as a kind of multi-media essay.
I urge you to read this material and educate yourself on this very dangerous development. If this moral and political abomination is allowed to stand, the government of the United States will have taken one very large step toward becoming an authoritarian regime.
On September 30, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent a letter to the Biden administration in which it denounced the nationwide parental protests taking place at school board meetings against Critical Race Theory, Critical Gender Theory, pornography in the classroom, mask mandates, vaccine requirements, and remote learning. It turns out that parents all over the country (probably numbering in the millions) are upset about the indoctrination and censorship in America’s government schools. An army of moms and dads have been asserting their parental responsibilities and their constitutional rights by showing up to school board meetings and voicing—sometimes angrily—their contempt and disgust for school boards and teachers who are promoting and sanctioning ideas and ideologies opposed by the parents.
The NSBA letter (the official letter can be seen here) begins ominously by declaring that America’s government schools “are under an immediate threat” and that “immediate assistance is required to protect our students, school board members, and educators who are susceptible to acts of violence affecting interstate commerce because of threats to their districts, families, and personal safety.”
And exactly what “assistance” is the National School Boards Association asking for from the federal government?
“Now, we ask that the federal government investigate, intercept, and prevent the current threats and acts of violence against our public school officials through existing statutes, executive authority, interagency and intergovernmental task forces, and other extraordinary measures to ensure the safety of our children and educators, to protect interstate commerce, and to preserve public school infrastructure and campuses.”
Notice that NSBA letter has expanded its alleged target list from various school officials and educators to students! That’s right: the government school establishment now claims to be protecting students from their own parents. On top of that, America’s school board members believe that their “safety” is somehow connected to “interstate commerce”!!!
As with threats from Islamic terrorists, the NSBA is asking for assistance from the federal government in “monitoring the threat levels” from America’s moms. And what kind of assistance is the NSBA asking for?
NSBA specifically solicits the expertise and resources of the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service, and its National Threat Assessment Center regarding the level of risk to public school children, educators, board members, and facilities/campuses. We also request the assistance of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to intervene against threatening letters and cyberbullying attacks that have been transmitted to students, school board members, district administrators, and other educators.
As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes. As such, NSBA requests a joint expedited review by the U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, and Homeland Security, along with the appropriate training, coordination, investigations, and enforcement mechanisms from the FBI, including any technical assistance necessary from, and state and local coordination with, its National Security Branch and Counterterrorism Division, as well as any other federal agency with relevant jurisdictional authority and oversight. Additionally, NSBA requests that such review examine appropriate enforceable actions against these crimes and acts of violence under the Gun-Free School Zones Act, the PATRIOT Act in regards to domestic terrorism, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Violent Interference with Federally Protected Rights statute, the Conspiracy Against Rights statute, an Executive Order to enforce all applicable federal laws for the protection of students and public school district personnel, and any related measure. As the threats grow and news of extremist hate organizations showing up at school board meetings is being reported, this is a critical time for a proactive approach to deal with this difficult issue.
Let’s be clear about what this means: the NSBA letter is dog-whistling a message which says that protesting parents are engaged in “domestic terrorism and hate crimes” (including, presumably, against their own children), and so it is requesting that the Biden administration use the Departments of Justice, Education, and Homeland Security, as well as the FBI and its National Security Branch and Counterterrorism Division, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service against upset parents.
The NSBA letter also requests that America’s protesting parents be investigated for violations of anti-terror and hate crime laws, such as the Gun-Free School Zones Act, the Patriot Act, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Violent Interference with Federally Protected Rights statute, and the Conspiracy Against Rights statute.
In other words, the NSBA is 1) accusing parents whose only real crime is being concerned about the education of their children with being “domestic terrorists”; and, 2) it is calling on the federal government to use the full weight of its near-unlimited, arbitrary power to monitor, identify, arrest, and prosecute moms and dads protesting AGAINST the teaching of systemic racism (i.e., CRT), pornography in the classroom, and the unscientific mask mandates for children. The NSBA letter is saying, in effect, that complaining parents are the moral equivalent of jihadi terrorists, who are out to commit acts of violence against America’s school board members, its teachers, and, yes, even the children. As such, these parents should be treated as a national security threat, and they must be dealt with by all means necessary.
In a decent, free, and just society such a letter would be condemned and dismissed out of hand, but that is not the kind of society in which we live today. Rather than tossing the NSBA letter in the trash where it belongs, the Attorney General of the United States, Merrick Garland, read it and immediately ordered the FBI and America’s National Security State to mobilize its immense power against parents whose only real crime is to take seriously the education of their children.
