Just days after a school board group requested President Joe Biden to provide them with protection from concerned citizens who oppose critical race theory, the U.S. Department of Justice sprung into action and ordered several branches of the federal government to come together to form a task force and combat the "violent threats" that school board officials face.
Attorney General Merrick Garland, in a memo released on Monday decried the "illegal" threats that school boards members face and the "criminal conduct directed toward school personnel."
The memorandum issued by the U.S. Justice Department was in response to a letter written by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) addressed to President Biden, in which they asked "for federal law enforcement and other assistance to deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation." The group claims that school board members are facing an increased amount of violent threats that amount to "a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes," Reuters reported.
The U.S. Justice Department swiftly took action by establishing a task force to "facilitate discussion of strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff." Moreover, the Justice Department has opened lines of communication specifically for "threat reporting, assessment, and response." Attorney General Garland also expressed his agency's commitment to use their resources to "discourage these threats, identify them when they occur, and prosecute them when appropriate."
The Department of Justice's likening of anti-CRT parents to "domestic terrorists" and treating their actions as "crimes'' has been met with backlash. According to the Christian Post, many say that it's the parents who have often been harassed and intimidated.
In fact, an investigation in Loudoun County, Virginia revealed that school board member Beth Barts had plotted to attack outspoken parents who opposed her by campaigning on Facebook to "hack" the parents. She was later stripped of her committee duties.
Manhattan Institute fellow Christopher Rufo warned that there may be a darker motive behind the U.S. Justice Department's swift decision to crack down on anti-CRT parents. Rufo said that Attorney General Garland has "instructed the FBI to mobilize against parents who oppose critical race theory in public schools, citing 'threats.'"
Rufo also took to Twitter to highlight how the Justice Department has failed to cite "any significant, credible threat" and that their recent actions are a "blatant suppression tactic, designed to dissuade citizens from participating in the democratic process at school boards."
Meanwhile, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Tuesday sent a letter to the Attorney General to condemn the Justice Department's actions that may censor the views of parents who are concerned over their children's education. He accused the Biden administration of "weaponizing its resources against parents who dare to advocate for their children," calling it a "dangerous federal overreach" that "[criminalizes] dissent."