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McConnell warns Garland school memo could stifle dad and mom’ free speech rights

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell despatched a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking him to make clear what he meant by a crackdown on the “harassment” of school officers in his current memo, warning that the directive could stifle dad and mom’ constitutional proper to free speech, in accordance with a report.

“In it you directed federal law enforcement to partner with state and local governments to address ‘threats of violence, and other forms of intimidation and harassment’ of ‘school administrators, board members, teachers and staff’ in public schools,” McConnell​ (R-Ky.​) mentioned in a letter to the legal professional normal on Friday, according to a Fox News report.

“The memorandum purports to respond to a ‘disturbing spike’ in threats and harassment against these officials — although it’s silent as to the supposed perpetrators or any actual predicates for this action​,” he continued.

Garland’s memo, launched Tuesday, directed the FBI to take the lead on native investigations into what he referred to as a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” in opposition to school directors, lecturers and school board members.

The memo generated a firestorm of controversy amongst dad and mom and Republican lawmakers.

It was prompted by the National School Boards Association asking the Biden administration to intervene in incidents involving protesters and school officers and characterised the episodes as “domestic terrorism.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky
McConnell led a refrain of criticism of Garland’s memo.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

“Your memorandum’s ominous rhetoric doesn’t reflect the reality of what we have seen at school boards across the country in recent months,” McConnell ​wrote in his letter.

“Parents absolutely should be telling their local schools what to teach. This is the very basis of representative government,” he added. “They do this both in elections and — as protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution — while petitioning their government for redress of grievance. Telling elected officials they’re wrong is democracy, not intimidation.”​

Critics of Garland’s memo contend that folks have each proper to confront school boards with issues concerning the educating of “woke” insurance policies like essential race concept and masks mandates.

Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee echoed McConnell’s issues in their very own letter to Garland, elevating fears that regulation enforcement will “chill” the dad and mom’ First Amendment rights. 

“​V​iolence and true threats of violence are not protected speech and have no place in the public discourse of a democracy,” however “the FBI should not be involved in quashing and criminalizing discourse that is well beneath violent acts” and “federal law enforcement muscle should never be used against protesting parents​,” mentioned the letter signed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and all 11 Republican members of the panel, according to the Washington Examiner. ​

US Attorney General Merrick Garland
Garland’s memo directed the FBI to take the lead on native investigations into what he referred to as a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” in opposition to school directors, lecturers and school board members.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP by way of Getty Images

Numerous Republican lawmakers accused President Biden of weaponizing the Justice Department and siccing federal brokers on dad and mom. 

“At his confirmation hearing, Merrick Garland promised not to follow the Obama model of weaponizing DOJ to target and persecute his political opponents. Just a few months in, he’s already breaking that promise,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wrote this week on Twitter.

Meanwhile, a parents group claims that Garland has a battle of curiosity involving his memo. 

Parents Defending Education revealed that Garland’s daughter Rebecca is married to Xan Tanner, the co-founder of Panorama Education, an organization that makes use of parts of essential race concept in its work with colleges throughout the nation. 

“Panorama Education will profit from Garland’s outrageous silencing of parents who are challenging its data mining of K-12 students,” wrote Asra Normani, the vp of investigations and technique for the dad and mom group.

McConnell conceded that there have been “altercations with the police” as some school board conferences, they’ve been few and had been handled by native regulation enforcement. 

People hold up signs during a rally against "critical race theory"
A dad and mom group claims that Garland has a battle of curiosity involving his memo. 
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP by way of Getty Images

H​e additionally mentioned there have been “shocking efforts by public officials to organize for the intimidation and harassment of parents who have the ​temerity to want a better education for their children.”

He identified {that a} school board member in Loudon County, Va., took half in a Facebook group that compiled an inventory of fogeys against essential race concept and talked about hacking their web sites. 

​”​It’s a scenario the place authorized accountability is troublesome as a result of the Loudon County Prosecutor was additionally a member of the group in search of to ‘doxx’ involved dad and mom,” McConnell wrote. ​

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