It is not “domestic extremism” for a parent to advocate for their child’s best interests at local school board meetings, admitted Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco to Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday.
Cotton questioned Monaco about the Department of Justice’s mobilization of federal law enforcement, at the recommendation of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), against parents who voice opposition to mask mandates and the teaching of concepts of Critical Race Theory at local school board meetings.
“Is it domestic extremism for a parent to advocate for their child’s best interests?” Cotton asked Monaco.
“I think the, what you have described, no I would not describe as domestic extremism,” she responded.
Parents are speaking out against Critical Race Theory in schools. Now the Biden administration is cracking down on dissent. https://t.co/jvdi2kB7rp
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) October 5, 2021
The full exchange between Cotton and Monaco is below:
Senator Cotton: Ms. Monaco, last week the National School Boards Association wrote to President Biden asking the administration to bring the full force and weight of the feds down onto parents who are protesting various school policies at school board meetings, including indoctrination of children with an anti-American doctrine known as Critical Race Theory, or protesting the requirement that children as young as two be required to wear masks. Now, I think we can all agree that violence is not an acceptable form of political protest and violence can never be used to achieve policy or political goals, but that’s not what the school board association letter focuses on. In fact, in one example of what the association thinks warrants federal criminal charges, they cite–and this is a direct quote, “An individual who prompted a school board to call a recess because of opposition to Critical Race Theory.” A recess. The association is asking the administration to use the Patriot Act, a law that this Congress passed and has repeatedly reauthorized, primarily to stop the threat of Islamic Jihadists, to bring criminal charges for domestic terrorism against parents who attend school boards to oppose things like Critical Race Theory or mask mandates resulting in a recess being called. Ms. Monaco is it domestic extremism for a parent to advocate for their child’s best interests?
Lisa Monaco: Well Senator, as you rightly point out that violence is not the answer, there can be very spirited