CFFS Defends Concerned Parents Against ‘Weaponization’ of the DOJ
AG orders FBI to investigate parents for ‘intimidation and harassment’ of school board members
In response to a letter from the National School Boards Association to President Joe Biden complaining of the ‘intimidation, harassment, and threats of violence’ against school board members nationwide, Attorney General Merrick Garland has directed the FBI to investigate parents designated as potential “domestic terrorists”.
Citizens for Free Speech (CFFS), a non-profit organization of First Amendment defenders, condemned the AG’s order in the strongest possible terms.
“It is the NSBA that is promoting extremist and domestic terrorism policies, not the parents who elected the school board officials in the first place,” exclaimed CFFS founder and executive director Patrick Wood. “The First Amendment guarantees the right to ‘petition the government for a redress of grievances’, but the Department of Justice just ordered the FBI to deny concerned parents that right.”
The NSBA’s letter to President Biden argued that, “acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased,” and that “the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism (emphasis added) and hate crimes.” The organization requested “a joint expedited review by the U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, and Homeland Security, along with the appropriate training, coordination, investigations, and enforcement mechanisms from the FBI...”
Garland agreed, citing in his order a ‘disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.”
The problem, according to CFFS director Wood, is that none of those terms were defined by the AG.
“What does harassment constitute? What is intimidation? If a parent raises his voice while arguing against the non-scientific forced masking of his child, can the board member claim he or she was intimidated, triggering an FBI investigation of the parent? Is repeating a question a second time considered harassment?”
While CFFS agrees that threats of violence should never be condoned, the open-ended definition of a ‘threat’ could put innocent parents in the cross-hairs of an FBI probe. The NSBA letter used as an example an Ohio message delivered to a school board member stating, “We are coming after you and all the members on the…BoE (Board of Education).”
“But is that a threat of violence?” asked Wood. “Parents and community members across the country have been telling sitting board members that they are planning to vote them off the board if they allow things like Critical Race Theory and pornographic comprehensive sex education to be presented to their kids. What if ‘We are coming for you’ simply means ‘We are coming for your jobs’? Should that warrant an FBI investigation?”
The AG’s decision to spend valuable FBI resources on something as benign as passionate parents defending the rights of their children rather than focusing on real crime throughout the country, CFFS believes, reveals the real intention of the DOJ—to suppress dissent.
“This is a blatant and coordinated effort to silence free speech and political opposition of dissenting parents,” Wood emphasized. “The FBI doesn’t want to investigate thousands of angry parents, but the mere threat of an FBI presence at school board meetings may be enough to scare the parents back into silence. They are trying to dissuade free speech, because that’s less dangerous than banning it.”
It’s a tactic that will not work, the director declared.
“The NSBA and DOJ made a strategic error in attacking middle-American soccer moms who are fed up with the harm being done to their children at the hands of tyrannical school boards. They have awakened the masses of angry momma-bears who aren’t going to take it anymore!”
CFFS encourages all concerned citizens to stand up for their First Amendment rights, including and especially the right to petition the government (school boards) for a redress of their grievances without fear of federal prosecution, by becoming CFFS members at www.citizensforfreespeech.org.
For more information about CFFS please visit www.CitizensForFreeSpeech.org.