Home/Rod Dreher/Angry Parents Are Not Domestic Terrorists

Angry Parents Are Not Domestic Terrorists

This parent was arrested this past summer at a Loudoun County school board meeting about transgender policy. His daughter was raped by a genderfluid boy in a school bathroom

I have been hard on Republican members of Congress in this space for not being effective in pushing back on wokeness in power, but I gotta say, some GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have been exemplary in giving Attorney General Merrick Garland hell over the Justice Department’s decision to sic the FBI on concerned parents, based on a phony letter ginned up by the National School Board Association. The letter suggested that some parents could be domestic terrorists, and was created by the NSBA in consultation with the Biden White House. After the truth came out, the NSBA disavowed the letter.

AG Garland was on the Hill today being grilled by Senators. “Grilled” is kind; more like flayed and roasted alive. Look:



You may find the very harsh tone taken by these Senators to be off-putting, but you need to understand what is at stake here. As Andrew McCarthy points out, the Justice Department and the Democrats were using this phony letter secretly drafted in consultation with the White House to justify AG Garland’s memo ordering the FBI to look into whether or not there was a role for the federal government in fighting violent threats against school boards. Here is a crucial point, by McCarthy:

First, they calculate that most Americans are unaware that local violence and threats of violence are not federal crimes and will approve of any law-enforcement monitoring meant to prevent violence, even in cases when such monitoring would suppress constitutionally protected dissent. Democrats insist that violence is rampant at school-board meetings — even though the examples they offer are overwhelmingly threats of violence, rather than actual violence. Their assumption is that under these claimed circumstances, people will figure it is only natural for the DOJ to threaten FBI monitoring of interactions between parents and school administrators.

There is no federal role here, because even if widespread threats of violence are real (and this is strongly disputed), this is a state and local matter. This entire move was to chill First Amendment dissent by making parents afraid that speaking out against what is being done to their children by school authorities could get them harassed by the FBI. More from NRO on today’s testimony:

During the hearing, Republican Senator Ben Sasse questioned why Garland would not disavow his memo when so many state school board associations have rejected it as well as cut ties with the national group. He accused Garland of launching a campaign against parents to politicize the DOJ.

“Why did the Ohio school board association disassociate from the National School Board Association?,” Sasse asked.

“I don’t know,” Garland replied. “Because this was political hackery,” Sasse shot back. The senator reiterated that while legitimate threats should not be condoned or dismissed, “local law enforcement is more than able to handle one idiot or twelve idiots at local school board meetings.”

“But you have made it a federal issue and I have no idea why,” Sasse added. He then demanded that Garland report back to the House Judiciary Committee to share the findings of the task force’s assessment to elucidate for Congress “how big of a threat parents really pose.”

This is a huge issue. Thank God parents like Asra Nomani are leading the charge in Virginia against these school boards, which are trying to advance progressive causes while keeping parents in the dark. A month ago, Fairfax County schools pulled two gay-themed books from school shelves after parental complaints. 

What was in one of those books? Here are panels from “Gender Queer,” by Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns. It’s a book about a female who suffered from gender dysphoria, and who tells the story of her life, including her many sexual explorations. I read it on Kindle Unlimited just now, and have slightly edited them for this site:

If this offends you, well, sorry about that, but you need to know what is in many high school libraries. If you don’t see it for yourself, you will be subject to believing the lie that this is nothing but right-wing nonsense. Many school officials would prefer that you not know. In Virginia, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe is engaged in the Big Lie, saying that all of this, and the Critical Race Theory in schools controversy, are nothing but Trumpist “dog whistles.”

Meanwhile, this week a court found a Virginia high schooler guilty of raping a girl in the girl’s bathroom at the victim’s school. The self-described “genderfluid” rapist was wearing a skirt, and permitted to use the girl’s bathroom. The school board in the interim passed a transgender-friendly school policy, and denied knowing about the rape — which was a lie. The rapist was sent to a different high school, where he has now been accused of raping a second girl.

The other day, campaigning for McAuliffe, former President Barack Obama said:

“We don’t have time to be wasting on these phony, trumped up culture wars. This fake outrage that the right-wing media peddles to juice their ratings.”

It wasn’t a phony culture war. It was a rape. If that rapist had been wearing a MAGA hat instead of a skirt, the media and the Left would be reacting very differently.

McAuliffe and the Democratic Party are gaslighting parents. McAuliffe says that the Critical Race Theory controversy is manufactured, but he’s lying. McAuliffe said in a recent gubernatorial debate that parents should have no role in determining what their children are exposed to in school — that is, the schools that they pay for. McAuliffe said in 2019 that diversity and inclusion are as important as math and English in schools— this, despite the fact that 62 percent of Virginia eighth graders can’t meet proficiency standards in math.

The red-hot controversy over Virginia schools, and the preference of Democratic politicians that parents shut up and sit down and trust the experts, is symbolic of a much bigger fight. The Left believes it knows better, and that its task is to suppress parents for the sake of liberating their children from their parents’ bigotry. In Virginia, Democrats believe that school boards know better than parents. According to a recent Suffolk poll:

Could we finally be at the start of the backlash? Could the Left finally have gone too far? The fact that the Loudoun County educrats knew that a genderfluid male raped a girl in a high school girls bathroom and covered it up while they were eager to pass a pro-trans school policy, and other educrats worked with the Biden White House to manufacture an excuse to get the Attorney General to threaten to sic the FBI on parents who were unhappy with what schools were doing to their kids — if the Republicans can’t do something with this, well, what are Republicans for? I think Sens. Sasse, Cotton, and Cruz today showed us what Republicans are for, and I’m grateful for that.

UPDATE: Wonder if Broward County, FL, parents consented to have their little kids go on a field trip to a gay bar named Rosie’s? Probably so. Looks like it’s an annual event.

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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