Attorney General Garland and the “Unobstrusive” Federal Monitoring of School Board Meetings

In the 1946 move, “Terror by Night,” Sherlock Holmes assures Lady Margaret that, while he and Dr. Watson would be hanging around, “we’ll be as unobtrusive as possible.” Lady Margaret correctly responds “That would be a novelty from a policeman.” That scene came to mind when Attorney General Merrick Garland testified in Congress to assure members that he does not believe that parents protesting at school board meetings are domestic terrorists. He insists that there was nothing to be worried about because the FBI would simply be monitoring what these parents say or do at school meetings. Promises of such “unobtrusive” investigations or operations ignore the obvious: any national enforcement or monitoring effort is by definition obtrusive, particularly when it comes to free speech.

Garland’s testimony came after the Justice Department announced that it would be creating a national effort to “address threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff,” including “open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response.” It came shortly after the National School Boards Association asked for such action, including the possible use of the Patriot Act against individuals deemed threatening to board members. While the Justice Department memo itself does not mention domestic terrorists or the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s press release pledged to include the National Security Division in the effort.

Garland repeatedly assured the members that he knows of no basis for alleging domestic terrorism in these school board meetings. He further pledged that he will not use such laws against parents objecting to critical race theory or other issues at these meetings. However, those answers only begged the question of why the Justice Department has pledged this broad effort to monitor and respond to threats at these meetings. If these are not matters of domestic terrorism, why is the Justice Department implementing this effort? The letter does not cite any pattern of criminal threats or their interstate or federal profile.

There is no question that any such threats need to be aggressively prosecuted.  Moreover, some threats using interstate communications or interstate conduct can satisfy federal jurisdiction, but such local threats are rarely matters of federal enforcement. Indeed, I raised the same concerns when the Justice Department took over rioting cases in Wisconsin, Washington, and other states.

When asked about alleged sexual assaults in Loudon County, Virginia in school bathrooms involving a transgender student, Garland insisted that such violence sounds like a “local case” and the Justice Department would not be involved. Yet, the Justice Department just announced it would get involved with any such threats or violence in school board meetings. These meetings involve core political speech on issues that are deeply dividing the country. If the Justice Department is going to launch a national effort to address possible crimes in such meetings, it has a heightened duty to explain the basis for an effort based on federal criminal conduct.

State and local laws offer ample means to address criminal threats or violence. Only a handful of such cases have been cited, largely cases of unruly or disruptive conduct in the meetings. While General Garland pledges fealty to the First Amendment, there is a fair concern over the impact of his memo on such free speech activities. First Amendment cases are often more concerned with the “chilling effects” on free speech as opposed to direct government action. Recently, the Supreme Court struck down a California law requiring the reporting of charity donors. Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the Court that “When it comes to the freedom of association, the protections of the First Amendment are triggered not only by actual restrictions on an individual’s ability to join with others to further shared goals. The risk of a chilling effect on association is enough.”

Telling parents that the Justice Department is monitoring school board meetings creates an obvious chilling effort on speech. It is like a police car following you on the highway for miles just to see if you violate any law. It has an impact on how you act. Indeed, the purpose of the National School board letter seemed designed to have that effect. The Justice Department then amplified that effect by quickly announcing it would carry out the national effort and released a press statement referring to various departments being brought into the fight, including the National Security Division. While Garland may pledge to be as “unobtrusive as possible,” it would be quite a “novelty” to succeed.

 

 

196 thoughts on “Attorney General Garland and the “Unobstrusive” Federal Monitoring of School Board Meetings”

  1. Could any constitutionally oath-sworn official pass a “First Amendment test”? Could any official correctly distinguish between legal and illegal speech or assembly? Until officials can pass such a test, they have no business monitoring anyone. How can police something you aren’t an expert on?

    This is not to disparage the subordinate officials following orders from above, but agency leaders rarely provide this education to their constitutionally oath-sworn constitutional officers. If they can’t pass the test, they shouldn’t be policing speech or thought. They took a supreme loyalty oath which includes following the First Amendment restraints on authority!

    1. The oath has no teeth. So let’s give it some teeth. If those that swear fidelity to the constitution vote in favor of a bill that is ruled by SCOTUS to be unconstitutional, then they should lose a committee seat for the first offense. For the 2nd offense, they should lose voting privileges for the term. For the third offense, they should lose their eligibility for reelection and a lifetime ban for public service.

        1. Tar & feather come to mind as well.

          How about a civics literacy test for those elected. The power of their vote would be equivalent to their score. Or, require voters to take the same test. The individual elected would have voting power equal to the average of their constituents.

      1. Olly, that’s a great idea. The entire premise of a civilized society is that there are publicly posted laws (not secret laws) so that citizens can attempt to comply with the rules. If citizens stay within the legal lines, they are left alone by the government. If citizens cross the legal lines of the law, then and only then, it’s “probable cause” of a crime under the 4th Amendment.

        The investigator then files an affidavit (under legal penalty of jail time) that the facts and evidence merit a search warrant to search computers, cell phone tracking, physical searches, etc. If a judge or magistrate agrees the judicial-warrant is granted.

        What appears to be happening today, is legal First Amendment activity is viewed as “probable cause” to investigate the citizen. A judicial warrant is never applied for or granted and a citizen is investigated and blacklisted FOR LIFE for complying with the law – NOT violating any laws.

        The U.S. Supreme Court has a top duty to permanently end this type of Cointelpro style blacklisting. Merrick Garland also has a duty to end this illegal practice that subverts the constitutional rule of law. Congress outlawed this practice in the 1970’s during the Church Committee Reports following Watergate, when Senator Frank Church exposed wrongdoing by J. Edgar Hoover.

        A nation simply can’t have a civilized society with secret laws and shadow government that subverts the public laws.

  2. “We tend to look at the Justice Department and the FBI as our personal team of Brownshirts to achieve our political ends.”–Merrick Garland, testifying under the influence of sodium pentothal.

  3. “He insists that there was nothing to be worried about because the FBI would simply be monitoring…”

    Like FISA?

