The president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) took to Twitter Tuesday to defend the Biden Department of Justice in its move to mobilize the FBI against parents voicing concerns to school officials and boards about Critical Race Theory and mask mandate.
“Violence isn’t speech,” Randi Weingarten wrote. “When you see right-wing politicians saying the DOJ is going after speech, just note who they’re defending. They’re defending violence against teachers and school boards.”
Violence isn't speech. When you see right-wing politicians saying the DOJ is going after speech, just note who they're defending. They're defending violence against teachers and school boards. https://t.co/jCenzT6Gxy
— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) October 5, 2021
School board meetings are supposed to be community-level democracy in action. What are we teaching our children with these disgraceful displays? https://t.co/xiuDgTXjZU
— Randi Weingarten (@rweingarten) October 7, 2021
Weingarten linked to an article at education media outlet Education Week, which reported:
It is unclear exactly how many threats and acts of violence have been committed against educators in recent months. But some members of the public have reacted angrily in response to schools’ decision to adopt mask mandates and quarantine policies for students during the pandemic. In September, three adults sought to execute a citizen’s arrest of an Arizona principal and showed up at her school; the men were arrested and charged.
Other Twitter users responded to Weingarten:
Parents asserting their prerogatives to protect their children and asserting that parental involvement in management of school curriculum and all school aspects of education is integral to the functioning and operations of schools is not violence. pic.twitter.com/6GMR1aDTqL
— zach baylor (@zach_baylor) October 6, 2021
I’m sure you feel the same about Antifa, correct?
— jacqueline (@jacquiebrtz) October 6, 2021
— RealJeffGfetus (@RealJeffGfetus) October 6, 2021
I wish you’d mentioned this reasonable point about violence not being speech when CNN was gaslighting us all through 2020 about “fiery but mostly peaceful protests”. pic.twitter.com/vCUQ6b2crL
— TK-421 ⚔️ (@harding_kt) October 6, 2021
Anger isn't violence.
— The smallest minority is the individual. (@slight9) October 6, 2021
Sooo mostly peaceful protests reaking havoc last summer good, holding board of ed acct. Bad
— adrianne griffith (@adriann83120888) October 6, 2021
In response to a letter last week by the National School Boards Association (NSBA), in which the organization asked President Joe Biden for “federal law enforcement and other assistance” to cope with frustrated parents at local school board meetings, Attorney General Merrick Garland mobilized the FBI, working with U.S. attorneys across the country, against parents, based on NSBA reports of incidents the group characterized as “threats or actual acts of violence against our school districts.”
Old and busted: The War on Terror
New hotness: The War on Citizens Who Dissent from the Regime https://t.co/4pWmMLgINw
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) October 4, 2021
Included in its list of examples of “threats of actual acts of violence” for which NSBA is seeking federal law enforcement assistance were:
An individual was arrested in Illinois for aggravated battery and disorderly conduct during a school board meeting. During two separate school board meetings in Michigan, an individual yelled a Nazi salute in protest to masking requirements, and another individual prompted the board to call a recess because of opposition to critical race theory.
In New Jersey, Ohio, and other states, anti-mask proponents are inciting chaos during board meetings … A resident in Alabama, who proclaimed himself as “vaccine police,” has called school administrators while filming himself on Facebook Live.
NSBA asked Biden to issue an executive order that would serve to protect school officials and school board members from parents after review of “appropriate enforceable actions against these crimes and acts of violence under the Gun-Free School Zones Act, the PATRIOT Act in regards to domestic terrorism, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Violent Interference with Federally Protected Rights statute, the Conspiracy Against Rights statute.”
Education Sec. Won't Say Parents are "Primary" Stakeholders in Children's Education pic.twitter.com/SWLlXh6MGx
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) October 1, 2021
“This propaganda continues despite the fact that critical race theory is not taught in public schools and remains a complex law school and graduate school subject well beyond the scope of a K-12 class,” NSBA asserted.
Last month, however, the United States Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution during its annual convention in which its members pledged to support the teaching of CRT in K-12 schools.
“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the nation’s mayors support the implementation of CRT in the public education curriculum to help engage our youth in programming that reflects an accurate, complete account of BIPOC history,” the mayors stated.
We must reimagine our civic education system to better serve and empower young people, especially those experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage, prejudice and systemic injustice. We—all of us—are “We the people.” @rweingarten
— AFT (@AFTunion) October 7, 2021
A member of the staff at Glenbard North High School of Carol Stream, Illinois, has resigned following a viral video that depicts the staff member calling a student “a piece of shit” for improperly wearing a mask. https://t.co/4zq4nKG6c6
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 13, 2021
In July, the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest teachers’ union, also moved to openly promote the teaching of Critical Race Theory in K-12 schools and to oppose any bans on instruction in both the Marxist ideology and the widely discredited New York Times’ “1619 Project.”
The union agreed to “research the organizations attacking educators,” doing what it referred to as “anti-racist work,” as well as to “use the research already done and put together a list of resources and recommendations for state affiliates, locals, and individual educators to utilize when they are attacked.”
The founder of Moms for America is calling for a national parents strike to protest “the continued public school mask mandates” and other “encroachments on our freedoms.” https://t.co/hyFonBpfln
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 9, 2021
NEA dismissed the outrage of grassroots parents, claiming the main critics of Critical Race Theory are “well-funded” conservative groups.
“The attacks on anti-racist teachers are increasing, coordinated by well-funded organizations such as the Heritage Foundation,” the union said. “We need to be better prepared to respond to these attacks so that our members can continue this important work.”