FBI Will Investigate Threats Against, Harassment of School Board Members

Headline Roundup October 5th, 2021

In a press release Monday, Attorney General Merrick Garland addressed "a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school board members, teachers and workers in our nation’s public schools." The release said Garland directed the FBI and U.S. attorneys to work with state and local leaders to "open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment and response by law enforcement." The Justice Department (DOJ) is also expected to create a task force "to determine how federal enforcement tools can be used to prosecute these crimes." The National School Boards Association (NSBA) wrote a letter to President Joe Biden last month calling on the federal government to address "the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation" against school faculty over mask mandates and critical race theory (CRT) in schools. 

The DOJ's announcement was covered across the spectrum, especially by right-rated outlets, many of which featured the story prominently in their coverage Tuesday. Many right-rated voices criticized the announcement and accused the Biden administration of trying to suppress debate about mask mandates and CRT in schools; some reports from the right highlighted pushback on the press release from Republican lawmakers. Some coverage from left-rated sources highlighted how the NSBA's CEO said Garland's announcement sent "a strong message to individuals with violent intent."

From the Center
2043

Attorney General Merrick Garland addressed "a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence" against schools and employees on subjects such as mask mandates on Tuesday and plans to implement actions and investigations in the next 30 days, the Associated Press reported.

"While spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views," Garland said.

Garland said the FBI would begin working with federal, state, local, territorial and tribal authorities and hold strategy sessions to...

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From the Right
2043

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Oct. 4 announced a concentrated effort to target any threats of violence, intimidation, and harassment by parents toward school personnel.

The announcement comes days after a national association of school boards asked the Biden administration to take “extraordinary measures” to prevent alleged threats against school staff that the association said was coming from parents who oppose mask mandates and the teaching of critical race theory.

Garland directed the FBI and U.S. attorneys in the next 30 days to convene meetings with federal, state, and local leaders within 30 days to “facilitate...

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From the Left
2043

The Department of Justice will mobilize the FBI in response to a spike in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school board members across the country.

In a memorandum released Monday evening, Attorney General Merrick Garland directed the FBI and U.S. attorneys' offices to meet in the next 30 days with federal, state and local law enforcement leaders to outline strategies for addressing the incidents, which have become more frequent and more volatile in recent months.

"Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our...

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