    Garland refused to respond directly to questions that involved parents. I think from his lack of answers, we can assume he is trying to hide the truth.

    They want to look at our checkbooks.

    They want vaccine passports.

    Everything points to a fascist-style government.

    1. Alan, are you aware that Trumpists over-use the term ‘fascist’ to the point where said term essentially means NOTHING?

      In fact, the current definition of ‘Facist’ could be: ‘An empty cliche used by American conservatives to describe any government policy they don’t like’.

      1. “Alan, are you aware that Trumpists over-use the term ‘fascist’ to the point where said term essentially means NOTHING?”

        Yes, but that is the nature of our government today. I also am aware that paint chips can have lead in them, so I advise people not to eat paint chips.

        1. Anonymous, Republicans control half of government today. And policies like the Texas Abortion law are widely considered irresponsible in the minds of many people. Any law that depends on citizen snitches for enforcement is North Korean in nature. So don’t pretend Republicans aren’t behing the most onerous of policies.

          1. “Anonymous, Republicans control half of government “

            1) So what?
            2) One vote is all that is generally needed to promote a certain policy.

            Do you have any understanding of how government works?

        2. Anonymous,

          “ Yes, but that is the nature of our government today.”

          You don’t even know what fascism is.

          1. Really? Does that mean you are ready to debate the meaning of fascism and its relationship to socialism and nazism? Italian fascism sprang from socialism. Additionally the Marxist concept of class warfare wasn’t the only concept of how the change would occur. It was felt by Marx to be the most likely in the near future. All we are seeing is another type of warfare.

            Now let us hear your take on fascism. LOL

            1. Anonymous wants us to forget real history and think Hitler and Stalin were friends. It’s what’s known as ‘Trumpist-Revisionist History’. It only goes back to 2016. But this is the type of history militias want schools to teach.

              1. One doesn’t judge political association based on who is friends with whom. You don’t know what you are talking about and are ignorant to that fact.

            2. Anonymous, fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy, which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe.

              So how is it that the left are fascists?

              Antifa are anti-fascists. Shouldn’t you be supporting antifa if you consider our current government fascist?

              1. Firstly nazism and Italian fascism are related to socialism. Look at their respective histories. Gentile was a socialist and created what we know today as Italian fascism. I can’t remember the names of the important socialists responsible for nazism.

                Let us create a comparison.

                1)nazism
                2)socialism
                3)fascism

                4)libertarian / classical liberal

                Who supports big government? 1,2,3
                Who supports small government? 4

                We can start off there. Do you wish to differ with my characterization? Then we can go to the next major feature.

                  1. No one said they were the same. You made that up. They have many characteristics in common and their founders were frequently socialists. Ask Giovani Gentile and he will be a major figure responsible for the books defining Italian fascism (He even wrote the one said to be authored by Benito Mussolini.)

                    Do you have someone better that could knowledgeably correct Giovani Gentile?

              2. , fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarian

                Right and left are meaningless in this discussion. Are you talking left and right in England? 1900 or 2000, western hemisphere eastern hemisphere?

                my politics are constitutional republicanism. Freedom from Govt overreach, Federal govt of enumerated, limited power (hint a govt that has zero jurisdiction connected to local school boards)States control and rule the feds, not the other way around.
                Am I left or right?

              3. “Antifa are anti-fascists.”

                Nobody is that gullible.

                Your description of fascism is grossly over-broad (and “far-right” is meaningless).

                Fascism is a type of statism — government control over the individual’s life and property. What distinguishes it from, say, communism is that under fascism, the individual retains title to property (and nominal rights) — but they are “rights” in name only. The government has total control over the use and disposition of those “rights.”

                Here is a description of Nazi Germany’s brand of fascism:

                “What Mises identified was that private ownership of the means of production existed in name only under the Nazis and that the actual substance of ownership of the means of production resided in the German government. For it was the German government and not the nominal private owners that exercised all of the substantive powers of ownership: it, not the nominal private owners, decided what was to be produced, in what quantity, by what methods, and to whom it was to be distributed, as well as what prices would be charged and what wages would be paid, and what dividends or other income the nominal private owners would be permitted to receive. The position of the alleged private owners, Mises showed, was reduced essentially to that of government pensioners.”

                https://www.capitalismmagazine.com/2021/10/why-nazism-was-socialism-and-why-socialism-is-totalitarian/

                If that sounds familiar, it should. Fascism is the brand of statism suffocating America. (See bakeries, restaurants and other businesses under Covid fascism, speech under Garland, private property use restricted by governments, and the entire “Green New Deal.”)

      2. Anonymous:

        Gentile, the father of Fascism, learned much from Marxism. However, he disagreed in the inevitability of class warfare. Instead, he wanted government to take away individual rights for the “greater good”, in his case the good of Italy.

        in the Left’s case, they would deny individual rights for the “greater good”, as THEY define it. They seek a global hegemony, and socialism. The rhetoric is socialist and decidedly anti-capitalist.

        They would deny the right to free speech to anyone who disagrees, including their own. They will turn on a dime and attack J K Rowling for declaring that women are more than “people who menstruate”, against a theater professor who urged people not to jump to conclusions when they read a list of names on a whiteboard, and against Jon Stewart for pointing out that the origin of Covid-19 was probably the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where they were studying gain of function in bat coronaviruses at the epicenter of the pandemic. They eat their own if they don’t toe the party line on every single thing.

        They claim they want to emulate capitalist Scandinavia, yet they want to employ the policies of Venezuela and North Korea.

        Antifa, on the other hand, labels anyone who disagrees with them as Fascist, and capitalism in general as fascism. They don’t seem to understand that their attacks on free speech is ironically fascist. They assault little old ladies, and impoverish minority business owners, crazily thinking they are fascist.

        If you want to take away individual rights, to empower government, for the “common good”, as defined by the hard Left, then you’ve got Fascist tendencies.

        Defending the individual rights set forth in our Constitution, and seeking a limited government, by definition, cannot be Fascist.

