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New spending bill would ban Justice Department from targeting parents at school board meetings


Daily Caller News Foundation

A consolidated bill released on Sunday to fund part of the government for this fiscal year includes a provision that would limit the Department of Justice (DOJ) from investigating parents who protest at school board meetings.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2024 — an omnibus package of legislation to fund the government for fiscal year 2024 — was published by Republican Rep. Kay Granger of Texas, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, as part of a compromise deal with the Senate to complete the delayed funding process. In the bill’s provisions regarding the DOJ, a prohibition exists on using funds to probe parents who merely disrupt school board meetings.

“None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the Department of Justice to target or investigate parents who peacefully protest at school board meetings and are not suspected of engaging in unlawful activity,” the bill reads.

Consolidated Appropriations… by Daily Caller News Foundation

Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memorandum on October 4, 2021, that directed DOJ officials to target alleged “harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.” The memorandum directed the FBI to coordinate with local officials regarding efforts to mitigate such alleged threats to school employees, which was widely criticized by parents’ groups and Republicans in Congress as threatening dissatisfied parents’ free speech.

The National School Boards Association sent a letter to President Joe Biden in September 2021 calling on the administration to investigate alleged threats to administrators using authorities under the USA PATRIOT Act, an anti-terrorism and national security bill enacted after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. It called the alleged threats “the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes,” according to the letter.

A lawsuit against Garland filed by parents regarding the memorandum was dismissed by a federal court in 2022.

The DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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