Justice Department Plans Crackdown On COVID Threats Against Teachers, School Boards

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Attorney General Merrick Garland said “freedom of expression does not extend to threats of violence or intimidation.”

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NS Department of Justice Holds meetings to address growing threats against teachers, administrators and school board members in heated conflict COVID-19 security policies.

Schemes Add a Task Force To address “Increase in threats of harassment, intimidation and violenceAttorney General Merrick Garland said in a memo issued Monday against school boards, administrators and staff.

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Confrontations over COVID safety policies, such as mask mandates and vaccination guidelines, have turned into violent or threatening conflicts in schools across the country. Parents objecting to mask mandate attack on teachers, administrator – and even a child.

In one case, police were called to an Arizona school after three men, with a zip tie, broke into a principal’s office and threatened him with the arrest of a civilian Because she was enforcing the COVID-19 protocol. Member of a school board in Pennsylvania’s third largest district Resigned after death threats.

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In many cases, conflict has escalated by extremist members proud boys. Three Vancouver schools were closed last month after gang members attempt to demolish buildings While the children were going to class.

While “spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, this protection does not extend to threats of violence or intimidation,” Garland wrote in his memo.

“Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they are against the core values ​​of our country,” he 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 jobs without any fear for their safety.”

Garland directed the FBI and US attorneys’ offices to meet with federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement leaders over the next 30 days to discuss strategies for dealing with the “troubling trend.”

The meetings will develop plans for threat reporting, assessment and response by law enforcement.

Also, the Justice Department will create a special task force to deal with the problem. it will provide Special training and guidance for local school boards and on how to report threatening conduct to school administrators and “capture and protect the evidence.”

The DOJ “takes these incidents seriously and is committed to using its authority and resources to discourage these threats, when they occur, and prosecute them when appropriate,” Garland wrote.

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