      3. Anonymous, it’s part of the interchangeable number of denigrations of things they don’t like. First it was socialist, then Marxist, then communist, then back to Marxist now fascist. Ironically ANTIFA are anti-fascists. They are essentially aligning with Antifa OR they ARE unknowingly being members of ANTIFA.

        Given that the majority have no idea what those terms mean makes it that much more humorous.

        1. “First it was socialist, then Marxist, then communist, then back to Marxist now fascist.”

          No matter what alias or lack of alias you write under everything remains the same. You are ignorant and do not realize the close relationship between Marxism, communism, socialism, nazism and fascism.

          When you destroy your brain with drugs, alcohol or lead, the results are the same; ignorance.

          1. Anonymous,

            “ No matter what alias or lack of alias you write under everything remains the same. You are ignorant and do not realize the close relationship between Marxism, communism, socialism, nazism and fascism.”

            There is no close relationship between those ideologies. There is a reason why they are all their own distinct categories. The right is often ignorant of the distinctions between all of them and rather than make an effort to understand their differences they resort to being lazy and just conflate all of them as being the same.

            PS, I’ve never used an alias.

            1. “There is no close relationship between those ideologies. “

              Who was the accepted founder of Italian fascism? Giovani Gentile. What was his ideology? Socialist.

              That is a close relationship.

              1. Anonymous,

                “ Who was the accepted founder of Italian fascism? Giovani Gentile. What was his ideology? Socialist.”

                “ What constitutes a definition of fascism and fascist governments has been a complicated and highly disputed subject concerning the exact nature of fascism and its core tenets debated amongst historians, political scientists, and other scholars since Benito Mussolini first used the term in 1915. Historian Ian Kershaw once wrote that “trying to define ‘fascism’ is like trying to nail jelly to the wall”

                He applied a different construct a personal interpretation of socialism. One often forget that socialism isn’t one specific ideology either. There is democratic socialism and there’s the socialism that the nazi party used.

                Like I said. There is a reason why there are distinct categories that are unique in their own. Those using the terms, especially ignorant republicans, conflate. those terms as being the same.

                1. Yes, defining fascism is difficult, but it has defining characteristics that differ drastically from the classical liberal/ libertarian. It is the characteristics that determine the different brands of fascism. No ideology is entirely pure, but Marx at times referred to socialism and communism interchangeably. The meanings behind socialism have radically changed.

                  Democratic socialism incorporates some of socialism and is a new construct. Democratic states such as Sweden often pointed to HAVING private property. Capitalism depends on private property. Libertarianism and classical liberalism also rely on private property. There are varying degrees and types of control over businesses in the fascistic states, fascism, nazism, socialism and communism. Though some would say, the state ceases to exist in a pure communist state.

                  When you look at the various ideologies, you need to note the similarities and differences of their significant characteristics.

                  There is private property and less central control in classical liberalism, libertarianism and capitalism (economic).
                  Nazism, socialism, fascism have central control. These forms of government look towards larger government and powers over what is printed along with freedom of speech.

                  Separate nationalism from the ideologies because all of the ideologies can be nationalistic and militaristic or not. Part of the split between Stalin and Trotsky had to do with their perception of nationalism and militarism along with expansionism.

                  In the end, fascism is hard to define because it can be defined in many different ways, but Italian fascism, nazism, and socialism come from the same seed.

                  I will sign my alias because this is a legitimate discussion.

                  1. Svelaz, I note all the big words and statements you make, but in the end, I note you never reply to any facts that prove your contentions wrong. Above are several similarities between the various fascist ideologies. You ran away from the truth again.

                    You can run away, but you cannot hide unless you choose to change your icon again and deny the change.

                    The characteristics labeling these various ideologies won’t change, so you either have to fess up to your ignorance now or later or fess up under a new alias.

                    Does ignorance have your tongue?

            2. “PS, I’ve never used an alias.”

              If a previous alias lied, why wouldn’t a present alias also lie?

              (By the way, sometimes people with multiple aliases screw up. Look for yourself.)

              1. Anonymous, still doesn’t prove I used aliases. I’ve never used one here. On the other hand. You have. Everyone knows it.

                  1. We know who you are and your brothers and sisters, even this one. You have a long list of names. When I write something important, I use my Identifiable alias. When I write to you I don’t bother because seldom do you say anything of value.

                    I’m hoping you engaged in the discussion of fascism because that would be of value, but based on past experience I don’t think that engagement will occur in the emails that I have yet to read.

            3. ” . . . the close relationship between Marxism, communism, socialism, nazism and fascism.”

              Your reply: “There is no close relationship between those ideologies.”

              So, if you look at a group of bananas, apples, and oranges, do you conclude: There is no close relationship among them? That there is not a broader concept that unites them all?

              There is, in fact, an essential common denominator among those political concepts. They are all types of statism — the notion that government exists to control and rule the individual’s life and property. Their distinctive characteristics are merely variations on that theme.

        2. “. . . the majority have no idea what those terms mean . . .”

          The majority have no idea what any political concepts mean, e.g., capitalism, rights, government, statism, censorship, et al. And it’s not “humorous.” It’s tragic.

          However, general public ignorance does not negate the fact that those terms do have objective definitions and specific meanings.

  4. “[T]he Justice Department [] monitoring school board meetings creates an obvious chilling effort on speech.”

    Which, of course, is every fascist’s goal: To suffocate dissent.

    And the tyrant’s dishonest strategy is always the same: Create a seemingly plausible pretext (“threats against school administrators”), while leaving the key concept (“threats”) intentionally undefined (or non-objectively defined). That gives the fascists unlimited power to declare that a “threat” is whatever they claim it is.

    It is no accident that the Biden administration kowtows to the CCP. Birds of a feather.

  5. School Board Meetings Under Attack

    School Boards have become the targets of so-called ‘Christian’ activists who are little more than White Supremicists. In many cases these groups are incensed by the possibility that ‘Critical Race Theory’ is being taught.

    Although ‘Critical Race Theory’ reads ‘Critical Of Whites Theory’ to conservatives, there is no specific academic curriculum known by that name. The term only refers to a broad set of ideals regarding the history of Black Americans and which issues should be covered in the teaching of history.

