GOP demands DOJ answer questions about ‘chilling’ parents’ speech

By Bob Unruh

Parents at the meeting Aug. 10, 2021, of the Williamson School Board meeting (Video screenshot)

GOP members of Congress are demanding all 93 U.S. attorneys answer questions about how they are “chilling” parental desires to speak out on issues involving their local schools – even as Attorney General Merrick Garland has missed a congressional deadline to provide his own information.

The Washington Examiner has documented that House Republicans have written to each U.S. attorney seeking information about “what steps they’ve taken since Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo ordering them to help police parents angry at their local school boards.”

The issue has developed into a firestorm engulfing the nation because of the attacks on parents who largely have done nothing more than voice their objections to the extreme leftist agenda some school boards are adopting – involving transgender activism and Critical Race Theory ideology that instructs children all whites are racist.

There have been isolated cases of parents overreacting and shouting down board members during meetings, or warning that they could be recalled from office. Board members have responded with demands for police officers to throw those parents out of meetings entirely.

It hit a flashpoint because the National School Boards Association wrote the Biden administration asking officials to use the nation’s anti-terror laws against parents, and Garland immediately issued an order for U.S. attorneys to hold meetings on how to combat those parents.

The result was a chilling of parental expression and opinion across the country.

The Examiner explained Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan of the House Judiciary Committee sent the letters that were signed by almost 20 Republicans asking for details “on what actions the federal prosecutors had taken at the Biden attorney general’s direction.”

“We are continuing to investigate the troubling attempts by the Department of Justice and the White House to use the heavy hand of federal law enforcement to target concerned parents at local school board meetings and chill their protected First Amendment activity,” read this week’s letter.

The letter has created a backlash against the NSBA, because internal emails showed several board members objected, and multiple state organizations already have withdrawn their memberships from the national group.

The NSBA later apologized for the letter, but Garland maintained his concerns about parents.

Meanwhile, Fox News is reporting that Garland missed a deadline to provide Congress with more information.

He had claimed during a congressional hearing that the NSBA letter was not the only reason he had to dispatch his threat to parents, so members of Congress want to see what else there was.

He promised members of the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that the Department of Justice “would provide information that led Garland to issue his memo calling for DOJ intervention in matters related to actions and words directed toward school board officials,” Fox reported.

But by the deadline on Monday, he had failed to do that.

The request for Garland’s evidence was from Sens. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Mike Lee, R-Utah, Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and John Kennedy, R-La.

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