Government Watchdog Launches Investigation into DOJ Targeting of ‘Domestic Terrorist’ Parents Opposed to Critical Race Theory

A group of about 150 Fort Worth parents and activists gathering at the Fort Worth Police and Firefighters Memorial to speak out against Critical Race Theory; demanding FWISD Superintendent Kent Scribner step down. March to district headquarters starts NOW #FOX4 #CRT #FortWorth@MacyJJenkins/Twitter
@MacyJJenkins/Twitter

Government watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT) filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking records from the Department of Justice (DOJ) showing the timeline surrounding Attorney General Merrick Garland’s decision to sic the FBI on parents opposed to Critical Race Theory.

Garland’s directive was seemingly in response to a letter from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) deeming such parents “domestic terrorists.”

Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), PPT is also seeking corroborating records from the Department of Education and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in order to ascertain if these federal agencies colluded with the NSBA to achieve a political end.

As Breitbart News previously reported, “Days after a national organization representing school board officials lamented to the Biden administration about ‘hate groups’ intimidating education officials, Attorney General Merrick Garland has directed the FBI to combat ‘threats of violence’ against administrators.”

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 critics like her say trains white children to see themselves as "oppressors." "Yes!", answered in unison the hundreds of demonstrators gathered this weekend near Washington to fight against "critical race theory," the latest battleground of America's ongoing culture wars. The term "critical race theory" defines a strand of thought that appeared in American law schools in the late 1970s and which looks at racism as a system, enabled by laws and institutions, rather than at the level of individual prejudices. But critics use it as a catch-all phrase that attacks teachers' efforts to confront dark episodes in American history, including slavery and segregation, as well as to tackle racist stereotypes. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

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. (ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

“The timing of the Attorney General’s letter contributes to a public perception that the federal government is targeting parents who have spoken up against policies being advanced by the Administration’s local union allies,” the group’s press release stated. “Using domestic terrorism as the rationale has only heightened the perception that Americans’ civil rights are being threatened for improper purposes.”

In order to understand the “role of DOJ officials in the controversy over deploying federal resources, including law enforcement resources, to investigate parents and citizens upset over local school board policies,” each FOIA request reads, PPT is seeking the following information:

All records for meeting requests, meeting memos, briefing documents schedules, communications, and any other records related to the [NSBA].

[…]

Any and all communications, documents, and other records pertaining to the NSBA letter dated September 30, 2021, domestic terrorism concerns raised by local school boards over protests or threats by parents or other citizens, or other outreach to NSBA before or after receiving the letter.

[…]

Records related to the Attorney General’s letter on the issues raised in the NSBA letter, including the decision to draft a response, dedicate federal resources, the basis for federal intervention in local school board matters, and public communications efforts to defend or promote the AG letter’s messages or actions.

“Whether DOJ officials were involved in the NSBA’s decision to send the September 30, 2021 letter could implicate serious issues of misconduct and contribute to a perception that the federal government is targeting political opponents,” PPT’s requests assert, saying the lack of transparency surrounding the issue would raise questions about the DOJ’s ability to conduct itself “in a manner that is not arbitrary, political in nature, and respects the civil rights of all Americans.”

Matt Perdie

Consequently, according to the group’s press release, “if it turns out the [NSBA] letter, which seems to have prompted the DOJ response, was in any way solicited by the White House or Administration officials, individual officials may be facing even more serious charges of misconduct.”

Indeed, significant questions of misconduct loom, particularly considering the revelation that AG Garland’s son-in-law, Xan Tanner, is the cofounder of a company that promotes Critical Race Theory in schools.

Panorama Education, Tanner’s company, “produces data mining surveys for schools, including ‘equity and inclusion surveys’ and conducts ‘professional development’ training in the areas of equity and inclusion for teachers and administrators,” according to Breitbart News’s Dr. Susan Berry. “A reimagined education system is our antiracist protest,” company CEO Aaron Feuer said.

Moreover, just days after Garland’s directive to crack down on parents who oppose Critical Race Theory, President Joe Biden appointed a Critical Race Theory activist to serve in his Education Department’s Office of Communications and Outreach.

As Breitbart News reported, appointee Precious McKesson’s new position “makes her part of the team responsible for communicating department policy to parents and the general public.”

A group of about 150 Fort Worth parents and activists gathering at the Fort Worth Police and Firefighters Memorial to speak out against Critical Race Theory; demanding FWISD Superintendent Kent Scribner step down. March to district headquarters starts NOW #FOX4 #CRT #FortWorth

A group of about 150 Fort Worth parents and activists gathering at the Fort Worth Police and Firefighters Memorial to speak out against Critical Race Theory, demanding FWISD Superintendent Kent Scribner step down.  @MacyJJenkins/Twitter

But there also appears to be a rift developing between the NSBA and some of its state-level subsidiaries.

The Virginia and Louisiana School Board Associations have recently condemned the Biden administration’s move to intimidate parents into submission by threatening federal militancy. With both state associations citing the importance of parental input and the need to keep educational decisions local, Louisiana’s association went as far as to say they “are now evaluating the future of our affiliation with NSBA.”

“We don’t have to look too far into the past for examples of federal agencies abusing their power to advance White House priorities across administrations.” PPT Director Michael Chamberlain said of the situation. “We all should condemn the use of criminal activity, threats and violence to further policy goals. By the same token, the federal government must provide transparency and respect the legitimate rights of American citizens in order to avoid abuses of its immense power when it inserts itself into a highly-charged atmosphere.”

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