The relentless pursuit by Parents Defending Education has uncovered more documented proof through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that shows via emails from the National School Boards Association that they were fully aware Attorney General Merrick Garland had prepared the now infamous memo telling the FBI to investigate any threats against school boards prior to the memo’s publication.
This new revelation of emails raises even more questions as it pertains to the request that protesting parents need to be investigated as domestic terrorists. One of the emails obtained through FOIA by Parents Defending Education showed that Slaven was aware of Garland’s memo creating a joint task force between the FBI and the Justice Department to investigate threats to school board members.
The email, dated on October 5, 2021, one day after Garland’s memo, showed Pam Doyle, former NSBA board member conferring with her fellow board member Beverly Slough that, “I [Ms. Doyle] understand Chip [Slaven] knew about the U.S. AG directives before they were published. So much for communicating with the BOD [Board of Directors]. P [Pam].”
What this latest revelation shows a the link that the Biden Administration had played a part in investigating parents as terrorists, something they previously denied. It also comes weeks after another Parents Defending Education FOIA request obtained an email that showed Education Secretary Miquel Cardona had asked for the infamous letter from the NSBA requesting the Biden Administration to begin investigating school board meetings protesting parents as domestic terrorists under the PATRIOT ACT. Of course, the Education Department immediately denied that Secretary Cardona asked for the letter.
In the aftermath, the NSBA received major public backlash from the letter. They eventually apologized for it and then withdrew it. But Garland remained staunch in defense of his memo when he testified to congressional committees. He told them that although the NSBA withdrew their letter, their justification to pen it in the first place was still justified. But calling parents terrorists?
The letter in question came from the NSBA and was sent to President Biden on September 29, 2021. It was co-signed by Slaven and NSBA President Viola Garcia. In it, they said that “America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat,” from parents protesting vaccine mandates, critical race theory, and COVID mask mandates. The NSBA letter also suggested that these protests “could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes” and ended with the NSBA asking the Biden Administration to review the possible threats.
“The American people deserve the truth about this issue immediately,” Parents Defending Education President Nicole Neilly said via the New York Post. “It is appalling that the Department of Justice and Education Department have continued to stonewall on this scandal, ignoring pleas not only from the very people they are supposed to represent but also from the elected officials to whom they report. It’s little wonder that trust in government is at a historic low point.”
So, what role exactly did the Biden Administration play in investigating parents as domestic terrorists? Granted, any form of threats of violence, whether they be implied or real, should be taken as serious, but to call out concerned parents as terrorists might be taking things too far.