Parents groups combating the spread of critical race theory in their children’s schools on Tuesday criticized the Justice Department’s announcement that it will organize law enforcement to protect school board members and other education officials
A coalition of six parents groups sent an open letter to North Carolina Superintendent of Education Catherine Truitt lambasting the Department of Justice’s plan to use the FBI to protect school boards, which increasingly have faced threats of violence over policies such as vaccine mandates, LGBTQ accommodations and critical race theory (CRT).
“Whatever one’s feelings about CRT or masks, there’s not a reasonable person who thinks that threatening to prosecute parents who are advocating for their child is anything short of disgraceful,” the open letter reads.
“In going after parents, the DOJ [and] FBI … aren’t just attacking board meeting attendees; you are all attacking the families of our community who deserve to petition their school boards for fairness in education,” the letter states. “In our community, we don’t threaten the freedom of our neighbors because we don’t agree with their opinions.”
The letter was signed by Parents Defending Education, Education First Alliance, No Left Turn in Education, Moms for Liberty Mecklenburg, Moms for Liberty Orange, 2 Citizen Moms and the North Carolina Citizens for Constitutional Rights.
The groups have urged parents and taxpayers to attend school board meetings to understand the decisions being made in their public and charter schools, and to raise their voices against policies they find objectionable.
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Monday he would ask the FBI, federal prosecutors and other law enforcement officials to devise a plan in the next 30 days to address “this disturbing trend [of] harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school board members, teachers and workers in our nation’s public schools.”
The Justice Department offered no specific incidents of such behavior and did not respond Tuesday when asked how many such incidents had come to its attention.
The National School Board Association (NSBA) last week sent a letter to President Biden seeking an investigation and using the same language as the Justice Department’s news release on Monday. The association asked Mr. Biden to treat opponents of school policies as “domestic terrorists.”
In an Oct. 1 letter to the NSBA, two dozen activist groups claiming more than 427,000 members from New York to California, expressed outrage over how the NSBA had characterized concerned parents and taxpayers.
“The association of legitimate protest with terrorism and violence reveals both your contempt for parents and your unwillingness to understand and hear the sincere cries of parents on behalf of their children,” the groups wrote. “To equate parents with terrorists dishonors the thousands of victims of actual terrorism around the world. Have you no shame?”