'Whistleblower Evidence' Proves FBI Targeted Parents Protesting School Policies Via 'Terrorism' Tag

© AFP 2023 / YURI GRIPASThe FBI headquarters building in Washington, DC.
The FBI headquarters building in Washington, DC. - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.05.2022
During last year’s hearing before the Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Merrick Garland was asked about the “snitch line on parents” his memo had created, directing the FBI to “investigate parent protests” against local schools. He replied that he could not “imagine any circumstance… where they would be labelled as domestic terrorism”.
Republican Reps. Jim Jordan and Mike Johnson have written a letter to the US Justice Department claiming to possess evidence from “brave whistleblowers” inside the DOJ that the FBI targeted parents who protested certain school practices, reported Fox News.
Jordan and Johnson have also slammed these probes as being the direct result of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s directive to the FBI on 4 October – something he previously denied.
In a testimony before Congress in October 2021, Garland rejected claims his department had deployed antiterrorism tools against parents protesting the policies of school boards.

"I can’t imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor can I imagine a circumstance where they would be labelled as domestic terrorism", he had stated.

Now, the lawmakers underscored in their letter:

“This whistleblower information raises serious concerns that your October 4 memorandum will chill protected First Amendment activity as parents will rightfully fear that their passionate advocacy for their children could result in a visit from federal law enforcement".

‘Snitch-Line’ Targeting Parents

The controversy dates back to last September, when the National School Boards Association (NBSA) sent a letter to the administration of US President Joe Biden likening parents who protested school mask mandates, teaching the critical race theory (CRT) in K-12 schools, and other policies, to domestic terrorists.
CRT, which originated in the 1960s, is rooted in the idea that race is a socially constructed category wielded to exploit people of colour. Specifically, the theory argues that US laws and legal institutions are "inherently racist" and function to create and maintain social, economic, as well as political inequalities between whites and non-whites, most notably black people. At the same time the theory, heavily criticised by conservatives, has no "solution" to the alleged situation with racism in the US. This fact has led many Republicans to doubt the theory's scientific character, while pointing to the apparently exclusively political grounds for promoting it.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses a joint session of a legislative session, Jan. 11, 2022, in Tallahassee, Fla.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.04.2022
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The NBSA letter was prompted by many parents speaking out at school board meetings against implemented policies, with some interactions described as raucous.
The letter, which the NBSA issued a mea culpa over in October, called for federal action to address hostilities toward school boards as possible acts of "domestic terrorism". It had suggested using the Patriot Act against the obdurate parents.
President Biden’s Department of Justice supposedly based its subsequent memo, dated 4 October, on the NSBA letter. It directed the FBI and US attorney's offices to investigate "threats of violence" at school board meetings to address what was branded a "disturbing trend" of “harassment” of school officials.
The memo made mention of the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center, which Reps. Jordan and Johnson branded a "snitch-line" for tips about parents at school board meetings.
The GOP politicians claim that the FBI carried out dozens of probes into parents in every region of the country and relating to all types of educational settings under a threat tag "EDUOFFICIALS", created by the bureau’s Counterterrorism Division.
The lawmakers also cited several examples of when a parent or a state elected official was reported in line with the memo.
On one occasion, FBI officials questioned a gun-owner mother, belonging to a "right wing mom’s group" called "Moms for Liberty", who allegedly told a school board member "we are coming for you". The woman was eventually deemed not to be a threat.
Another probe is said to have targeted a father opposed to coronavirus mask mandates at school. He was reported to the authorities as purportedly fitting the “profile” of an "insurrectionist" who "rails against the government" and "has a lot of guns and threatens to use them". However, the person who made the accusations later admitted they had "no specific information or observations of … any crimes or threats".
According to Jordan and Johnson, elected GOP officials were also reported by a state Democratic Party official as having "incited violence" by voicing disapproval of school districts’ vaccine mandates.
The two Republican reps have denounced all these investigations as stemming from Garland’s directive to the FBI.
Anti-vaccine mandate protesters gather during a Portland Public Schools board meeting to discuss a proposed vaccine mandate for students on October 26, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. The board moved the meeting to discuss a proposed vaccine mandate for students 12-years-old and up online after a group of anti-mandate protesters gathered before the meeting. - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.11.2021
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FBI agents, after determining the cases in question did not amount to terrorist threats, were later cited as deploring wasted "valuable law-enforcement time and resources (that) could have been expended on real and pressing threats".
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