Union President: Politicians Backing Parents’ Rights Are ‘Defending Violence Against Teachers and School Boards’

People hold up signs during a rally against "critical race theory" (CRT) being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Virginia on June 12, 2021. - "Are you ready to take back our schools?" Republican activist Patti Menders shouted at a rally opposing anti-racism teaching that …
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

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.”

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:

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.”

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.”

“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.

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.”

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.”

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