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Home/Rod Dreher/School Dissent: A Federal Crime?

School Dissent: A Federal Crime?

Loudoun County, Va., parent-protester at school board meeting over summer(Reuters)

Parents protesting school boards that force Critical Race Theory on students have been having some success lately. Time, then, for the Biden administration to put the FBI on them. The Attorney General issued this today:

Chris Rufo, the leading crusader against CRT indoctrination, comments:

Well, it’s more complicated than that. The National School Board Association, in its long letter asking Biden to get the feds involved, listed some specific attacks. I don’t doubt that there really have been completely inexcusable, even violent, incidents directed at school boards by angry parents. But I also have deep suspicion about the Biden administration’s apparent eagerness to slot dissenters into the “domestic terrorists” category. Some of these school board meetings have been quite contentious, with justifiably outraged parents reading obnoxious, and in some cases extremely sexualized, content aloud — content that had been assigned to their children. Of course school boards don’t want to hear that! But they have to hear it. It is not the job of parents to sit quietly while these people indoctrinate students on the public dime.

Take a look at how one local TV station in Washington, DC, construed a story to make a group of white parents out to be the villains at a contentious school board meeting. James Lindsay has it all on this Twitter thread. 

In this tweet in the series, a camera catches a black woman, Tonya James, who is head of the county’s Democratic Party, tearing into the whites in the crowd, who had just sung the National Anthem:

I watched the local ABC report, and it is entirely possible that some of these white parents behaved badly without excuse. But it completely ignores the foul-mouthed provocations of the black Democratic official. You’d get the idea from the ABC report that the problem was entirely one caused by hotheaded white people. There is no indication that a black Democratic party official stood and screamed curses at the white parents. Hey, they might even be “domestic terrorists”! Joe Biden’s Justice Department is on the case.

Violence — real or threatened — in school board meetings is unacceptable. But here’s the thing: why federalize this? Why isn’t local law enforcement capable of handling these cases? Why involve the Justice Department? One wonders if the Left is not trying to deploy the same strategy the FBI used against the KKK during the Civil Rights era against parents today who dissent from CRT and/or gender ideology taught to their kids, and vaccine policies. How many parents will be willing to show up at all at school board meetings to object if they fear that in so doing, they will become ensnared with the FBI?

Perhaps this is the point.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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