Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt today sent a letter to the Department of Justice and Attorney General Garland slamming their decision to publish a memo that directs the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice to work with federal prosecutors to investigate and potentially prosecute parents who show up to school board meetings to advocate for their children.
“Biden's Department of Justice is weaponizing its resources against parents who dare to advocate for their children. This dangerous federal overreach imposes a chilling effect on free speech by criminalizing dissent. I will always advocate for parents and will continue to push back against unprecedented federal overreach,” said Attorney General Schmitt
The letter begins with, “Yesterday, you directed the FBI, all U.S. Attorneys, and other members of the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute parents as domestic terrorists for daring to advocate for their kids. This is outrageous and an unconstitutional expansion of federal power. I will stand up for parents and fight any attempts by the Biden Administration to silence them.”
The letter notes, “First, the federal government does not have jurisdiction over local school issues… Second, your directive appears designed to have a chilling effect on speech. Your directive makes only a passing reference to the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment. But the First Amendment gives parents the right to voice their opinion to elected officials, particularly when it comes to their kids’ education.”
The letter concludes with, “As elected officials, school board members are directly accountable to the voters – parents – they represent. School boards are designed to receive and reflect parent input. Board meetings are supposed to be open to the public with the opportunity for public comment by parents. But now that parents are opposing harmful decisions made by school boards, school boards want to treat parents as domestic terrorists. That is wrong.”
The full letter can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/2021-10-5-ltr-doj.pdf?sfvrsn=54c36e8e_2