    But reams of misinformation have been generated to demonize Critical Race Theory. Consequently so-called White ‘Christian’ groups are targeting school Board meetings for ugly demonstrations to intimidate school board members. The Anti-Vaxer/Mask forces are also a big factor. These arch-conservative elements seek to make school boards the brunt of many grievances.

    The truth is that school board positions, in most communities, are volunteer jobs that pay only minor stipends if ‘any’ compensation. Yet school board members now feel like pawns in culture wars. Many are receiving death threats; especially non-Whites.

    One suspects the forces intimidating school boards are largely the same people harassing abortion providers; so-called White ‘Christians’ linked to far-right militias. Yet cynics like Johnathan Turley portray these forces as ‘victims of liberal over-reach’. They are not!! America’s educational system is doomed if school board members find themselves chronically under siege.

    https://www.npr.org/2021/10/21/1047334766/school-board-threats-race-masks-vaccines-protests-harassment

    1. Anonymous:

      Yes, CRT is being incorporated into curriculum. It’s called by different names, such as Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

      Anything that judges or discriminates against students based on race is unethical and immoral. Of course parents object to racist curriculum. Why don’t you? Why aren’t you out there at school board meetings, protesting racial discrimination? Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Atheist parents have all been protesting the racist additions to curriculum, as well as other hard Left bigotry making its way into classrooms.

      All schools should ban any curriculum or policies that discriminate based on race. Note the “based on race” aspect, as that’s key. If 3 Philipinno and 1 Caucasian student break into a classroom, it’s not racially discriminatory to reprimand all 4 equally because the rule was applied equally.

      But the anti-Christian bigoted Left try to portray parental involvement in schools as a Christian movement. Actually, if you put your ear to the ground, you would discover that many Democrats are getting sick of the hard Left turn in public schools, and are very concerned at how it is harming children.

      Do you support harming children?

      1. Karen, what are you babbling about??? Do you even know..?
        Name a school district that is teaching a ‘racist curriculum’.

        The truth is that most schools put great emphasis on reading and arithmetic at the expense of Social Sciences. Not much history is being taught anywhere.

        1. Anonymous:

          You clearly have not researched this issue. Any curriculum that discriminates against students based on race is a racist curriculum. It has been repackaged as Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, yet it is founded on the racist principle of judging students based on race.

          Before you condemn parents who object to the CRT based curriculum, you should spend a few minutes looking into it. It is YOUR JOB to get informed.

          It doesn’t matter what they call it – CRT, EDI, or Sparly Rainbows. What matters is that parents do not want curriculum to racially discriminate against anyone.

          https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/the-worst-examples-of-critical-race-theory-in-schools/ar-BB1g2M6l

          https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/some-examples-of-critical-race-theory-in-schools

          1. Karen, concerned parents can always campaign for school board positions and work within the system. But this idea that school board meetings need to be a battle zones is Trumpist / militia thinking.

            1. Anonymous – voicing displeasure is not a “battle zone” unless used metaphorically. It’s simply free speech. When school boards are not responsive to parent concerns, then they are recalled or voted out. That’s been happening, as part of the democratic process.

              People die or are maimed in actual battle zones. If you’re using the term metaphorically, then absolutely elections and school board meetings are battle zones.

              You might not like this process, but you should not mischaracterize a democratic process of voicing displeasure, and recalling or voting out unresponsive school board members as some sort of domestic terrorism. That’s slanderous propaganda.

              If and when any individual makes a terrorist threat or otherwise breaks the law, then they are charged. It’s propaganda to claim that upset parents are terrorists.

              People including Republicans, moderate Democrats, the vanishing breed of actual Liberals, and Libertarians are all fed up with hard Left policies. They’re pushing back. Expect this to happen more and more, especially as crime goes up due to the defunding of police, gas goes up due to the attack on domestic energy, and kids come home from school crying because their teacher told them they were oppressors due to their skin color.

      2. I doubt ATS would directly support harming children, but when it comes to his ideology ATS is dangerous to children.

      3. Yes, CRT is being incorporated into curriculum. It’s called by different names, such as Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

        Karen,
        You might find this article interesting regarding the Left’s Equity, Diveristy, and Inclusion fundamentalism. The author explains today’s challenge for Conservatives having any influence in the academy.

        This request, though unusual, made sense. Christendom is a fiercely independent confessional college and a bastion of conservative Catholicism. It refuses all federal funding in pursuit of its educational apostolate, and its faculty make a yearly profession of faith and oath of fidelity. Thus the orthodoxy of the faculty is central to the mission of the college; its students, alumni, and donors expect nothing less. As a practicing Catholic, I was happy to write the statement and overjoyed to accept the job.

        Less than a decade has passed since I was on the job market, but the world has changed dramatically. What was peculiar to Christendom in 2013 has become common practice in 2021. It is now difficult to find a job posting in the humanities that does not require some sort of profession of faith—albeit in a radically different creed.

        Consider this recent job posting from my alma mater:

        Purdue University’s Department of History is committed to advancing diversity in all areas of faculty effort including discovery, instruction, and engagement. Candidates should address at least one of these areas in a separate diversity and inclusion statement, indicating their past experiences, current interests or activities and / or future goals to promote a climate that values diversity and inclusion.
        https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-woke-profession-of-faith-at-american-universities/?utm_source=mailchimp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=editorsweekly&utm_source=The+American+Conservative&utm_campaign=108280b4ad-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_07_29_02_06_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f7b67cac40-108280b4ad-63676937&mc_cid=108280b4ad

        1. Thank you for the link, Olly.

          Here’s what I find interesting about Equity. College students who promote EDI will typically object if you tell them that no matter how hard they study, they must share their grade points with those who don’t study in all, in order to make grading equitable. Everyone gets a C regardless of if they ever cracked a book.

          Otherwise, it would simply be equality, where anyone of any race, creed, or background could study and take the test with the same questions and grading system as anyone else. The grade they got on the test would depend upon their mastery of the material.

          Threaten to give an A college student a C in the class, and they backpedal away from equity really fast.

