Gov. DeSantis Vows To ‘Defend The Free Speech’ Rights Of Florida Parents Against DOJ And FBI

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pledged Tuesday to challenge an order by the U.S. attorney general Merrick Garland directing the FBI to investigate allegations of violence that occurred against school board officers across the country.

DeSantis has stated categorically that he will stand up for Floridian rights and resist government interference.

In a tweet the Governor said, “Attorney General Garland has been using the FBI and the DOJ to seek out parents concerned about the DOJ’s actions, as well as intimidating them with threats. Florida will uphold the rights to free speech of citizens. Federal agents will not be allowed to silence dissent.”

RELATED: Watch: Senator Josh Hawley Slams Deputy AG, Biden Administration For Weaponizing FBI Against Parents

Florida fights overreaching Feds

AG Garland gave the FBI and U.S. Attorney offices a directive to hold meetings with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials within 30 days to talk about ways to fight what the DOJ claims is an, “increase in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school board members, teachers and workers in our nation’s public schools.”

Garland said of the directive, “Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values. 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.”

DeSantis, in July signed the Florida Parents Bill of Rights. The measure states that the government, “may not infringe upon the fundamental rights of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of a minor child.”

Christina Pushaw is the spokesperson for Governor. DeSantis stated that the Governor is following the situation closely, “to protect the rights of Floridians from government overreach and the inappropriate politicization of federal law enforcement.”

RELATED: DeSantis – If Biden spent less time worrying about Florida, American Troops might not have died in Afghanistan

Parents fight back

This directive from the Department of Justice appears to have been issued in response to thousands of parents who protest in their large numbers what they consider to be indoctrination of children.

Schools across the globe are insisting that students as young as 5 years of age wear masks to school due to COVID-19. Since transgender issues and critical race theory are being introduced into the curriculum, parents are demanding a say in what their children are being taught as well as about their children’s healthcare while they are at school.

 Gov. DeSantis has consistently sided with parents when school boards institute COVID policies.

RELATED: Watch: Senator Josh Hawley Slams Deputy AG, Biden Administration, For Weaponizing FBI Against Parents

The Source Of The Complaint

The source of the concern about parents speaking up at school board meetings comes from a letter sent directly to President Joe Biden.

In the letter, the National Association of School Boards asks the Biden administration to investigate whether verbal confrontations between school board members and parents are a form of domestic terrorism and a violation of the Patriot Act.

While there have been some physical altercations, they are rare and not as widespread as the NASB claims. The letter reads in part:

“Coupled with attacks against school board members and educators for approving policies for masks to protect the health and safety of students and school employees, many public school officials are also facing physical threats because of propaganda purporting the false inclusion of critical race theory within classroom instruction and curricula.”

Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education said it is very simply, “This is a coordinated attempt to intimidate dissenting voices in the debates surrounding America’s underperforming K-12 education – and it will not succeed. We will not be silenced.”

School Board Association members are speaking out in other states, but not in support of those who penned the letter to President Biden.

Georgia School Boards Association Spokesman Justin Pauly says that, “some awareness from a federal perspective” can be “useful,” however:

“We are not aware of specific instances where it’s gone too far. We’ve just heard there’s lots of people showing up at school board meetings to talk and vent their frustrations. I think you need to be careful when you begin to put labels on people, because parents are a very important part of the public education process.”

DeSantis spokeswoman Pushaw continued with the statement from DeSantis that said school board members from all political spectrums had been harassed, and that, “This is wrong, and anyone who is a victim of a crime should report it to their local police department.

The statement also said:

“However, disagreement is not harassment. Protest is not terrorism, unless it involves rioting, looting, and assault, like some of the left-wing protests of summer 2020. Again, all of those actions are crimes in Florida and will be prosecuted, regardless of political context. Governor DeSantis condemns any attempt by the federal government to silence free speech. It is despicable and anti-American.”

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