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NEWS & ANALYSIS

17 States Join Fight Against Biden Administration for Intimidating Parent Activists


Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is leading a group of 17 states to stop the Biden administration from intimidating parent activists who speak regarding issues like COVID-19, critical race theory and gender education. 

“Hoosier parents have a First Amendment right to speak their minds to teachers, administrators, and school board members,” Rokita said. “That’s why I’m demanding that the Biden administration immediately stop attempting to shut down parental participation through scare tactics and intimidation.” 

As reported by BizPacReview, Rokita wrote a letter to President Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland on October 18 expressing his concerns about the treatment and characterization of parents who attend school board meetings with grievances. 

“Today, we write to you in our capacity as state Attorneys General, chief legal officers of our respective states. Over the last year, as legal officers, we have advised our constituencies of their constitutional right to free speech and encouraged public engagement to voice their opinions on important issues affecting their country, state, and communities, especially parents who have concerns about their children’s education. Your recent action seeks to chill lawful dissent by parents voiced during local school board meetings by characterizing them as unlawful and threatening,” the letter read. 

“Surely the FBI and Department of Justice have more pressing matters to attend to,” it added, “like the massive spike in murders in major cities throughotu the United States.” 

“Concerned parents passionate about their kids’ education are not terrorists,” Rokita said in a statement Monday. “The Biden administration and its special-interest allies need to dial down the rhetoric and respect the rights of parents to be heard.” 

As previously reported by Human Events News, in September, the National School Board Association sent a letter to Garland claiming that school boards face “domestic terrorism and hate crimes” from critics of mask mandates and promoters of “propaganda purporting the false inclusion of critical race theory.” 

In a memo shortly afterward, Garland said the FBI and U.S. attorneys would have meetings with federal, state and local leaders to form “strategies for addressing threats.”

The Justice Department said in a press release that it would create “specialized training” for school boards and administrators to identify threats, report them to law enforcement and “capture and preserve evidence” to aid in prosecutions. 

The 17 state attorneys general who signed the letter are from Indiana, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.