I encourage you to read—and to read slowly—Garland’s official memorandum sent to the Director of the FBI and to various other law enforcement agencies, offices, and divisions.
In conjunction with Garland’s letter, the Department of Justice issued a press release in which it announced that the DOJ will be creating 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 . . .”
America’s security state has not been mobilized like this since 9-11. Recall, for instance, that the Justice Department’s National Security Division was created in 2005 to conduct “counterterrorism and counterespionage” operations against foreign enemies threatening the United States and its citizens, enemies such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS—ya know, the kind of individuals and organizations that commit mass murder as their day job.
The Biden Regime is now turning the full apparatus of America’s security state against ordinary American citizens who are challenging the hegemony of America’s Education-Industrial Complex. America’s dissenting parents who are unhappy with the substance and method by which their children are being taught are now to be designated and possibly prosecuted as domestic terrorists! To wit: the FBI and the National Security Division will now be in charge of monitoring school board meetings and parent organizations around the United States.
Have you ever wondered what the new Garland version of a “domestic terrorist” looks and sounds like? Here’s a textbook example:
This is what a domestic terrorist looks like?
You are criminalizing parenting, and you owe the people of America a swift apology.
— Asra Q. Nomani “Domestic Terrorist” (@AsraNomani) October 5, 2021
Should we not treat “domestic terrorists” in the same way that we treat international terrorists? (Asking for a friend.) Maybe Merrick Garland and the FBI should send this mom to Guantanamo Bay with all the other terrorists? And once there, maybe she should receive the full Khalid Sheikh Mohammed treatment. Alternatively, the government of the United States could go full 1984 in its treatment of domestic terrorists.
There are other serious problems with Garland’s Orwellian letter. The letter asserts, for instance, that “there has been a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.” Neither the NSBA nor the Justice Department have provided any credible or meaningful evidence to support this unfounded claim, nor does Garland’s passive-aggressive letter specify what it classifies as “criminal conduct” or “domestic terrorism.” (Not surprisingly, Garland’s letter neglects to mention that some school board members and the teachers’ unions have been harassing and threatening parents for months. See here, here, and here.) The simple fact of the matter is that virtually no violence has occurred at any school board meeting this year. The NSBA letter is a blood libel against America’s dissenting parents.
But even if it were true that there have been a few isolated threats of physical violence, how is this an issue for the FBI and the full apparatus of the National Security State rather than for local law enforcement?
But we all know what this is and is not about. It’s NOT about alleged threats of violence against school board members. It’s about targeting political opponents, criminalizing dissent, and weaponizing the FBI and the National Security State against parents who are protesting peacefully and lawfully against indoctrination in America’s government schools. It’s about turning complaining parents into domestic terrorists for the crime of being parents. It’s about turning America’s mothers into the legal equivalent of Islamic jihadists. It’s about intimidating parents. It’s about using the coercive force of the State against our First Amendment rights to free speech, to assemble peaceably, and to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” It’s about silencing parental opposition to the Education Establishment. Make no mistake about it, that’s what this about.
More fundamentally, what Garland’s letter is really saying is that the federal government is entirely responsible for the education of your children. You have no rights and no authority to determine the content of your child’s mind. That is for the government to determine. Your old-fashioned view that your children are actually your children is no longer relevant. If you think I’m exaggerating, you should listen to Melissa Harris-Perry talk about why your children are not your children:
Merrick Garland’s directive may very well be the single most disturbing abuse of government power in American history since the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law. Garland, a man once nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States, has corrupted the mission and power of the United States Department of Justice. He must be removed from office. He is a threat to both the lives and freedoms of ordinary Americans.
This must be opposed. In the meantime, WALK AWAY. Actually, RUN, as fast as you can.
MORE NEWS AND ANALYSIS ON THIS DEVELOPING STORY:
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY ON THE FBI’S POLICE-STATE TACTICS TO INTIMIDATE PARENTS: “The Biden Justice Department’s Lawless Threat against American Parents: Attorney General Garland is attempting to silence constitutionally protected complaints about school policy by raising the specter of government retaliation.”
Even as President Biden shrugged his shoulders over progressives’ harassment and intimidation of a sitting United States senator of his own party — a crime under Arizona law — Biden’s Justice Department was running roughshod over the First Amendment, threatening to investigate and prosecute parents for protesting against school boards and teachers who insist on indoctrinating children with the cultural Marxism beloved by Democrats.
On Monday, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memorandum in which he wailed about the “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.” Clearing his throat with an empty nod to the inconvenient fact that the Constitution protects “spirited debate,” Garland incorrectly — indeed, outrageously for someone of his experience as a Justice Department official and federal appellate judge — claimed that free-speech principles yield not only to “threats of violence” but also to “efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views” (at least, evidently, individuals not named Sinema or Manchin).
