USA Today op-ed blasts Biden DOJ for getting involved in school board meetings: 'Outrageous'

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Fordham University professor Nicholas Tampio blasted the Biden administration in a new USA Today op-ed, claiming there was no proof of dangerous threats to justify the Justice Department getting involved in monitoring concerned parents at local school board meetings.

In the piece published Thursday, Tampio argued parents should be allowed to express themselves to local elected officials, that allowing the FBI to get involved would further damage the trust parents have in the schools, and that the perceived threat was actually “a figment of Democratic imagination.”

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland attends a news conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 25, 2021. REUTERS/Ken Cedeno/File Photo/File Photo
(REUTERS/Ken Cedeno)

The Biden administration on Monday directed the FBI and U.S. attorney’s offices to hold meetings with law enforcement leaders at the federal, state and local levels to discuss ways to combat what they referred to as a “disturbing trend” of harassment and threats against school officials.

“On Monday, Attorney General Merrick Garland released a memorandum describing how the Federal Bureau of Investigation will coordinate with law enforcement agencies across the country to address threats to school administrators and school board members,” Tampio wrote. “Alas, there is no evidence of a rise in the memorandum or references to where one could find evidence of it.”

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Angry parents and community members protest after a Loudoun County School Board meeting was halted by the school board because the crowd refused to quiet down, in Ashburn, Virginia, June 22, 2021. Loudoun has been roiled for months by accusations that it has embraced critical race theory, a school of thought that maintains that racism is ingrained in U.S. law and institutions and that legacies of slavery and segregation have created an uneven playing field for Black Americans. The school system says it is simply training teachers, the majority of whom are white, to be "culturally responsive" to serve the county’s increasingly diverse student population. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo/File Photo
(REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo)

Tampio referenced a recent letter sent to the Biden administration from the National School Board Association expressing concern over “heinous actions” by parents that “could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes,” but noted there was no quantitative data in the letter, but instead just a string of “disparate stories” attempting to show a pattern.

“These acts are disruptive and inappropriate, but democracy is not a graduate school seminar, and parents are allowed to express themselves to elected school board members. Schools should want parents invested in the well-being of their children,” he wrote. 

“I think it is outrageous for the attorney general to meddle in situations that are local in nature and, so far, have led to incredibly few acts of overt violence, certainly not with the character of domestic terrorism,” he added. 

Tampio noted that because different countries around the world were exempting children from mask mandates based on varying ages, parents should be allowed to passionately ask why their children have to wear them.

Concerned parents at the Fairfax County School Board Meeting
(Fox News Digital)

“The threat, in short, appears to be mostly a figment of Democratic imagination,” he wrote.

He added the use of the FBI to monitor school board meetings would be an incredible expansion of the federal government’s policing power, and it could lead to parents being reported over the smallest incident of being upset over a policy.

“This action, or the possibility of it, will prompt parents to stop participating in school activities,” Tampio wrote. “When parents are less involved, parents have more negative attitudes to their children’s schools, losing trust in government and general, and becoming skeptical of the government’s ability to address social problems.”

“Without more evidence of real threats, Biden’s political appointee appears to be making a political decision rather than a prudent one,” he added.

Fox News’ Kelly Laco contributed to this report.

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