TOPEKA – (October 27, 2021) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has again asked U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to rescind a memo directing federal agents to monitor local school board meetings, after the organization that sparked the action walked back its request.
Schmidt and 13 other state attorneys general, in a letter sent yesterday, asked Garland to disband a task force created to monitor and respond to activities at local school board meetings. The letter comes after revelation that the October 4 directive issued by the Department of Justice was made under the false pretense that school boards were facing a surge in threats as parents exercise their First Amendment rights. The directive was issued following a Sept. 29 letter to the Biden administration from the National School Boards Association raising the specter of local protests rising to the level of “domestic terrorism.”
The NSBA last week apologized for the letter, admitting that it used language against parents in communications to the Biden administration for which there is “no justification.” Additionally, information has revealed that the White House and the NSBA appear to have worked together to develop the original Sept. 29 letter.
The attorneys general also asked Garland to produce any and all correspondence between NSBA, the White House and the U.S. Department of Justice leading up to the sending of the Sept. 29 letter and the subsequent Oct. 4 memo from Garland.
“Attorney General Garland’s reliance on the NSBA letter is troubling enough, but potential collusion between the White House, the DOJ, and the NSBA in the actual creation of the September 29 letter — as a pretext for threats against parents — raises serious concerns,” the attorneys general wrote. “Officials with the awesome power to initiate criminal actions using the USA PATRIOT ACT abuse citizens when they solicit, as an excuse for mobilizing federal law enforcement, complaints against ordinary Americans who merely disagree with local school officials.”
The attorneys general also sent a letter to NSBA seeking the organization rescind its Sept. 29 letter, as well as produce any communications between NSBA and the Biden administration prior to its issuance. Both letters can be found at https://bit.ly/3nvmIRh and https://bit.ly/3pDfe1h.