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Editor’s note: This column was first published in City Journal.
In an official memo, Attorney General Merrick Garland has pledged to mobilize the FBI against parents protesting critical race theory in public schools, citing unspecified “threats of violence” against school officials.
Garland’s memo follows a National School Boards Association request that the Biden administration investigate threats to school board members and classify sometimes heated parent protests as “domestic terrorism.” The NSBA suggested that some of these parents should be prosecuted under the PATRIOT Act and federal hate crimes legislation.
The school board association letter, however, is riddled with falsehoods, errors, and exaggerations. It begins with the claim that “critical race theory is not taught in public schools,” despite a vast body of evidence, including my own reporting, showing that CRT is widespread in public schools. Even the national teachers’ union has admitted as much, and called for its implementation in all 50 states.
The NSBA deliberately misrepresents debates at school board meetings as “threats” and sometimes vociferous and angry speech as “violence.” The letter refers to dozens of news stories alluding to “disruptions,” “shouts,” “arguments,” and “mobs” but, contrary to its core claim, cites only a single