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Fitch among 17 Attorneys General...

Fitch among 17 Attorneys General criticizing DOJ for trying to ‘chill lawful dissent by parents’ at school board meetings

By: Anne Summerhays - October 20, 2021

Attorney General Lynn Fitch

AG Lynn Fitch joins multi-state coalition in seeking to stop the Biden Administration from intimidating parents. 

On Monday, 17 state attorneys general sent a letter to President Joe Biden stating that recent actions by the President seeks to chill lawful dissent by parents voiced during local school board meetings by characterizing them as unlawful and threatening.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch was among the group writing the letter to Biden.

On October 4, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a Memorandum which directed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to strengthen efforts against threats against teachers.

“Over the last year, as legal officers, we have advised our constituencies of their constitutional right to free speech and encouraged public engagement to voice their opinions on important issues affecting their country, state, and communities, especially parents who have concerns about their children’s education. Your recent action seeks to chill lawful dissent by parents voiced during local school board meetings by characterizing them as unlawful and threatening,” the 17 attorneys general wrote in their letter.

The attorney generals continued that on Oct. 4, “Attorney General Garland issued a Memorandum steering the Department of Justice toward combatting what he characterizes as a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff”, and directs the Federal Bureau Investigation (“FBI”), the United States Attorneys, and the Criminal Division to fan out throughout the United States to put an immediate stop to these activities.”

They state that the Memorandum and the promised “series of measures designed to address” this purported crisis are unnecessary as they based on a false premise and violate the First Amendment rights of parents to address school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff on educational matters by seeking to criminalize lawful dissent and intimidate parents into silence.

The letter also argues that the Memorandum also intrudes on the well-recognized First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of their children by intimidating parents away from raising concerns about the education of their children.

The AGs ask for an immediate withdrawal of the October 4, 2021 Memorandum, to immediately cease any further actions designed to intimidate parents from expressing their opinions on the education of their children, and demand that respect for their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and to raise their children.

You can read the full letter below.

17 Attorney Generals Are Seeking to Stop the Biden Administration From Intimidating Parents Who Speak Up at… by yallpolitics on Scribd

About the Author(s)
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Anne Summerhays

Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: