House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., blasted President Joe Biden and the Department of Justice for a new policy the lawmaker says is aimed at silencing parents who disagree with progressive agendas.
The DOJ’s new policy is intended to combat an alleged increase in violence and threats made at school board meetings. Parents have been attending meetings to voice opposition to COVID-19 restrictions and the use of critical race theory in curricula.
“President Biden’s latest decision is part of a disturbing trend in the Democrat Party to silence parents,” McCarthy tweeted Tuesday. “We should encourage family participation in our schools, not baselessly attack opposing views because leftist groups want control over curriculums.”
The DOJ said Monday that it was launching a series of efforts “in the coming days” to address rising criminal conduct “directed toward school personnel,” The Hill reported.
McCarthy issued a statement accusing progressives of being guilty of their own “disturbing trend,” arguing that the new DOJ effort was an attempt to “silence parents from having a say in their own children’s education.”
“We saw it last week when Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate, Terry McAuliffe, said parents shouldn’t have a say in what their own children are taught,” McCarthy said, “and it continues this week with the Biden administration labeling parents with concerns and dissenting opinions as domestic terrorists.”
The minority leader, who said congressional Republicans will be “demanding answers” from the administration on the new policy, added that parents should be encouraged to participate in their children’s public school systems.
“Parents have a fundamental right to be lawfully involved in their children’s education,” McCarthy said. “We should encourage family participation in our school systems, not baselessly attack opposing views because some liberal education officials and special interest groups see it as a threat to the power they want to have over what children learn in America’s classrooms.”
The DOJ said it was creating a task force to determine how federal enforcement tools could be used to prosecute criminal conduct toward teachers.
Attorney General Merrick Garland defended the policy in a statement Monday. His memo came after the National School Boards Association wrote an open letter addressed to Biden, saying “education leaders are under an immediate threat.”
“Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values,” Garland said. “Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety.”