On October 4, Attorney General Merrick Garland sent a memo to 14,000 school districts, directing the FBI to coordinate with school district leadership to crack down on parents protesting the introduction of CRT (Critical Race Theory) curriculum in schools across the country.
The Biden administration’s endorsed move has received push-back and likened to censorship and freedom-limiting practices in communist China.
The directive comes after the Biden administration received complaints after school board meetings in Texas and Virginia were interrupted by parents sharing emotion-charged complaints regarding CRT material.
The National School Board Association (NSBA) contacted the Biden administration asking for protection from the “imminent threat” of parents who were said to be sending “threatening letters and cyberbullying” school officials.
The NSBA grievance stated: “As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
Politicians and parents alike have criticized the creation of a task force to assess how “federal enforcement tools” can be used to prosecute what Attorney General Merrick Garland described as criminal conduct against school personnel. Senator Mitch McConnell sided with parents, saying he supports their right to share grievances and have input in their material taught to their children, stating, “parent protests are democracy, not intimidation.”
Xi Van Fleet, a parent in Fairfax County, VA., a flashpoint for CRT protests, grew in China and suffered under Mao’s notorious Cultural Revolution—a movement that suppressed freedom, forced compliance, and resulted in 40,000,000 deaths. Now a resident in Virginia, Xi Van Fleet is concerned by what she views as parallels between recent government moves in America and China’s strong-arm communistic tactics.
“When I was in China, I spent my entire school years in the Chinese Cultural Revolution, so I’m very, very familiar with the communist tactics of how to divide people, how they canceled the Chinese traditional culture and destroyed our heritage,” Xi Van Fleet told Fox News. “All this is happening here in America.”
Speaking of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s intent to involve the FBI in policing parents who voice their concerns at board meetings, Van Fleet warned: “I have to say, this will backfire.”
In June, Van Fleet made headlines when she criticized the Loudoun County School Board for introducing CRT material. She believes her life experience in communist China provides an important perspective from which Americans can benefit. This has prompted her to join parents in nearby Fairfax County who are protesting what they view as an alarming overstep by the DOJ.
Van Fleet believes parents must speak before freedoms are lost. In an interview with Fox News, she said, “I do have a question: What’s [the] next step? Is the Tiananmen Square crackdown the next, or the parents who one day risked their lives just to speak out for the children? That’s why I’m here.”
Harry Jackson, President of the Thomas Jefferson High School Parent Teacher Student Association told a Fox News reporter that some parents are hesitant to speak out. “I can understand parents not wanting to speak in front of the school board,” he said, “because now there is a fear…They have instilled fear within the parents…”
Suparna Dutta, a parent who recently pulled her son out of Thomas Jefferson High School, called the DOJ announcement “shocking.” Encouraging parents to voice their concerns, she said: “I believe that I’m living in a time when if I don’t speak up for my child and if I don’t stand up for what’s right in America, I don’t know what the next generation will be left with.”
Van Fleet said parents should not be intimidated by recent events. In a sobering statement, she said, “If intimidation works, America has fallen a long time ago.
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