Half of the letter from the United States Civil Rights Commission to US AG regarding targeting of parents

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Four of the eight members of the US Civil Rights Commission sent a letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland about his recent memorandum targeting parents protesting their school boards.

Garland’s memorandum is vague both on the details related to the “training” of school personnel and does not include any details of the alleged “threats” that underlie his action. The memorandum also refers to a future announcement which will include “a series of measures designed to combat the increase in criminal behavior against school personnel”.

“Coordination and partnership with local law enforcement is essential to the implementation of these measures for the benefit of nearly 14,000 public school districts in our country,” Garland wrote in the Memorandum of October 4. “To this end, I request the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in conjunction with each United States attorney, to convene meetings with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial leaders in each Federal Judicial District within 30 days of the publication of this memorandum. . “

Concerned about the direction of the memorandum, four members of the United States Civil Rights Commission (USCCR) sent a letter to Garland to request more information.

Your memorandum did not cite any specific example of “harassment, intimidation and threats of violence” which would provide a basis for law enforcement action by the department, “the letter from the USCCR reads. . “We are concerned that much of what the NSBA calls threats and intimidation – and compares to ‘domestic terrorism and hate crimes’ – may simply be classified as political speech.”

The letter later reiterates its questioning of the basis of the memorandum and the reasons why federal law enforcement is necessary and highlights the connection to the National School Board Association’s attempt to label protesting parents as “national terrorists.” .

“We have combed the internet for signs that parents petitioning school boards are approaching a national problem. Almost everything we have seen so far makes us proud to be Americans: Parents care about their children’s education and they are unwilling to let them indoctrinate into a radical ideology, ”the members wrote. of the USCCR.

“It’s always possible that a few of these parents got out of hand and made threats that they shouldn’t have. If this is the case, the application of the law is entirely appropriate, ”the letter continued. “But is there any evidence that local law enforcement is not up to the task? Why is federal intervention necessary here and not in the thousands of other unrelated cases of overheated trade that regularly occur across the country? Why does this matter call for federal intervention? Are you surprised that concerned parents across the country are viewing your memo as an endorsement from the [National School Boards Association]the description of their protests as comparable to “domestic terrorism”? “

Given the free speech implications of Garland’s memorandum and the fact that it includes almost no details or examples of alleged “threats” and given the mission of the USCCR, one wonders why the other four members of the commission did not add their names to the letter.

Last week the two state and National level North Carolina officials have responded to Garland’s intended use of the FBI to essentially monitor protesting parents and school board meetings.

“When rioters torched buildings, looted stores and besieged a federal courthouse last summer, we were told over and over again that the ‘mostly peaceful protests’ were a necessary racial calculation and in fact good for public health, “Berger wrote in a October 6 Facebook post. “When parents show up at school board meetings in real and genuine peaceful protests against concerns about policies impacting their own children, the media and teacher unions demand that the FBI start investigating.

About AP Dillon

AP Dillon is a freelance journalist and currently writes for the North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_

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