Dear Ms. Garcia and Mr. Slaven,
On behalf of our 427,000 members, the undersigned organizations write in response to your September 29th letter to President Biden requesting “federal assistance to stop threats and acts of violence” against school board members, school officials, and teachers.
In that letter you requested that the federal government “investigate, intercept, and prevent the
current threats and acts of violence against our public school officials through existing statutes,
executive authority, interagency and intergovernmental task forces, and other extraordinary measures” and that the government leverage “the expertise and resources of the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service, and its National Threat Assessment Center.”
NSBA cites a tiny number of minor incidents in order to insinuate that parents who are criticizing and protesting the decisions of school boards are engaging in, or may be engaging in, “domestic terrorism and hate crimes.” NSBA even invokes the PATRIOT Act. The association of legitimate protest with terrorism and violence reveals both your contempt for parents and your unwillingness to understand and hear the sincere cries of parents on behalf of their children. To equate parents with terrorists dishonors the thousands of victims of actual terrorism around the world. Have you no shame?
‘I think criminalizing dissent is something that we should all be appalled with.’
Fox host Ben Domenech asked Paul what he would tell Americans who are concerned that ‘if they go to their local school board and say the wrong thing, that they’re going to end up up on some list that Merrick Garland goes after.’
The senator responded: ‘I would say be afraid. Be afraid of your government.’
Paul continued: ‘That’s a sad thing from someone in the government to say, but the thing is, is those lists already exist.
‘For example, people in northern Virginia that have gone to [protests], have been then sought out by the school council, by the members of the school board and retaliated [against] in a sort of legalistic way to try to put them on some sort of list and chill their speech by letting them know there’ll be a penalty for showing up and protesting.’
On Monday, Garland sent a memo saying the FBI and local law enforcement had been engaged to tackle the ‘disturbing trend’ of teachers being threatened or harassed.