Chris Lange, FISM News
Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday issued a letter addressed to the president and board members of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), requesting their cooperation in providing documents and other information as part of a probe into “troubling evidence” that the association coordinated with the White House to silence parents who protest at school board meetings. Emails obtained through a records request show that the NSBA worked closely with the Biden administration to craft the controversial letter that formed the basis of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s memo directing the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Department of Justice to investigate protesting parents as possible domestic terrorists.
“We are investigating the troubling attempts by the Department of Justice and the White House to use the heavy hand of federal law enforcement to target concerned parents at local school board meetings and chill their protected First Amendment activity,” began a letter signed by 19 GOP lawmakers which was addressed to NSBA president Viola Garcia and three others.
The letter references the explosive Sept. 29 letter sent by the NSBA to the Biden administration demanding investigations into purported threats of violence by parents who speak out against radical, far-left school policies and curricula as violations of hate crime laws under the Patriot Act. Four days later, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo instructing the FBI and U.S. Attorney General’s office to look into potential Patriot Act violations by protesting parents and determine what “enforcement tools can be used to prosecute these crimes.”
Members of the GOP excoriated Garland during subsequent Senate hearings for basing his directive solely on the NSBA letter without any corroborating evidence of threats or acts of violence against school administrators, accusing him of effectively creating “a snitch line for complaints about concerned parents.” It was later revealed that Garcia and NSBA CEO Chip Slaven submitted a draft of the letter to the Biden administration for approval prior to its official release. The NSBA later apologized for the missive amid intense backlash that included the withdrawal of several of its members from the association.
Despite the retraction, Garland, in his second day of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, refused to withdraw his memo.
The GOP lawmakers also point out in their letter that a month after Garcia sent the letter to the White House, she was rewarded with an appointment to the National Assessment Governing Board that oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
“Parents cannot tolerate this collusion between the NSBA and the Biden Administration to construct a justification for invoking federal law enforcement to intimidate and silence parents using their Constitutional rights to advocate for their child’s future,” said the Republican Judiciary Committee members, who also demanded to know whether the NSBA will urge Garland to rescind his Oct. 4 memo. The organization was given a deadline of Nov. 10 to provide the requested information.