Key context: The Justice Department’s plans mark a remarkable escalation in the government’s response to school council meetings full of protesters denouncing Covid-19’s mask mandates, political interpretations of critical racial theory, and other highly politicized issues that affect classroom learning and school safety.
Last week the National School Boards Association urged President Joe Biden for federal support to consider whether violence and threats against public school officials could be viewed as a form of domestic terrorism and hate crime.
“America’s public schools and its education leaders are at imminent threat,” the group said wrote to Biden.
“These threats and acts of violence undermine our nation’s first-level democracy and cause school leaders – many who are not paid – to resign immediately and / or cease serving after their term in office,” said school leaders.
Looking ahead: In response, Garland directed the FBI and federal attorneys to meet with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial leaders in each federal judicial district over the next 30 days to “oppose the discussion of threat management strategies.” Facilitate school administrators and board members, educators and staff.
“The division takes these incidents seriously and is committed to using its authority and resources to discourage these threats, detect them when they occur, and pursue them if necessary,” Garland wrote.