Garland knows this is dangerous nonsense. I personally know that he knows it. He was a high-ranking official in the Clinton Justice Department, which gave me a very hard time — though it ultimately relented — when I proposed charging a notorious terrorist with soliciting acts of violence and seditious conspiracy.
ROGER KIMBALL ON MERRICK GARLAND’S POLICE STATE TACTICS: “Is this the beginning of the end of the Biden administration?”
I wonder if Attorney General Merrick Garland has just supplied the proverbial straw that will send the camel that is the Biden administration crashing to the ground.
Garland was supposed to be a moderate. The Washington Compost assured its readers that there was a ‘98 percent probability that Merrick Garland is “in between” Ginsburg and Scalia. In other words, that he is comparatively moderate’. One of my friends even wrote that he was a ‘superb’ choice to be attorney general.
I wonder what he thinks now? Garland has been a willing collaborator with all the most egregious actions of the Biden administration. But on Monday October 4, he wrote a memo that will will go down infamy. I think it was Chris Rufo who first reported that Garland has instructed the FBI to mobilize against parents who oppose critical race theory in public schools, citing (completely unnamed) ‘threats’. The National School Boards Association had complained to the Biden administration, describing the protests as a ‘form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes’. In response, Garland outlined a ‘Partnership among federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement to address threats against school administrators, board members, teachers and staff.’ A ‘partnership among federal, state, local, tribal and territorial law enforcement’: think about that.
Again, no specific threats were adduced. What’s really at issue here, as Mary Chastain notes at Legal Insurrection, is criminalizing dissent. ‘Actually,’ she writes, ‘they want to figure out how to deal with parents who have the nerve to be involved in their child’s education.’ Like Biden facing resistance to his vaccine mandate, Garland finds his ‘patience wearing thin’ and orders the coercive apparatus of the state, including the FBI’s Criminal Division and National Security Division, to bear down on parents who have the temerity to question the racist indoctrination of their children.
Chastain quotes another LI commentator, Jeff Reynolds, who outlined the strategy:
‘The school board and superintendent organizations calling for federal law enforcement appear to be preemptively playing victim here instead of responding to a legitimate threat. Of course, this follows with the Biden administration’s focus on white supremacists as the single greatest terrorist threat the United States faces today. An overblown fear of domestic terrorists makes for a great diversion from the parents across the nation with legitimate questions about what their kids learn at these schools. The NSBA seems to have forgotten that, as elected officials, school board members are not supposed to be the bosses — the parents are.’
The reaction to Garland’s memo has been quick and furious. Will this episode be the turning point, the straw that broke the back of President Ice Cream? Coupled with Biden’s response to the harassment of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who was followed into a public bathroom and filmed by shouting activists, maybe so. That, Biden said, was ‘part of the process’. But parents opposing the insinuation of Marxoid ideas into school curricula: that must be met by nationalizing the police power of the state and stomping down on any resistance as if it were an instance of ‘domestic terrorism’.
PARENTS OF THE WORLD UNITE! You have nothing to lose but your children: “Parents take a stand against FBI crackdown on CRT opponents.”
“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,” Parents Defending Education said in a Monday statement.
Elicia Brand, a parent from Loudoun County, told Fox News that parents “owe this to our children” and generations after to “stand strong in their fight for freedom.”
“I encourage all parents to stand strong in their fight for freedom and parental rights and never falter in the face of unjustified threats,” she said.
THE FBI GOES TO SCHOOL AND GETS SCHOOLED. Senator Josh Hawley delivers brutal smackdown to a Department of “Justice” official and its ominous threat to American parents:
THE BIRTH OF THE AMERICAN POLICE STATE: “The Devolution of the DOJ: Merrick Garland’s focus on school board meetings over violent crime diminishes the department.”
Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice has discovered a new group that poses a pressing threat to the country’s safety and wellbeing.
Their potential crimes are heinous: Objecting to the propagation in our schools of critical race theory and anti-white racism.
How deep does this criminal behavior go? We can’t say. Announcing a “partnership among federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement to address threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff,” Garland offers no statistical evidence about the rising threat of infuriated parents. He makes no mention of any arrests. He doesn’t say whether a police department or state anywhere has asked for the federal government’s assistance in stopping “threats against public servants.”
Those are curious omissions, given that the FBI just last week released a trove of crime data detailing information about victims as well as the perpetrators and their motivations. It suggests the so-called threat is either an empty political concoction intended to mollify left-wing activists concerned that parents are wising up or, more troubling, that the Justice Department intends to conflate the protests of concerned parents with criminal behavior.