    2. Can I presume that the Asian’s indians, blacks, and hispanics speaking out against the indoctrination of their children are “white supremecists” ?

      I doubt most of these parents are familiar with harvard law review articles on Critical race theory.

      But they are incontrovertably more familiar with the actual curricula being used to teach their children – and they do not like it.

      What is a “so called christian activist” ? While I have seen no evidence that religion played any consequential role in those protests – SO WHAT IF IT DID ?

      MacCaullffie got this conflict down quite well.

      Who decides what your children are taught ? Parents or the state ?

      This entire conflict boils down to that.

      You can choose whichever side of that divide you wish.

      Democrats as a whole have chosen “the state” – in doing so they are pushing every parent that is offended by the states education of its children into the open arms of the republican party.

      1. John, we know the Anti-Abortion movement began as a White backlash to school busing. And the same dynamics are behind all these school board disruptions. It’s White conservatives fearing that their grip on America is weakening.

        1. Too much lead in the paint chips.

          The anti-abortion movement started because of induced abortions.

        2. John, we know the Anti-Abortion movement began as a White backlash to school busing.ma

          You’re just making up stuff up to get attention.

    3. Your remarks are obvious hateful nonsense – and what you call misinformation from end to end.

      Is the parent who was arrested for disorderly conduct when he tried to confront a school administrator who publicly denied that the parents child had been repeatedly sodomized by a person with a penis in a skirt in a LCSD school – a white supremist ? A christian Activist ?

      Does it even matter ?

      Is it OK in your world to rape the children of christian activists or even white supremecists ?

      Is it OK for the school administration which is a manditory reporter of for the abuse of children to fail to report and to publicly lie about it ?

      You rant about democracy – guess what this is democracy in action. One school administrator and one school board member have resigned, others face recall – voters will get to decide – you keep claiming that is how democracy works.

      In fact the entire leftist ideology is logically and intellectually flawed. While modern progressivism and facism and nazism are somewhat different ideologies – they make the same claims to legitimacy.

      Why do school boards get to choose how children are educated ? The Nazi’s and fascists and communists claimed that the indoctrination of children was the exclusive domain of the state and that parents had no role beyond what the state dictated.

      You want to rant about labels like CRT – while ignoring that what is relevant is that parents are offended by what their children are ACTUALLY being taught – regardless of what label you give it.
      Again 1984 was not supposed to be a howto manual.

      If as you claim this is some inconsequential disaffected minority – some will move their kids elsewhere and this will end.

      The danger to the left – to democrats, is that these raucous school board meetings are a reflection of widespread loss of confidence in government to do their job well.

      Again if you actually believed the democratic principles you rant about – you would by trying to figure out if these large numbers of angry parents were a true reflection of opposition by a democratic majority or even a significant minority.

      1. John say,

        “ Why do school boards get to choose how children are educated ? ”

        Because parents voted for them. I would think you would recognize the obvious answer.

        That’s their job. They set the standards and criteria. Parents who voted them into the board gave them the power to make those decisions. If some don’t like what they are doing they can run themselves or vote someone else in or they can choose to educate their own children thru home schooling or choose private school who have their own boards who decide how they will be educated.

        1. That’s their job. They set the standards and criteria. Parents who voted them into the board gave them the power to make those decisions

          You have not been to a single school board meeting.

          If a board member would raise a topic for discussion(they cant because they only discuss agenda items and the Superintendent rules the Agenda) The Superintendent would listen, then explain why it was wrong, if there was push back, the Super would remind the room the Super has a Doctorate….stay in your lane, proles.

    4. While I strongly suspect your claims about the identifying characteristics of your opposition are incorrect – what does it matter ?

      TX just effectively banned abortion. I hear those on the left rant about how evil this is.

      Yet, TX did nothing different that the Loudon Country school board did. Elected officials decided based on their personal politics – which certainly the TX legislators did not hide when they were running for election, to impose a political objective on its citizenry because an election gave them the power to do so ?

      What distinguishes what occurred in the LCSD and what occured in TX ?

      You seem incredibly hypocritical to me.

      You want obeisance to government when it acts as you wish, but you claim to be a champion of individual rights over government powers when that suits your whim.

      Do you have any actual principles ?

      If Rights come from government – then the TX government has rescinded the right of women to an abortion just as LCSD has rescinded parents right to determine the education of their children.

      Remember Hitler and Mousolini were elected.

    5. Apparently you are quite ignorant about school boards in this country.

      I recall a “seige” 40 years ago when an affluent local school district decided to include a pool in the gymnasium they were building.
      Half the members of the school board were removed in the next election over their support for the pool.

      Constant “seiges” by parents and constitutuents have not “doomed” the US education system.

  6. All School Boards are local.

    State Laws cover criminal acts at the local level.

    Parents coming together at the local level to seek redress of grievances re school matters is not a matter for the FBI or DOJ to stick their noses into.

    If the Left can see a “national movement” of Parents as organized as the NSBA is….and that movement had an Agenda item calling for violence….then perhaps the FBI and DOJ would have a legal right to get involved.

    Unless and until the Parents organize across State Lines…..and remain Local entities or even intra-State entities….the DOJ and FBI should bow out and stick to real crimes and not imaginary crimes.

    1. Ralph,

      “ Parents coming together at the local level to seek redress of grievances re school matters is not a matter for the FBI or DOJ to stick their noses into.”

      There is nothing wrong with parents airing their grievances at school boards. It’s when they become violent or start making threats that is the problem. The fact that the proud boys have been organizing or encouraging these confrontational approaches to board members and school staff brings the DOJ into the issue. Turley is either unaware or poorly informed about the nature of the DOJ’s involvement. This has nothing to do with chilling free speech. It’s about the increasing violence of parents and threats against the school staff and board members.

      1. Svelaz – NO, the Proud Boys are not the reason why parents are angry and upset at school board meetings. It’s because parents are angry at school board policy.

        I live in a rural area, where parents have been very upset at school board meetings. They are allowed to be upset. At our own meeting, no one has been making any threats other than to pull their children out of school. And they’re doing it, too, in record numbers.

