Across the country, the anti-vaccine and anti-mask crowd, the ones convinced that COVID-19 is a hoax meant to control us all, that 700,000 Americans have not died, and that medical science is being used as a tool of a Communist/Socialist/dictatorial government who wants to track them (and can’t do so through cell phone use or any other kind of vaccine) have been making themselves known to the public in frightening ways.
The right has insisted that any effort to manage the threats to school or health officials is just another form of control, silencing opposition to the benefit of those who they’re convinced profit off the health crisis, and that insistence has come from everyone from former President Donald Trump and his children to current members of the federal government.
On Thursday, questions about “silencing” parents at school board meetings, parents who have turned teaching the history of black Americans into “critical race theory” and mixed it into their protests against mask and vaccine mandates, came from Fox News’ Peter Doocy, who asked “does the administration agree that parents upset about their kids’ curriculums could be considered domestic terrorists?” White House press secretary Jen Psaki shut down that line of questioning, reminding Doocy that threatening to hunt down and harm anyone in the United States is illegal and wrong.
‘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.’
We have a two-tiered Justice System in America. https://t.co/Ah4aApd2Th
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 6, 2021
The question stems from an announcement that Attorney General Merrick Garland would be investigating the phenomenon of “parents” showing up at school board meetings to make threats against school officials over teaching “critical race theory” (i.e. the history of the United States from the perspective of black Americans) and requiring students to wear masks and schoolteachers and administrators to be vaccinated.
According to POLITICO, the National School Boards Association wrote a letter to President Biden saying:
‘These threats and acts of violence are affecting our nation’s democracy at the very foundational levels, causing school board members – many who are not paid – to resign immediately and/or discontinue their service after their respective terms.’
AG Garland’s son-in-law is co-founder of a company that sells critical race theory materials to schools (purchased by local school boards). If this is true, Congress needs to hold oversight hearings NOW.
— Rep. Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) October 6, 2021
The threats have carried out into parking lots and over phone lines, threats that come from people many in the school communities say they do not even recognize, indicating that the organization of these threatening individuals may not be organic or related to the issues at hand, at all, but part of some larger effort to sow discord. The attorney general does not appear willing to allow these Americans to continue to be made to feel afraid for their lives.
‘In response, Garland directed the FBI and federal prosecutors to meet with federal, state, local, tribal and territorial leaders in each federal judicial district in the next 30 days to “facilitate the discussion of strategies for addressing threats” against school administrators, board members, educators and staff.”‘
Fox News' Peter Doocy: "Does the administration agree that parents upset about their kids' curriculums could be considered domestic terrorists?"
WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki: "Regardless of the reasoning, threats and violence against public servants is illegal." pic.twitter.com/WeM1ClG7K7
— The Recount (@therecount) October 6, 2021