If Garland has heard that the country’s murder rate last year spiked nearly 30 percent nationwide—the largest one-year increase ever recorded, and presumably a development that falls within the Justice Department’s remit—he is choosing to focus his attention on matters he has deemed more important. To wit: Garland hasn’t sent any letters about assembling a task force to address the fact that this year’s homicide rate is on track to surpass 2020.
Though Garland pledged at his confirmation hearing to “fend off any effort by anyone to make prosecutions or investigations partisan or political in any way,” his letter this week demonstrates the acceleration of the Justice Department’s transformation into an unofficial wing of the Democratic Party.
STRAIGHT FROM INSTAPUNDIT: “IN THE BIZARRO WORLD OF THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION, EVERYONE IS A TERRORIST EXCEPT THE TERRORISTS”: “James Morrow: FBI ignores Antifa and Black Lives Matter while targeting parents.”
MESSING WITH MOMS IS NEVER—EVER—A GOOD IDEA: “EPIC: 427,000 Parents Respond to National School Board Association Labeling Them ‘Domestic Terrorists’.”
Last week, PJ Media covered the hysterical and threatening letter written by National School Boards Association (NSBA) president Viola Garcia. In the letter sent to none other than President Joe Biden, Garcia accused America’s concerned parents of threats, intimidation, and even “hate crimes” rising to the level of “domestic terrorism” for having the gall to speak up at their local school board meetings. The NSBA also requested “federal assistance to stop threats and acts of violence against school board members, school officials, and teachers.”
This week, however, the leaders of almost two dozen parent organizations fired back with a scathing letter of their own—and it is epic. The letter, written on behalf of members of several parent organizations, made clear that the NSBA’s claims of “hate” and “terrorism” were shameful:
“NSBA cites a tiny number of minor incidents in order to insinuate that parents who are criticizing and protesting the decisions of school boards are engaging in, or may be engaging in, “domestic terrorism and hate crimes.” NSBA even invokes the PATRIOT Act. 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. To equate parents with terrorists dishonors the thousands of victims of actual terrorism around the world. Have you no shame?”
The parent organizations pointed out that the NSBA’s call for the federal government to use its power against parents was in itself a menacing and “thinly veiled threat, intended to intimidate into silence and submission the very constituents that [the NSBA] members ostensibly represent.” I mean, what else would you call asking the president to sic the Department of Justice, the FBI, Homeland Security, the Secret Service Assessment Center, and the Postal Service on America’s parents?
[I]n a statement Tuesday, McCarthy accused Democrats of being guilty of their own “disturbing trend,” arguing that the new DOJ effort was an attempt to “silence parents from having a say in their own children’s education.”
“We saw it last week when Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate, Terry McAuliffe, said parents shouldn’t have a say in what their own children are taught and it continues this week with the Biden administration labeling parents with concerns and dissenting opinions as domestic terrorists,” McCarthy said.
The California Republican also argued that parents should be encouraged to participate in public school systems.
“Parents have a fundamental right to be lawfully involved in their children’s education,” McCarthy said. “We should encourage family participation in our school systems, not baselessly attack opposing views because some liberal education officials and special interest groups see it as a threat to the power they want to have over what children learn in America’s classrooms.”
PUTTING MERRICK GARLAND’S MEMORANDUM IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE. “Merrick Garland Prepares to March on Concord.”
WELL, WELL, WELL! Does Merrick Garland have a conflict of interest? “Conflict of interest mars Attorney General’s investigation of parents in school controversies.”
Attorney General Garland has a conflict of interest in bringing this investigation. Erika Sanzi of Parents Defending Education notes that “Parents are concerned over intrusive surveys and ‘screeners’ that ask 12-year-olds if they are pansexual or gender fluid. The surveys are often created/administered by” Panorama Education. “Merrick Garland’s daughter is married to the president and founder.” As PDE’s Asra Nomani observes, “In its survey @PanoramaEd asks students if they are ‘pansexual’ or ‘gender fluid.’” She argues that by investigating parents, “US Attorney General Merrick Garland is freezing parents protesting fraud and protecting his son in laws business interest.”
As Nomani notes, the Fairfax County Public Schools are reportedly “diverting COVID cash to @fcpsnews to data mine kids.” And because Attorney General Merrick Garland’s daughter is married to Panorama’s president, “Garland has a serious conflict of interest.”
IS THIS OK WITH YOU? I’m surprised that the Shakopee School Board only went so far as to get this single mother suspended from work without pay rather than just reporting her to the FBI—or maybe they did and she just hasn’t been arrested yet: “Shakopee School Board Chair Reported Single Mother to Employer for Criticizing the School Board.”