October 20, 2021
Parents Are Standing Strong Despite Threats from DOJ

Parents Are Standing Strong Despite Threats from DOJ

Tony Perkins

If the Left were capable of regret, their dog whistle to the Justice Department over America's "terrorist" parents would be a good place to start. Days into this PR disaster, the Democrats' wild overreaction (to a nonexistent problem) is creating massive heartburn not only for Joe Biden and the National School Board Association he appears to be in cahoots with. His attorney general, Merrick Garland, is now locked in a duel over the issue with a slew of his state counterparts. It's 17 attorneys general to one. And those aren't great odds, no matter who's in the chair at DOJ.

The White House hasn't even tried for damage control on one of their most outrageous acts to date. When the president asked Garland to sic the FBI on moms and dads for speaking out at local school board meetings, even some liberal news outlets were aghast. The misstep, which has prompted a flood of viral videos like "I am what a domestic terrorist parent looks like," has even spilled over into the states, where Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita decided to send a warning shot of his own. In a letter to the president signed by 16 of his state colleagues, the group disputed the rash of "unruly behavior" that led to the DOJ's latest threats.

"The Biden administration," they write, "... has provided no convincing evidence of any significant 'spike' in threats against school personnel. Instead, these actions by the administration seem designed to chill the lawful dissent of parents who express concerns about their children's education at local public school board meetings." As usual, the evidence isn't on the Left's side -- and neither are voters. After months of watching the DOJ ignore -- and even condone -- the violence in America's streets, it seems more than a little ironic that the government would suddenly decide to crack down on moms and dads instead of lawless mobs.

"When is a protester 'angry and justified' and when are they a 'domestic terrorist?'" David Harsanyi asks. "It all depends on how far Left they are." That fact hasn't escaped Rokita, who said on Tuesday's "Washington Watch," "Only in a Biden administration can you let the Taliban back in a country that you kicked out 20 years ago and call them 'partners' and call our own parents the terrorists. You laugh so you don't cry. But it is truly disturbing what's going on, and that's why I'm so happy to have with us 17 states that are all leaders and have great attorneys general who are going to let parents know that they have someone in their corner when it comes to raising their kids."

As far as he and the dozen and a half attorneys general are concerned, the First Amendment is clear that the government can't silence people. "It's a cherished right, [and]... lawmakers [must] start to realize -- look, we've got to let these parents raise their children. And being in charge of their [kids'] education is part of raising your child." If it's a public school board and a public school, then it's a government school, Rokita pointed out. "And you've got to be transparent if you're running that kind of government program. You've got to be accountable."

What's more, as he and others argue, there hasn't been one documented instance from the National School Board Association that there was violence. "[T]hey made it sound like... there were fisticuffs going on, and there were guns and bullets and all these things, and people were dead. No, they came to a school board meeting and some may have raised their voices. But there's no crime in raising your voice. There's no crime in being emotional for your children." If the DOJ is bored and looking for something to do, he hinted, how about going to the southern border, where tens of thousands of people are crossing illegally and committing a real federal crime. Or how about teaming up with local law enforcement to stop people from assaulting policemen and starting fires?"

But then, maybe the parents are just an inconvenient obstacle to the Left's larger goal -- a fundamental transformation of America. "I have a more sinister view," Rokita said soberly. "This is what Leftists do -- whether you want to call them socialist, communists, dictators, whatever. If you're going to be that kind of regime, you cannot let the family units run the show. If you have a free republic, you absolutely need a family unit to be the foundation of society. So, they try to divide and break that up."

In this case, the Left got caught. When Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe said parents have no right to tell schools what to teach, he let the cat out of the bag. "They have every right," Rokita insists. "They have the primary responsibility for their child, including their education." And that's why we've seen such ferocious pushback on the local level. Just this year, there've been a record-shattering number of recall elections at local school boards across the country: 81 recalls against 209 board members and counting. (The next highest year was less than half that at 38 efforts against 91 members in 2010.)

It's no wonder McAuliffe and other Democrats are storming out of interviews over and berating reporters for education questions. They don't want to answer for their outrageous positions. But they'll have to answer eventually, and this November in Virginia will give us quite a preview as to how.