Parents in two states are pushing back against U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s recent actions to direct federal law enforcement towards what has been described as “threats” to school boards.
Garland’s action came after a nationwide rise in parents speaking out at school board meetings against critical race theory, COVID-related mandates, and other matters.
Garland and the mainstream media have characterized the increase in attention to what schools are doing as nefarious, referring to increases in “threats” against school board members and the like.
Parents in the Loudoun County, Virginia school district and Saline Area School District near Ann Arbor, Michigan have filed a lawsuit against Garland for what they say is “trying to criminalize free speech.”
A group of parents in Michigan and Virginia accused AG Merrick Garland in a federal lawsuit Tuesday of trying to "criminalize" free speech by directing law enforcement to review threats against school staff.https://t.co/G7c2VhqYqO
— Axios (@axios) October 21, 2021
This Is What Pushback Looks Like
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of parents in the districts by the American Freedom Law Center, claims that the policy put out by Garland is causing “irreparable harm, including the loss of their rights to free speech and expressive association.”
The suit also asserts that parents in both districts, “want to speak up … against the divisive, harmful, immoral, destructive, and racist agenda of the ‘progressive’ Left.”
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Essentially, the parents argue that using federal law enforcement agents against regular parents is little more than a veiled threat, and has led to a “chilling effect” that makes people afraid to exercise their rights.
Loudoun County school district has been in the national spotlight since May, when the district insisted it was not teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT), but instead had instituted an “equity initiative.” Many parents voiced concern that they were merely playing a semantics game, calling CRT by another name.
A-General Garland is improperly chilling Free speech with his attack on parents, according to Alan Dershowitz.
Garland essentially threatened parents who oppose local school boards', such as promoting transgender ideology and Critical Race Theory with FBI investigations.
— Sue Ellen (@EstergrenSue) October 12, 2021
Where It Began
The actions leading up to the lawsuit filed by parents began when a group called the National School Boards Association sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting an investigation into parents who were speaking out at their local school board meetings over such things as COVID restrictions and the teaching of CRT.
The group wanted to know if confrontations and “attacks” on board members violated the Patriot Act. The NSBA continued, suggesting that the behavior of parents might be the, “…the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
Attorney General Garland, using vague notions of an “increase in threats,” then issued a memorandum on Oct. 4 directing the FBI and local law enforcement officials to address any parents that that may be seen as “posing a threat” to board members, teachers, or other school officials.
— Connor Boyack 📚 (@cboyack) October 16, 2021
Problems In Loudoun County Getting Bigger
Currently, the Loudoun County school district is under fire for allegations that a male student – described in many outlets as “gender fluid” – sexually assaulted a ninth-grade girl in the girls’ bathroom at a school in the district, and then transferred the student to another school where another assault allegedly took place.
The case finally gained attention when the father of one of the victims was forcibly arrested by police at a school board meeting, allegedly after a “confrontation” with another parent.
That school board meeting was about a proposed school policy that would allow transgender students to choose their bathroom.
Loudoun County has become a focal point of the hotly contested upcoming election for Governor in Virginia.
During a recent debate between Democrat nominee, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe and GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin, McAuliffe drew massive ire from Virginia parents when he stated that, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
Virginia parents go to the polls on Nov. 2 to elect a new governor. They might have a different idea about who runs Virginia’s schools.
Parents speaking out on behalf of their children is exactly how the education system is supposed to work.https://t.co/yptbZzl2BO
— Free to Learn (@ftlcoalition) October 19, 2021
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