Mothers labeled “domestic terrorists” by the protest school board association

On Wednesday, a group of conservative mothers protested to the National Association of School Boards to pressure the Biden administration to target them as “domestic terrorists” because they talk about issues of gender and race in meetings.

Mary Rogerson, a mother of three and a member of Moms for Liberty, said she did not accept the NSBA’s apology Friday to more than 90,000 school board members for miscommunication and “some language” in a September 29 letter that resulted in a punitive memorandum from the Department of Justice. .

“Sometimes the word ‘sorry’ is not enough,” Ms Rogerson said, adding that it was “not harassing” to speak at school board meetings about her children’s education.

Ali Legge, a mother of five running for Hillsborough County School Board in Tampa, Florida, said she committed a “complete offense” at the NSBA noting that she “needs to be investigated by the FBI.”

“It is our job and our obligation to make sure they stay in their lane,” said Ms. Legy.

The NSBA did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment about the protest, which took place outside its headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

The nonprofit’s September 29 letter to President Biden requested an “urgent review” by the Departments of Justice, Education, and Homeland Security into threats of violence against school officials that it said “could be equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crime.”

In response, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memorandum on October 4 pledging federal resources to combat the “alarming rise in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.”

Mr. Garland defended the letter Wednesday in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, downplaying its importance as just “one page” and saying that federal law enforcement would only interfere with local school boards “if necessary” due to criminal threats.

“It is quite clear in the first paragraph that impassioned debate on matters of policy is protected by our Constitution. It includes the debate over parents’ criticism of school boards,” said Mr. Garland.

But Senator Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, said the memo gave many the impression that parents worried about critical race theory and mask mandates represented a greater “national security threat” than the Southern Border crisis.

“These parents are trying to protect their children,” Mr. Grassley said.

He further asked if the attorney general would “revoke” his “highly divisive” memo based on the NSBA’s “illegitimate” letter.

Mr Garland responded that while the NSBA apologized for the “language in the letter”, the organization also maintained its “concern about the safety of school officials and school staff”.

“The language in the message they disavow is the language that has never been included in my message and never will be. I did not embrace all of their concerns in their message. I only embraced the concern about violence and the threat of violence, and that has not changed.”

But the mothers at Wednesday’s protest said the NSBA and the Biden administration had already pushed the goals onto their backs.

Kelly Coles of the National School Board Leadership Council said she faced opposition from an “enduring agenda” to undermine the role of parents through such things as a “pride survey” requiring children to disclose sexual matters while serving on the school board in 2010. Information for School Administrators the public.

“Kids are given non-stop surveys, and what it does is condition them to give out private personal information to strangers,” Ms Coles said.

The mothers expressed concern that the NSBA’s apology and Mr. Garland’s comments made clear that their voices would continue to be ignored.

“There must be resignations,” said Mercedes Schlapp, a senior fellow at the American Conservative Union and mother of five, adding that she knows what “real terrorism” looks like because she was in the White House during 9/11.

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