Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee Ranking Member Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), and Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.), joined by Oversight Republicans, called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to provide documents and information about a recent memorandum issued as an attempt to silence parents across the country who are exercising their First Amendment rights to debate policies that directly affect their children.
“The Attorney General seems most focused on exercising his powers as the Nation’s top cop to label parents as domestic terrorists, simply for having an opinion on what their children are being taught in school. I have major concerns about the Attorney General’s impartiality as it has been widely reported his family has a financial stake in teaching CRT in our schools. Instead of attacking parents who pay his salary, the Attorney General should focus on prosecuting real threats of terror, domestic and abroad. We’ve seen no action on organized crimes like the devastating riots in Charleston in May 2020 which shuttered businesses and spread violence. Parents who care about their kids’ education are not terrorists,” said Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee Ranking Member Mace.
On October 4, 2021, the Department of Justice issued a memorandum directing law enforcement to work with U.S. Attorneys offices to mitigate threats against “school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.” Five days before it was issued, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent a letter to President Biden calling on his Administration to involve law enforcement to counter parents concerned about radical left-wing curriculum being taught in schools and likened parental advocacy to a form of domestic terrorism. Reports have now surfaced that the White House may have been involved in discussions with the NSBA in drafting their letter before it was published. Additionally, NSBA President Viola Garcia was appointed shortly after sending the letter to an education board tasked with overseeing the country’s school curriculum, raising the possibility of a quid-pro-quo appointment in exchange for sending it.
“It is very alarming to me that the U.S. Department of Justice is being weaponized to target parents who are simply concerned with the well-being of their children. Now more than ever, parents should have an active involvement in what their children are being taught, especially as school districts across the country incorporate far-left ‘social justice’ efforts within their academics. An angry parent is by no means a ‘domestic terrorist.’ That’s why Rep. Mace, and myself, along with my Republican colleagues on the Oversight Committee are holding the Attorney General accountable. We urge full cooperation by the DOJ as we deploy proper oversight into this gross abuse of power,” said Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Norman.
In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Republican lawmakers express concern the Biden Administration may have colluded with the NSBA to stifle debate and silence parents. The Republican lawmakers request the Justice Department provide data relied upon to assert there has been an increase in threats of violence against school staff, communications with the White House about issuing the memo, and Department policies protecting Americans’ civil liberties.
“The Biden Administration is more concerned about going after parents here at home who want to protect their children from radical propaganda being taught in classrooms than fighting terrorists in Afghanistan who seek to harm women, children, and U.S. troops. Concerned parents advocating on their children’s behalf aren’t domestic terrorists. It’s outrageous the Biden Administration colluded with left-wing education activists to treat them as such. The Justice Department must provide us with answers about their efforts to silence parents across the country,” said Ranking Member Comer.