In the fall of 2021,U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland released a memo expressing concern over a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation's public schools.”
Garland wrote at the time, “Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation's core values. 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.”
To tackle this problem, Garland announced a 30-day plan to have FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) officials in collaboration with U.S attorneys from across the country talk about “strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff, and will open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response.”
The memo was issued just a few days after leaders from the National School Boards Association wrote President Joe Biden a letter claiming that “many public school officials are also facing physical threats because of propaganda purporting the false inclusion of critical race theory within classroom instruction and curricula.” The letter further noted, “This propaganda continues despite the fact that critical race theory is not taught in public schools and remains a complex law school and graduate school subject well beyond the scope of a K-12 class.”
In the following months, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) carried out investigations into Garland's decision along with the Biden Administration's role in the FBI's activities and discovered some shocking facts. In a letter addressed to Merrick Garland last Wednesday, the two congressmen stated that a whistleblower provided evidence that showed that the FBI “labeled at least dozens of investigations into parents with a threat tag created by” the division's counterterrorism department “to assess and track investigations related to school boards.”
The letter read, “These cases include investigations into parents upset about mask mandates and state elected officials who publicly voiced opposition to vaccine mandates. These investigations into concerned parents are the direct result of, and would not have occurred but for, your directive to federal law enforcement to target these categories of people.”
The whistleblowers reported that the FBI initiated investigations with the threat tag across the nation. Among the cases cited, one FBI investigation focused on a mother who was flagged as a threat by the National Threat Operations Center snitch-line and identified as a “right-wing” member of the group “Moms for Liberty.” The investigation began after she allegedly informed the local school board that “we are coming for you.” The FBI was later able to determine that the mother wasn't a threat, and her statement was a reference to the peaceful transfer of power via school-board elections. Another case focused on a father with a son who “fit the profile of an insurrectionist” due to the fact that the man “rails against the government” and was a gun owner.
In the letter, it was noted that the FBI did dismiss the investigations. The two congressmen were, nonetheless, concerned by the fact that police resources were used to conduct investigations on parents exercising their First Amendment rights.