Republican senators challenged Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco on a new memo from Attorney General Merrick Garland to Justice Department staff that discussed federal intervention at state and local school board meetings.
Of Memo Condemned the violence against officials, and while GOP senators agreed with those sentiments, they expressed concern about Garland’s use of other language in reference to “intimidation” and “harassment,” which he was concerned about was vague and possibly a violation of the First Amendment.
Sen. Josh Holly, R-Mo. “Parents tell me where their line is, asking what kind of behavior can guarantee federal intervention,” he said.
Calling the memo “wrong” and “dangerous,” Haley said parents sometimes wait hours to wear masks and ask questions about the school’s policies regarding critical race theory. He asked what the DOJ’s memo meant when it referred to harassment and intimidation, claiming that these are vague terms that would have a cold effect on participation in school board meetings.
While attending FBI school board meetings, the senator questioned whether Monaco was aware of any period in American history.
“It’s not going on,” she replied.
Monaco said the attorney general’s memo clearly states that violence is unjustified but that “vigorous debate” is allowed.
At an earlier hearing, however, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arch, noted that Garland’s memo came just days after it was sent by the National School Board Association. Letter President Biden asked the administration to consider using the Patriot Act against domestic terrorism, as well as other measures against “threats or acts of actual violence against our school districts.”
Discussing past events, the NSBA cited several cases of violence, but when one cited the example of “asking the board to call a recess because of serious racial segregation” and how it referred to states including New Jersey and Ohio, “anti-mask supporters are inciting chaos at board meetings.”
“Is it domestic violence for parents to advocate for their child’s interests?” Asked Cotton.
NSBA Interim Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Chip Slaven said Garland’s memo “is a strong message to individuals with violent motives who focus on creating chaos, disrupting our public schools and wage war on school boards and parents, students and the community they serve.” . “
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Ten, who did not get to ask questions during the hearing, contacted Monaco after it was over. Their conversation was captured on camera.
Blackburn said, “All of this means that you parents expect the progressive agenda not to be violent.
Blackburn continued, “The message you are sending to parents, to individuals, is to take what you say or we will not be able to protect you.” And I think it’s a very dangerous place. “
“I hear you about misconceptions,” Monaco said, but she insisted that the FBI would only investigate the crimes and that the memo was “about violence and that’s it.”