        Democrats are trying to deflect blame from themselves, pointing the finger at the Proud Boys so they won’t have to face legitimate, sincere criticism. Joe Biden reached a new low when he cooperated in labeling upset parents as domestic terrorists, and is sending the FBI after them. This is Fascism unfolding in America.

        Teachers unions don’t want parents to fight their agenda. They don’t want them to be able to remove their kids, and thus funding from the schools. The Left wants to maintain its stranglehold of control.

        The problem is that this is injurious to children. Thanks to the far Left, transgenderism, and its inherent high suicide risk, is skyrocketing among youth, at levels never before seen in history. Because this leads to castration, sterilization, and often suicide, this is a bad thing. Schools are teaching children to hate America, and hate each other based on race. This is a bad thing..

        Children belong to their parents. It is up to parents to teach their children values. It is not the school’s purview. More than half of CA students are not reading at grade level. The public schools are failing in their core mission – teaching ELA, science, and math. They’ve turned civics and history into Marxist, anti-capitalist, anti-Western-civilization propaganda. They’re turning out students who think the US is worse for women than Afghanistan. Who don’t know that capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic system, while socialism has impoverished people and led to massive murders and deaths everywhere it’s tried.

        Public schools cannot do their job. They are focused on propaganda instead of teaching children how to think and reason.

        It’s appalling. If you learned more about it, one would hope you would be appalled, too, and demand better.

        The Left wants an end to capitalist prosperity, and to usher in the failure of socialism. That’s the end goal. That’s the goal of the Russian and Chinese active measures that Democrats so happily go along with. America will become impoverished and weak, and all our freedoms will be gone. Gas prices are through the roof as Biden reversed our energy independence. It’s becoming more and more expensive to keep our houses cool in summer and warm in winter as we add more expensive and unreliable wind and solar. It costs half a million dollars in some states to junk a wind turbine after its useful life of 25 years. What a waste. Terrorism has been emboldened by our weak bumbling in Afghanistan. China is growling about war on Taiwan. Iran is moments away from developing a nuclear weapon, which was its goal all along. We tried to tell Democrats the Iran Nuclear Deal was suicide. We have chaos and murder out of control, as people shoplift with impunity and gangs and murderers have less to fear from a defunded police. There’s talk of restitution, where the descendent of a black slave owner will be given money paid for by the descendants of Irish slaves.

        The Left is going to plow our good fortune into the ground. Biden is already telling us to adjust our expectations. To no longer expect store shelves to be full, or for gas to be affordable. Lower your expectations, and eventually, you won’t see anything wrong with dumpster diving for breakfast.

      2. The only examples of actual violence I am aware of are the responsibility of the schools.

        The idiotic move of arresting the one person confronting a school administrator regarding the sexual assault of his daughter in school, has resulted in exposure of the fact that LCSD – a mandatory reporter has been covering up sexual assaults in its schools for atleast 2 years.

        One of the school board members has resigned – atleast in part because her social media threats targeting parents.

        Further you use the term “threat” as if it is carte blanche to bring in the FBI – it is not.
        Even if there were real criminal threats against school board members – those would not be a federal matter.

        But there were not. Absolutely parents “threatened” school board members – threats such as having them recalled or voted out of office.

        You do not seem to grasp that the vast majority of threats are perfectly legal.

        In fact the left engages in threats all the time.

      3. But for shallow thinking it appears you do no thinking at all.

        Law enforcement requires reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed to initiate an investigation.
        And all investigations are scope limited to that crime.

        Can you cite any action that meets the criteria necescary to open an investigation ?

        The DOJ/FBI must meet an even more rigorous standard AND the alleged crime must violate federal law.

        Nothing even claimed without evidence thus far meets that criteria.

    2. Just because a movement is national does not justify federal law enforcement intrusion.

      There would have to be a national CRIMINAL movement.

      1. John say,

        “ Just because a movement is national does not justify federal law enforcement intrusion.”

        Yes it does. The obvious reason is because the federal law enforcement involves national issues. Hence the “federal”.

        “ There would have to be a national CRIMINAL movement.”

        Not necessarily true. A movement which has publicly and actionably promoted violence, even by its own admission merits federal scrutiny. Just as antifa and other left wing extremists. It’s precisely within federal law enforcement purview.

        The proud boys along with like minded groups such as three percenters, the oath keepers, etc. have engaged in violence at protests and promoted violent actions against government.

        They have committed crimes of violence before which put them under federal watch lists of potential terrorist actions.

        The proud boys own leader was an FBI informant. He’s in jail right now for his crimes at the Capitol in Jan 6th.

  7. It should not be lost that Garland, and Democrats in general, genuinely believe that parents voicing their unease at school boards that dictate the “content” of their children’s education is a national issue, and federal “oversight” is necessary, even long overdue. Democrats don’t hide from that position; they’re proud of it.

    1. Absolutely correct and very important.

      For those on the left, the constraints on the power of govenrment do not have anything to do with the rule of law, or the rights of people.

      The legitimacy of govenrment actions rests solely on the conformance of those actions with their ideology.

      When people oppose schoolboards that seek to thwart leftist ideology – the people are good and the schoolboards evil.
      But when people oppose schoolboards that seek to advance leftist ideology – the people are evil and the schoolboards good.

  8. More Fascism from the Left.

    Any threats or acts of violence should be handled by local law enforcement.

    The public education system believes itself immune from parents. It believes it has power over our children that circumvents us parents. It has forgotten that it works for us, and that if we don’t like what they’re doing, we’ll take our children, and their funding, elsewhere.

    Don’t like Common Core, because it makes students less college ready in math? The Teachers Unions got Common Core to be mandatory in private and charter schools, to take away a competitive advantage.

    Don’t like schools teaching CRT, sending 8th grade girls out for abortions, or turning sex ed into an instructional class on S&M? The FBI will be there monitoring your complaints and taking note of your name.

    My son learned so much during our homeschool year in 2020 that he’s learned zero so far back in public school. It’s the end of October. Months of school, and it’s still just boring review.

    Parents are realizing that homeschooling can work. There are so many options now. Some parents are pooling resources to hire teachers, in mini cooperative private schools.

