So there is a significant drama and some very angry parents, all surrounding the possible label of domestic terrorism for these anti mask, anti-vaccine school board protestors that have been getting a lot of attention and making things very chaotic at many school board meetings.
So let’s go through this piece by piece.
What is this all about? Where at what point did the use of the term domestic terrorism for these anti mask, anti-vax protesters, start or where, where did it come from?
All of this relates to a memo written by attorney general Merrick Garland on October 4th, which said to the FBI use your authority because of this spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.
That memo from Merrick Garland came after a letter from the National School Boards Association, which also asks the federal government for help saying, we need you to get involved because of this immediate threat of violence from parents against school and education officials, and the letter encouraged Joe Biden to use the Patriot Act if necessary to address what that organization, the National School Boards Association felt could be a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.
Now has anybody who has been thrown out of a school board protest thrown out of a school board meeting for protesting or screaming or whatever, has anybody been charged under the Patriot act or for anything approximating domestic terrorism? No, no.
It has not happened, but there are people now who are going absolutely crazy saying they’re treating us like terrorists.
So let’s break this down into a few different questions.
First of all, would it be legally justifiable to charge a parent’s going bonkers at school board meetings with domestic terrorism?
I have no idea. It’s a legal question. It’s a question for those that would be prosecuting it. It’s a question for lawyers. So far, it hasn’t actually happened. And it was a request from a non-legal organization, right? The National School Boards Association is the school boards association, and it’s not a legal organization.
So that’s number one. Number two, should the book be thrown at these parents that are weaponizing their anti-mask, ant- vaccine views to make school board meetings absolute and total chaos?
Yeah. They should, they should. It absolutely should.
For those protestors who are actually parents of kids at these schools, they’re really making it bad for their kids.
What do you think is worse for a kid?
Just having to put a mask on or knowing that your parent is on TV and being written about for losing their mind at school board protests and acting like an insane person?
I think the latter is far worse for the kid and there should be whatever legal means are possible used to limit and punish the parents that are doing this.
Now, I think there’s another issue that is not being discussed as much that I think is really important about the school board protests.
This is not about are the mask requirements legal? Are the vaccine requirements legal? The best legal opinions that we’ve gotten are that these are all legal. And we can talk about whether they are moral or whatever, but legality, not a problem.
There’s another goal to the chaos that is being wreaked at school board protests. Very often the protesters themselves don’t even realize that they’re a cog in this wheel. They say I’m against masks so I’m here protesting.
The right has been pushing privatization for a very, very long time.
And some of their favorite targets include health care, the postal service wanting to hurt the postal service so that DHL, FedEx, UPS and other private companies will fill the void, but also public education and a very common kind of vicious circle that the right loves to do is they don’t want school.
They don’t want government of any kind involved in education, local, state or federal.
So they defund public education, which makes it worse, which then allows them to say, look, we told you it was bad. Let’s do private schools. Let’s give people vouchers to go to private schools, et cetera. One of the ways to subtly, but also not so subtly encourage parents to maybe say, I’m pulling my kid from this public school, I’m going to homeschool them, or maybe send them to private school if we can afford it is to encourage absolute and total chaos at the schools.
This includes encouraging people with signs standing where the school buses drop off saying no mask or no vaccine or whatever else.
This includes people screaming and going crazy at school board meetings. It includes all of this stuff.
This is a way to just make it seem really unpleasant and chaotic at these schools to make parents again, more likely to pull their kids.
And depending on how the schools are funded, this reduces funding to the school, which makes it even worse, which is exactly what these right-wingers want.
So all of these issues are important to keep in mind.
If at some point a parent is actually charged with domestic terrorism for protesting at a school, then we will have something to talk about.
But right now it was sort of one line of a letter written by the national school boards association. Nobody has been charged or prosecuted under domestic terrorism.
And until that happens, we don’t actually have evidence that it’s really something the federal government has any intention of doing.