FBI to investigate threats against school board members and teachers • Missouri Independent
WASHINGTON – The Justice Department has asked the FBI to meet with local governments and law enforcement to discuss strategies to deal with the increase threats against teachers and school board members spurred on by a conservative backlash against race discussions in public schools.
“Threats against public officials are not only illegal, they go against the fundamental values of our country,” Attorney General Merrick Garland wrote in his memorandum to FBI Director Christopher Wray, released Monday.
“Those who devote their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive an appropriate education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their jobs without fear for their safety. “
School board meetings have also come under attack for mask warrants to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools.
Quoted garland a spike in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against public school officials as the reason for the rating.
School board meetings across the country have been derailed by a fury over “critical race theory,” which is not typically taught at the K-12 level and is rather an academic theory studied in college. Critical Race Theory is the study of the intersection of race and American law.
The National School Boards Association welcomed Garland’s announcement.
“In recent weeks, school board members and other education officials have received death threats and been subjected to threats and harassment, both online and in person,” he said. Chip Slaven, executive director and interim CEO of the group, said in a statement.
“The individuals who intend to wreak havoc and disrupt our schools – many of whom are not even connected to local schools – are stifling the voices of parents who need to be heard when it comes to making decisions about schooling. education, health and safety of their children. . These acts of intimidation also affect educational services and the governance of school boards. Some have even led to school closures. “
The association also wrote a letter to President Joe Biden on September 29 about increasing threats against school boards and asked for help.
The Department of Justice will also create training and guidance for local school boards and school officials on how to report certain threats to the appropriate law enforcement agency and how to “preserve evidence of” threatening behavior to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of these crimes ”.
With the massive Black Lives Matter protests across the country in the summer of 2020 due to the murder of George Floyd by Minnesota Police Officer Derek Chauvin, many public schools have attempted to discuss race and race. equity.
Some have incorporated the New York Times 1619 Project, which explores the 400-year history of slavery, into school curricula. This spurred protests from conservatives who demonstrated at school board meetings, sometimes leading to arrests.
Republicans of State and Congress have decided to ban the teachings of “critical race theory” in public schools.
The DOJ has also set up an FBI tip line to report threats.