OKLAHOMA CITY - Attorney General John O’Connor is participating in a 14-state effort to force President Joe Biden to make public records related to the administration’s efforts to intimidate parents who speak out at public school board meetings against what the schools are teaching their children.
A multistate lawsuit led by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita asks a U.S. district court to force the Biden administration to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests filed last fall on behalf of Indiana and other states.
“Active parental engagement has always been a hallmark of high-performing schools,” said Attorney General O’Connor. “As a country, we should welcome parents who peacefully advocate for their children at school board meetings. The Biden Administration must be held accountable for colluding with the National School Board Association to threaten the First Amendment rights of parents.”
The FOIA requests seek federal officials’ communications preceding an Oct. 4 Department of Justice memo that called for FBI surveillance of parents expressing opinions at school board meetings and other forums.
In the Oct. 4 memo, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland parroted language from a Sept. 29 letter to the Biden administration from the National School Boards Association (NSBA). That letter lamented the rise of parents pushing back against divisive ideologies, including critical race theory (CRT). It further suggested that protests by parents across the nation were rising to the level of "domestic terrorism.”
Facts then came to light suggesting the NSBA and White House worked together all along to concoct a false premise for targeting parents.
On Oct. 18, a 17-state coalition demanded that the Biden administration rescind its threat to [sic] the FBI on peacefully protesting parents of schoolchildren.
The NSBA eventually apologized for its language comparing parents to domestic terrorists, but the Biden administration has never rescinded its threatening memo.
“The Biden administration wants to sweep under the rug these inexcusable assaults on parents’ freedom of speech,” said Indiana Attorney General Rokita. “But we’re fighting for full transparency and accountability for this misconduct so it doesn’t happen again.”
Besides the White House and U.S. Department of Justice, the lawsuit also names as defendants the U.S. Department of Education and its leader, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
States participating in this lawsuit are Indiana, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.