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Merrick Garland Isn’t ‘Criminalizing Parenting’—He’s Protecting Schoolkids

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The latest eruption in the overheated culture war over how public schools are run began with a cry for help from a national association tasked with looking out for school board members.

And it ended with hyperventilating right-wingers crying about how Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department are supposedly targeting concerned citizens and “criminalizing parenting.”

In a memo released this week, Garland instructed the FBI and U.S. Attorneys to meet in the next 30 days with federal, state and local enforcement agencies to discuss strategies to combat what the DOJ described in a press release as an “increase in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school board members, teachers and workers in our nation’s public schools.”

School board meetings across the country have been disrupted by parents angry, sometimes violent so, about local directives for mask coverings to protect students and educators from COVID-19.

Demonstrators opposed to masking and mandatory vaccination for students gather outside the Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters on Sept. 9, 2021.

In the memo, Garland wrote that “while spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats or violence or efforts to intimate individuals based on their views.”

The Attorney General zeroed in on school boards, which have become a flashpoint for the anger and frustration of parents who — after a lengthy lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic — suddenly find themselves with a lot to say about how public schools should operate.

“Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values,” Garland wrote. “Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety.”

That’s it. It was just a memo. Not exactly a sweeping and oppressive edict from King George III. No matter. The folks on the........

© The Daily Beast

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