    The next step will be the Fascist teachers union demanding that their bought and paid for politicians abolish homeschooling.

    Parents need more control over their children’s education. We should emulate some European countries, in which students can take their public funding anywhere they choose. Schools have to compete with each other for students. No parent should have to ask permission to leave a school district. A school either has room for a student that meets their requirements, or it doesn’t.

    1. There is a standard that must be met for a “threat” to be criminal. That standard is actually fairly difficult to meet.

      People make vague threats all the time – “If you go forward with this, there will be consequences” as an example.

      That is NOT a Criminal Threat. A criminal threat must be specific, near term to immediate, and it must be credible.

      Further The Federal government does not have a general police power,. That rests with state and local police.

      Finally AG Garland’s memo has a clear chilling effect on the first amendment rights of citizens.

      There are many criteria that Government must meet to restrict first amendment rights.
      Among those are that the Government action must be the least infringing means of accomplishing an otherwise legitimate government purpose.

      The AG can not intimidate myriads of citizens legitimately exercising their rights in order to thwart real credible threats – that todate do not exist.

    2. My Children were Cyber Chartered.

      15 years ago when we put our daughter into a Cyber Charter – because the public schools were failing her, Cyber Charters were subject to very little government constraint.

      My daughter could learn at her own pace, and in the fashion that best suited her. That capability was built into the approach that her cyber school used – and it was incredibly effective for her.

      But as time went by The state – at the direction of teachers unions imposed more and more rules on Cyber Charters.
      These BTW were NOT supported by Cyber School Teachers who were not unionized.

      Gradually these took away many of the advantages that Cyber Schools had in tailoring the means of learning to the needs of the students.

      And yet Cyber Charters STILL out perform Brick and Mortar schools significantly.

      Cyber school students on the whole performed in the top half of students in the state.
      This does not sound impressive until you consider that most of the students in my kids cyber charters came from failing schools in the state or were kids that were discipline problems.

      Education is another example of the failures of leftism.

      As with most everything else – One Size does not fit all.

      My wife and I wish we had the ability to home school rather than cyber charter our kids. Had we done so, we could have better tailored their education to their own need and most effective means of learning. but Homeshooling was more than we could manage.
      Even cybershool was only an option for us because we both worked primarily from home – more than a decade before Covid.

      One size does not fit all.

      Each Child’s needs are unique – and frankly public schools and teachers are NOT even close to best at determining that.

      While it is true that public school teachers were responsible for my children 5-6 hours a day.
      Each of those teachers had 20-30 other kids to manage concurrently.

      Teaching is not easy and those who do it well deserve our respect and admiration.
      But it is NOT true that my kids teachers better understood my childrens needs.

      Further my kids teachers – even the best of them, were never the advocates for my children that my wife and I were.

      Even the poor and poorly educated single minority women who sent their children to cybercharters to save them from gangs and failing schools, had a better understanding of and a better commitment to their children than their teachers.

      Most teachers are wonderful people and we owe much to them. In rare instances with neglectful and bad parents they may be the last hope for some kids.

      But the overwhelming norm is that parents care more and no more about what their kids need than teachers.

      Parents are sometimes constrained by reality and lack of resources – but rarely by lack of understanding or interest in the best for their children.

      Schools, teachers, and the state should focus on their job – education.

      NOT parenting.

      I would note that for all criticism of parents – the state has FAILED in the education of our children.

      By all measures our schools cost more and more and deliver less and less.

      What does it matter if our children become the model CRT Adults if they can not read, write, or do basic math necescary to lead productive and happy lives.

  9. I think many had a higher opinion of Merrick Garland when he was a potential Supreme Court candidate. He has demonstrated an unimpressive lack of command ( or perhaps intent to command) the Justice department in the last days of testimony. One factor not noted by any commentators, is the matter of priorities,,,,an issue which pervades the agenda of many agencies under the Biden administration. Garland several times made statements about the need to increase funding for this aspect or their mission or that. It seems that they have an agenda that is greater than their capability to execute. Practical leadership would suggest you analyze real data to determine which of the many targets for Justice department activity is a current, real and growing problem, and then you would adjust your resources and capability to address them and then make the case for more funding if necessary. Given all the issues with DOJ and FBI activity, taxpayers( and congress) should expect that matters like parent threats of violence or “white supremacy” may appear on the list,….but certainly would be well down the priorities based on actual data.
    I also am very disappointed in DOJ in articulating and behaving with due respect to federalism and the 10th amendment of the Constitution. It seems it is OK in Merrick Garlands mind to range beyond the boundary of federal government authority, except when he is trying to excuse non action on.a matter????

    We should expect far better leadership from the Attorney General. DOJ and the FBI’s performance in last decade has been deteriorating, not because of the challenges but because of willful mismanagement, mission creep and no apparent self imposed accountability for mistakes.

  10. What Turley doesn’t realize as many others as well is that these incidents at school board meetings aren’t just some random bouts of opposition. What Turley isn’t aware of is that these protests and disruptive behavior at school board meetings are organized by proud boys members. They actively encourage and participate in these protests and aggressive opposition during these meetings. Because tge proud boys are already known to be associated with the Jan 6 insurrection attempt and their well known propensity to be violent it gives the DOJ a credible reason to monitor these meetings.

    Parents have been violent towards school staff and board members and that includes making terroristic threats. This isn’t about just about going after parents the right wing media wants their audience to believe, which ironically is exactly what Turley is always complaining about media not being objective.

    The DOJ is correct in stating that they can monitor such meetings when most of the opposition is organized by known anti-government outfits such as the proud boys. They are after all a white supremacist organization recognized as a domestic terrorists by Canadian authorities.

    “ Proud Boys Are Teaming Up With Anti-Maskers to Threaten School Boards Over COVID Mandates”

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/proud-boys-are-teaming-up-with-anti-maskers-to-threaten-school-boards-over-covid-mandates?ref=scroll

    1. They are after all a white supremacist organization recognized as a domestic terrorists by Canadian authorities.

      Would that be the same Canadian authorities that arrested Pastor Pawlowski on multiple occasions and recently sentenced him to 6 months probation, suspended his travel within his own country and compelled him to speech that violates his conscience? And according to your Daily Beast article, these so called domestic terrorists were OMG! displaying banners and signs protesting mask mandates for children as well as critical racist training.

