McConnell Demands Attorney General Explain DOJ Directive to Crack Down on Parent Protests

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Friday warned Attorney General Merrick Garland that his recent Justice Department memo directing federal law enforcement to crack down on parent protests at school board meetings could infringe upon parents’ constitutional rights.

The attorney general’s memo, which has been the center of much criticism since its release on Oct. 4, says there is a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.” It directs the FBI to work with state and local governments to discuss strategy to address the alleged threats.

The memo appears to be prompted by the National School Boards Association, which urged the Biden administration to invoke domestic terrorism laws to handle “angry mobs” of parents who seek to hold school officials accountable for the teaching of Marxist doctrines such as critical race theory (CRT) and COVID-19 restrictions placed on their children.

In his letter to Garland, McConnell said the “ominous rhetoric” used in the memo doesn’t reflect what has actually been happening at school board meetings across the United States.

“Parents absolutely should be telling their local schools what to teach. This is the very basis of representative government,” he wrote. “They do this both in elections and—as protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution—while petitioning their government for redress of grievance. Telling elected officials they’re wrong is democracy, not intimidation.”

McConell admitted that “some school board meetings have involved altercations with the police,” but those incidents were isolated and “dealt with effectively by local law enforcement.”

The senator then pointed to Virginia’s Loudoun County, where he said public officials has been making “shocking efforts” to intimidate parents who resist the incorporation of CRT in classrooms. The Loudon County prosecutor, he noted, was a member of a Facebook group that compiled a list of anti-CRT parents and “doxx” them.

“It’s exactly this kind of intimidation of private citizens by government officials that our federal civil rights laws were designed to prevent,” he said.

By GQ Pan

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