Fact checker busts Rick Scott for claiming Garland is coming for disruptive parents at school board meetings
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) falsely claimed Biden-appointed U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland (D) is preparing to send the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after disruptive parents storming school board meetings to push back against multiple initiatives.
When the National School Boards Association asked the Biden administration for some form of assistance as a result of increasingly dangerous incidents of unrest at school board meetings, the Florida lawmaker quickly fired back with a flurry of false claims, according to Politifact.
Scott tweeted, "Joe Biden's attorney general wants the [Federal Bureau of Investigation] to go after parents for speaking out at school board meetings to protect kids from radical curriculum like critical race theory. Biden's disgusting socialist agenda must end. We won't let him intimidate & silence parents."
Joe Biden’s attorney general wants the @FBI to go after parents for speaking out at school board meetings to protec… https://t.co/7WZgj8KUhi— Rick Scott (@Rick Scott) 1633456532.0
However, Garland's memo did not align with Scott's claims. In the October 4 memo, which was sent to the U.S. Department of Justice's Criminal Division and U.S. attorneys nationwide, Garland addressed the situation.
"In recent months, there has been a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation's public schools," Garland wrote. "While spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views."
Garland also advised the FBI to begin holding meetings in states across the country. FBI agents were asked to meet with leaders in various levels of government to assess "strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff, and (to) open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response."
Justice Department spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle also released a statement pushing back against Scott's statement. He confirmed that "nothing in Garland's memo amounted to an 'effort to silence those with particular views about COVID-related policies, school curricula, or other topics of public discussion.'"
Hornbuckle also said, "The department's efforts are about rooting out criminal threats of violence, not about any particular ideology."
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