      Following many run-ins with the police for defying unlawful coronavirus regulations, a well-known Canadian preacher was ordered to lie and go against his convictions to state that “vaccinations are saving lives, that masks work, that doctors and scientists are all for the restrictions.”

      While Artur Pawlowski, the brave pastor of Calgary’s Street Church and The Cave of Adullam in Alberta, Canada, avoided jail time on Wednesday, the Christian Post reports that he was slapped with $23,000 in penalties and 18 months of probation for breaching court orders and coronavirus regulations that forbade him from conducting in-person church services.

      Probation terms include doing 120 hours of community service, not being able to leave Alberta, and what his lawyer described as “suppression of freedom of expression.”
      https://www.christianitydaily.com/articles/13650/20211019/canadian-pastor-says-judge-basically-forcing-him-to-lie-and-abandon-rights-convictions-faith%E2%80%94-all-for-covid.htm

      And yet a pro-life prayer vigil on the University of North Texas campus was disrupted by approximately 200 Antifa activists.

      “They harassed us, they were throwing things at us,” she said. “They were chanting things. They brought all sorts of instruments that they were playing to drown out whatever we were saying. They brought their megaphones, they brought whistles.”

      Neidert said some of the protesters tried to pick fights with the pro-life students, told them to kill themselves, and followed them to their cars to harass them.

      In one of the videos obtained by Fox News, the pro-life students chant, “Christ is king!” to which a protester responds by chanting, “F*** your God!”

      In another video, a protester screams through a megaphone that she “loves sacrificing children.”
      https://www.foxnews.com/us/f-your-god-antifa-protesters-disrupt-pro-life-prayer-vigil-on-texas-college-campus

      Now how do you define domestic terrorists again? It’s pretty stupid to accept a domestic terrorists definition from a government aggressively taking action against those protesting the violation of their civil rights.

      1. I do not give a $hit about labels.

        Government may investigate ACTUAL Crimes.

        Not people that some think are disreputable.

        Not groups that offend the feelings of some ingroup.

        Canada especially right now is NOT a credibly example of sane rational government.

        Unfortunately neither is the US.

        What is it that our leaders, or their “”experts” have told us about ANYTHING that has actually proven correct ?

        Trump was not plotting with Russia in 2016 – Clinton was.
        Putin did not favor Trump – he favored Clinton and Biden – as did the Chinese.
        VP Biden and his sons Conduct in Russia, Ukraine, China and many other places was NOT Debunked Right wing conspiracy Theories, nor Russian Disinformation – it was FACT – facts which get worse by the day. There are now emails indicating that as Vice President Joe Biden’s finances and bank accounts were intermingled with his Son Hunter’s. There is no longer a shred of Plausible deniability that Joe Biden was not aware of his Son’s activities or that he did not personally benefit from them.

        And I can go on and on.

        56% of americans beleive that it is atleast somewhat likely that the 2020 Election was stolen.

        I do not know if that is true, it may be impossible to prove.
        But it is crystal clear it was conducted lawlessly, and in a fashion to make large scale fraud easy.

        But what is most important is that the left, the media, and democrats have LIED to us all so much about so many things – that no wise person trusts them.

        Those on the left – even those outside of government do not seem to grasp that their own lies and censorious conduct have destroyed peoples trust in them and the institutions they control.

        When Clinton and myriads of other democrats claimed large scale Election Fraud in 2016 – I did not believe them, but i supported actual inquiry.

        Today if the left is trying to supress something – large portions of the electorate are likely to presume it is true.

        We are in the midst of a holy war over covid, masks, vaccinations, lockdowns etc.

        Increasingly – in the US and throughout the world our leaders and their psychophants in the media undermine their own credibility by providing bad advise and then failing to correct it even when it is obvious.

        Getting vaccinated is probably a good idea for many people – especially older people and those at risk.
        But the lie that it is absolutely necescary for everyone, that you will die if you do not vaccinate,
        that Kids will fie by the thousands if we do not vaccinate them – all these lies DECREASE the people willing to get vaccinated.

        Those on the left seem to think that trusting authority is manditory.

        Trust is ALWAYS something you must earn – and you must do so over and over in everything you do.

        The NIH is now admitting that it funded Gain Of Function research on Bat Corona Viruses in Wuhan specifically seeking to engineer the spike protein to be able to better infect humanized mice.

        While this is not absolute proof that the epidemic was the result of a lab leak – it gets us 95% of the way there.
        A year ago the odds against a zoonotic jump to humans were 1:13B – now they are several orders of magnitude worse.

        But beyond where the pandemic originated – Dr. Faucci has LIED about it, under oath, repeatedly.

        This was self serving perjury. It was open and knowing.
        It should be prosecuted
        At the very least Faucci should be fired,

        And no rational person should ever trust anything he says ever again.

        Finally, those on the left should grasp that power and authority do NOT confer integrity and trustworthyness.

        Trust is earned – and not by telling us what we want to hear – but by telling us the TRUTH.

  11. If the letter is the only reason that Garland is acting then we have a truly awful situation. First, there have been reports that the white house has helped draft the letter which really lowers the bar for investigation to anybody who is a critc.. Second, it sets up federal government action with the excuse that people feel threated. When feeling threatened becomes the basis for action it makes it possible for impressionable hysterical people to talk themselves into feeling scared. Even worse is using feeling threatened to set up the possibility of simply saying that one feels threatened as a political tactic. Third, we now have a series of threat hoaxes, quite common in my university and becoming more prevalent in the age of the internet, and also due to the ease of making copies to post on highly visible places and irresponsible reporting by partisan news people. These have become ubiquitous political tactics. All of this leads to “guilt by accusation” which combines gross stupidity and the Leninist evil where monitoring and supressing critics evolves into terror. In this case parents become counter-revolutionaries needing quashing.

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