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Squires: Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice are criminalizing parenting

Op-ed
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The Biden administration wants to make parents who resist activist educators into domestic terrorists because the left is losing its grip on American children.

The National School Board Association (NSBA) wrote a six-page letter to the Biden administration claiming that public schools and education leaders are being threatened with acts of violence and intimidation at local school board meetings. The NSBA requested federal law enforcement assistance in dealing with frustrated parents they claim are angry about mask mandates, critical race theory (CRT), and online learning. The organization even suggested that these threats could be a new form of domestic terrorism. Its letter questioned whether the PATRIOT Act and federal hate crime legislation could be used to rein in unruly parents.

This week the Department of Justice (DOJ) responded. Attorney General Merrick Garland directed the FBI and U.S. attorneys to meet with state, local, and tribal leaders and law enforcement agencies to discuss the threats. I read the NSBA letter and the DOJ memo. They use the words violence, threat, and intimidation over 60 times. The most serious physical act of aggression I found was a man who was charged with aggravated battery and disorderly conduct after allegedly striking a school official who attempted to escort him out of a meeting. The other incidents described in the letter were of angry parents who disrupted meetings and yelled at board members.

What is happening here is clear. The federal government is taking its first steps to turn concerned parents into its newest thought criminals. This isn't the first time. The Department of Homeland Security issued a terror advisory, absent any imminent threats or plots, in September that NBC claimed was based on a rise in "anti-government rhetoric." The list of potential terror suspects included people who believed there was fraud in the 2020 election as well as Americans opposed to COVID mandates. Using the resources and might of the federal government to go after citizens based solely on their political beliefs is a recipe for disaster that will only further inflame political tensions.

This attempt to flex federal muscle is even worse because there is nothing parents care about more than the well-being of their children. School districts across the country have become even bolder in their desire to imprint their views and values on students. They are assigning sexually explicit books to young students, promoting gender ideology and socially transitioning gender-confused children behind the backs of their parents, and promoting regressive views on race. They are also masking children as young as three, even though the World Health Organization states that children who are five years old and under should not be required to wear masks.

The real problem for many of these educators is the fact that many parents are finally waking up and exerting their authority over the education of their children. This is one reason why there has been such a rapid increase in homeschooling — from 3% to 11% of American families — over the past year. Regardless of your religious background or moral foundation, you must realize that education is equal parts scholarship and discipleship. It is never value-neutral. This is why the following Bible verse is so important to me.

"The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher." —Luke 6:40

Parents are delusional if they think the few hours they have with their kids before and after school are any match for the 18,000 hours their children will spend in school from kindergarten through 12th grade. This is why so many parents have experienced the disappointment that comes with pouring your values into a child for 18 years only to have them come home hating everything they've ever been taught after one year on a college campus.

We can already see what happens when absolute truth is abandoned for elite consensus. No issue makes that clearer than the ongoing debate about sex, gender, and gender identity. Every organ of cultural hegemony in this country, from advocacy media companies like the New York Times to all of the big tech platforms, is in complete lockstep with the idea that people other than women can get pregnant. These gatekeepers sound, act, and behave like Romans because they have all been trained since childhood by Caesar. They claim to know the precise efficacy of masks against a respiratory virus, but don't seem to understand the most basic fact of human biology.

Our public schools do not educate children. They teach them conformity. That reality has been made worse over the last decade as schools that can't teach children how to read and write have shifted their focus to creating loyal voters who dutifully repeat talking points. Millions of students participated in online learning last year due to the pandemic, and many parents finally got to see what their children were being exposed to at school. That is why so many are fed up and starting to make their frustrations known.

We are not in a co-parenting relationship with the federal government, and the Constitution does not give the government jurisdiction over our children. Parents are tired of seeing radical activists masquerade as educators. I hope they continue to fight for their children. There is no hill more worthy of dying on.
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