Department of Justice (DOJ) Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco has defended a new directive from U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland that school officials call “threats and harassment” of parents attending public school board meetings.
“I want to be very clear in the publicly available memorandum that the Attorney General has discussed the importance of bringing together federal, state, and local law enforcement to ensure that threats can be reported and that law enforcement can deal with threats, violence, and so on. Make sure there is an open line of communication to resolve the issue, which is the job of the judiciary, and nothing more, ”Monaco said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday.
In 2021, there has been an increase in parents attending school board meetings and expressing their concerns about their child’s school curriculum, and in many videos, parents are seen to strongly oppose critical race theory and the teaching of the School Mask Order.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) Asked Monaco about Garland’s recent memorandum that seeks to investigate any threats of violence, intimidation and harassment by parents towards school staff.
In the document, the AG instructed the FBI and U.S. attorneys to “convene a meeting with federal, state, and local leaders within 30 days to facilitate the discussion of threat management strategies against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.” The attorney general sent a letter (PDF) on Monday to all U.S. attorneys, the FBI director, the director of the executive office of U.S. attorneys, and the assistant attorney general of the DOJ’s Criminal Division.
Merrick’s letter came just days after a National Board of Schools (NSBA) called on the Biden administration to take “extraordinary measures” to curb alleged threats against school workers, saying the theory came from parents who opposed the mask order and critical nation education.
The NSBA argued in the letter, “Encouraging federal agencies to use laws designed to target domestic terrorism, such as patriotic laws, to address the problem.”
“Is it domestic extremism for parents to speak for their child’s best interests?” Tula asked Deputy AG.
“I don’t think you will describe what you have described as domestic extremism,” Monaco replied.
Cotton has attached the NSBA letter as a possible inspiration to issue a DOJ memorandum.
“It is true that the School Board Association has just sent this letter to President Biden and then conveniently the Attorney General released his letter yesterday, describing his continued steps to address this grave and the growing threat to parents to educate their children and call the school board a recess. [Is there] The connection between these two things? Tula asked.
When questioned by Sen. Josh Howley (R-Mo.) about the validity of the new directive, Monaco again defended Merrick, saying he welcomed the “heated debate” at the board meeting but added that “the attorney general’s memorandum made it clear that violence is not appropriate.”
Howley indicated that the DOJ’s new directive could strip parents of their rights because the document did not specify what the terms “harassment or intimidation” included.
“I don’t think so, Miss Monaco. With all due respect, it does not clear it completely, it does not define those terms, nor does it define harassment or intimidation. Speaking of violence, I think we can agree that violence should not be supported in any way or looked the other way. But harassment and intimidation. What do these terms mean in terms of local school board meetings? Howley asked.
The DOJ did not immediately return a request for comment.
GQ Pan contributed to this report.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times