Parents respond to DOJ, school boards' statements: 'I am what a domestic terrorist looks like?'
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The Justice Department (DOJ) is facing a wave of backlash as parents criticize its recent decision to investigate potential acts of violence against school boards across the country.
It came after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) asked the Biden administration for assistance, suggesting that the threats and acts of violence were similar to domestic terrorism.
“I am what a domestic terrorist looks like?” asked Asra Nomani, vice president of investigations and strategy at Parents Defending Education. “You owe parents an apology!” Nomani’s group has been conducting deep research into how school boards across the country are implementing so-called “woke” ideas in their curricula.
Nomani’s group has launched a form on their website that purportedly sends emails to DOJ. The draft email reads: “I urge you to reconsider mobilizing the U.S. Department of Justice against concerned parents who are exercising their First Amendment rights at school board meetings across the country.”
“Our country’s children deserve a high-quality education. Please do not criminalize the American citizens that advocate on their behalf.”
On Tuesday, Nomani changed her Twitter display name to “Asra Q. Nomani ‘Domestic Terrorist’” in an apparent attempt to mock the suspicion of parents like herself. In another tweet, she said Attorney General Merrick Garland had issued a “declaration of war” against parents.
Nicole Solas, a mom who publicly challenged her school board in Rhode Island, similarly had a display name that read in part: “Domestic Terrorist per @NSBApubliced.”
In response to the DOJ’s announcement, she tweeted: “Arrest me.” She added that “[a]ny *legitimate* violence is sufficiently addressed by your local police. The Fed wants the *political* police. FBI are the politics police.”
Parent and activist Aliscia Andrews tweeted “silencing the opposition.”
Garland himself did not explicitly mention domestic terrorism but did notify the public that he was working with the FBI to look into the issue.
“Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values,” he wrote in a memo. “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.”
He directed the “[FBI], working with each United States Attorney, to convene meetings with federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders in each federal judicial district within 30 days of the issuance of this memorandum. These meetings will facilitate the discussion of 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 NASB, however, asked the Biden administration to consider its powers under the Patriot Act, the sweeping surveillance legislation passed in the aftermath of the attacks on September 11.
Nomani’s organization released a statement Monday night that accused activists of “weaponizing the U.S. Department of Justice.”
It added: “This is a coordinated attempt to intimidate dissenting voices in the debates surrounding America’s underperforming K-12 education – and it will not succeed. We will not be silenced.”
The DOJ and NSBA did not immediately respond to Fox News’ requests for comment.
Loudoun parent Elicia Brand told Fox News: “I encourage all parents to stand strong in their fight for freedom and parental rights and never falter in the face of unjustified threats.”
“I hope the proper authorities are used to find those who threaten violence or speak such hateful words, but they will not find them in the Loudoun County parent community, as we stand against that. Moms and Dads will stand strong in our faith of doing right and our peaceful mission to protect our children even more now that this letter has been released, as we are at the tipping point where the free America that we love can quickly be the America to be feared. We owe this to our children and the generations that follow.”
Fellow Loudoun parent Elizabeth Perrin said via text: “So the school board and the [Commonwealth Attorney] can target people and the people who defend themselves are now domestic terrorists… how messed up is this!”
Perrin was referring to the now-infamous Facebook group that allegedly attempted to compile information on CRT opponents within the county. Commonwealth Attorney Buta Biberaj and many school board members were reportedly members of the group, although it’s unclear to what extent – if, at all – they participated in the activities highlighted by media reports.
A subsequent investigation by the sheriff’s department resulted in no criminal charges but authorities reportedly told alleged victims they could bring civil or misdemeanor charges.
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