U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has directed the FBI to work with law enforcement to protect school board members, teachers, and other public school employees after some rowdy parent protests.
Garland's order comes after numerous school board meetings across the country erupted in chaos as parents voiced their concerns about serious issues, including the teaching of Critical Race Theory, transgender policies, graphic sexual content, and pandemic restrictions like mask mandates.
Those debates have led parents and board members to face off in heated discussions and angry outbursts.
Christopher F. Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and a writer for City Journal in New York City tweeted: "BREAKING: Attorney General Merrick Garland has instructed the FBI to mobilize against parents who oppose critical race theory in public schools, citing 'threats'."
Rufo's tweet also included Garland's memorandum.
In his memo, Garland said there has been "a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation's public schools."
To address the rising problem, Garland said the FBI would work with U.S. attorneys and federal, state, local, territorial and tribal authorities in each district to develop strategies against the threats.
"While spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views," he said.
Garland's action came in response to a request last week from the National School Boards Association (NSBA). The group, which represents more than 90,000 school board members around the country, asked President Joe Biden for federal assistance to investigate and stop any threats made over controversial policies like mask mandates.
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