Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., wants the National School Boards Association (NSBA) to explain why it is convinced that the Justice Department should mobilize the FBI and U.S. attorneys to probe disputes at public school board meetings.
"You don’t cite a single instance of local law enforcement failing to arrest criminals who’ve broken the law," Banks wrote to the group in a letter obtained by the Daily Caller.
The letter was in response to an open letter by NSBA addressed to President Joe Biden.
Banks blasted the group's letter, writing: "You posture as victims while pushing for authoritarianism."
The NSBA has asked the Biden administration to invoke the Patriot Act and federal hate crimes legislation, among other measures, to go after parents who have aggressively opposed school board policies and members who have adopted measures such as mask mandates and the teaching of critical race theory curricula.
The school boards group asserts that ''education leaders are under an immediate threat.''
The request ''to deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation'' comes as reports of angry parents expressing opposition to COVID-19 policies and curriculum changes — particularly those tied to critical race theory — have become more frequent.
But the NSBA asked the administration to consider if threats and acts directed at school boards "could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes."
Banks, in his letter, claimed the NSBA "intentionally muddles the distinction between protected speech and unlawful violence," while "conflat[ing] disagreement with violence in an attempt to convince federal law-enforcement to crack down on [their] political opponents," according to the Daily Caller.
In a tweet, Banks wrote: @NSBAPublicEd’s letter is shameful. It calls on the DOJ to target their political enemies with the Patriot Act…are you kidding? There are many decent school board members in Indiana. They should be embarrassed by this."
Meanwhile, Attorney General Merrick Garland is mobilizing the Justice Department to "investigate and prosecute" the mounting disputes at public school board meetings and schools.
"Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation's core values," Garland wrote in a memo Monday to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Justice Department prosecutors.
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