It's been several weeks since Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a controversial memorandum that many see as a move to intimidate parents who are concerned about what is going on in their local school districts. Despite request after request from Congressional Republicans, Garland and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have declined to provide documentation about the role the National School Boards Association (NSBA) played in the DOJ's directive. The Washington Examiner reports:
Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, has fired off letter after letter to DOJ elements over the past couple of weeks, calling on them to hand over details about how they have carried out Garland’s early October directive.
The attorney general revealed last month that the DOJ and the White House communicated about the September NSBA letter just before he issued his memo , with the NSBA letter urging the DOJ to look into deploying the Patriot Act. Garland’s memo directed the FBI “to convene meetings" with law enforcement "in each federal judicial district” to help “open dedicated lines of communication" for threat reporting.
“We want the memo rescinded,” Jordan told the Washington Examiner in a recent interview. “I think the only appropriate thing, the only fair thing, the only smart thing, the only logical thing, whatever words you want, is for Merrick Garland to say, ‘We are not charging these 94 U.S. attorney districts and the U.S. attorneys to work with law enforcement there to set up these dedicated lines of threat reporting’ — these snitch lines.”
Garland and the DOJ's willingness to double down on their memorandum is shocking, especially considering the NSBA itself rescinded its letter –– the very letter the DOJ allegedly relied upon to craft its own memo. States across the country are also taking steps to distance themselves from the NSBA.
We previously noted that the DOJ memorandum has already empowered at least one U.S. Attorney to target parents who oppose the actions of school boards, but concerted efforts to intimidate parents were already a problem. The Daily Caller reports:
An Arizona school board coordinated with the Chandler Police Department to gather information on concerned parent groups and arrest unmasked parents at school board meetings.
The Chandler Unified School District’s (CUSD) Director of School Safety was in communication with Sergeant Greg Howarth, a Chandler police officer, in April and May, as parents were protesting mandatory masking in schools, according to emails obtained by the blog “Not in our Schools.” Howarth was tasked with aggregating intelligence on local concerned parent groups, all of whom are adamantly opposed to Critical Race Theory-inspired curriculum being taught in the district.
As the DOJ continues to back radical school boards, how much bolder will the targeting of concerned parents become?
Attorney General Garland and the DOJ should be honest with the American people and answer Congressional Republicans' questions about their coordination with the NSBA on the school boards memo.