On Sunday, parents and activists took to Washington to protest the Department of Justice’s order directing the FBI to crack down on “efforts to intimidate” and “threats” aimed at school officials and teachers. The DOJ’s directive came less than one week after a group representing 90,000 school-board members asked President Joe Biden for federal protection from the parents who the school officials claimed were engaging in “a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
According to a Daily Caller exclusive report, a crowd of demonstrators assembled for the “Parents Are Not ‘Domestic Terrorists’ Rally,” referencing the school-board association’s letter to Biden and Attorney General Marrick Garland’s subsequent order to use the DOJ’s authority to respond to the “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.”
Daily Caller reporter Kendall Tietz shared video of the protest on Twitter.
Brian Schultz, a Fairfax County, Va. taxpayer and parent of a former area public school student, said parents are speaking up about their concerns regarding how children are being educated, particularly lessons that he said are inconsistent with American values.
“They are forcing children to hate each other through CRT (Critical Race Theory), and they are also not listening to us when it comes to things like having porn in schools,” Schultz told the Daily Caller. “We want that to end.”
Shultz said the Biden administration using the FBI to threaten parents is a violation of their First Amendment rights.
“To date, there really hasn’t been any violence at school board meetings,” Schultz continued. “Yes, loud voices, but loud voices are not considered violence and it’s okay for parents to express their concerns with loud voices.”
Also attending the rally was Schultz’s wife Elizabeth, who served on the Fairfax County School Board for eight years before going to work for the U.S. Department of Education. Ms. Schultz said she is a mom standing up for parents who were “afraid to show their face” at the rally out of fear of retribution or losing their jobs.
“We’re at a turning point where the federal government can weaponize its investigatory intervention powers… not on actual terrorists, not on the border, not on protecting communities, but on school board meetings where parents come to speak passionately, fervently in support of a fulsome education for their children that focuses on math and science, that focuses on getting everybody reading at grade level,” Ms. Schultz said.
She added that the federal government should not be getting involved in local school issues.
“I would never have imagined that you would have an organization that is supposed to ostensibly be for supporting children’s education (NSBA), becoming an activist group of far-left ideology,” Ms. Schultz continued.
“The notion of what it means to be an American is being deconstructed through the rewriting of curriculum,” Elizabeth said. She said these ideas are being impressed “on young minds to look at their peers through the color of race, and not on the content of character.”
Asra Nomani, whose son attends Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, told the Daily Caller that educators are “using taxpayer money to bring their very bad ideas to the school systems, including Black Lives Matter at schools, ideas of affinity groups that separate kids based on their race and their skin color… it’s just the opposite idea of humanity and civil rights.”
“I, as a person of color, say to white America, and all Americans, be unapologetic in your values,” Nomani continued. “I am actually a liberal progressive and I am standing up against these ideas, because I believe they are very illiberal.”
Nomani said she was stunned that the National School Board Association would “dare to wage a war on parents,” adding that the group’s “call to the federal government for intervention… was something beyond the pale.”
“It was orchestrated… because within two business days, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo to the FBI Director telling him to use the PATRIOT Act on parents,” Nomani said. “I mean, this is just unconscionable, and they are on the incorrect side of history.”
On Monday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) slammed the DOJ’s investigation into parents protesting schools, arguing it violated their First Amendment rights, The Hill reported.
“What the attorney general is doing…is outrageous. It is such a violation of people’s constitutional rights to petition their government, to free speech,” Johnson said during an interview on WABC 770 AM.