Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis accused Attorney General Merrick Garland of “weaponizing” the Department of Justice through involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation to silence parents.
“Attorney General Garland is weaponizing the DOJ by using the FBI to pursue concerned parents and silence them through intimidation,” DeSantis tweeted Tuesday.
“Florida will defend the free speech rights of its citizens and will not allow federal agents to squelch dissent.”
The remarks followed a memorandum Garland sent to the FBI on Monday concerning threats against school personnel.
“In recent months, there has been a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence among school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s schools,” Garland wrote.
“The Department takes these incidents seriously and is committed to using its authority and resources to discourage these threats, identify them when they occur, and prosecute them when appropriate,” he added.
Last week, the National School Boards Association sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to treat parents who oppose mask mandates and the teaching of critical race theory as domestic terrorists. The NSBA began by asking “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.”
“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.”
The NSBA’s most concerning section noted, “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.”
“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.”
In other words, parents who resist the radical views the Biden administration is introducing to public schools could now be considered “extremists” and “domestic terrorists” who are committing “hate crimes” and are violating the Patriot Act. The good guys are now the bad guys as school boards become the victims and parents become the criminals.
Isn’t this what happens in oppressive communist nations? Threats are silenced and then removed. We can’t let that happen here. Hopefully more leaders step up and vow to fight this attempt to silence the voices of parents.