America First Legal request for expedited FOIA on DOJ targeting school board ‘violence’ denied

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The DOJ announced it was launching an effort to counter the ‘increase’ in ‘threats of violence’ against school officials.

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The Justice Department denied a request by America First Legal to request information from the DOJ on its October memorandum for expedited processing of a Freedom of Information Act request that sought to counter the “increase” in “threats of violence” against school officials. started trying.

Stephen Miller, America’s first legal president and a former senior adviser to former President Donald Trump, told Granthshala: “On the one hand, the Justice Department believes there is a huge national defense against parents objecting to the Critical Race Theory. Must have powers.” News.

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“On the other hand, when faced with the AFL’s critical oversight request, the department now pretends that the issue is not a matter of ‘wider media interest.’ grossly abusing his right to punish the father.”

The issue is an October 4 memo issued by the DOJ that said the department claims an increase in “threats of violence” against school officials and teachers across the country.

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DOJ launches effort to deal with threats of violence against school officials

“Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they are contrary to the core values ​​of our nation,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said. said about the effort in a statement earlier this month. “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 jobs without any fear for their safety.”

The memo announced the formation of a task force to deal with the issue, while instructing the FBI and the US Attorney’s offices to work together federal, state and local law enforcement to address what it called a “disturbing trend”. Can go

But the memo garnered fierce backlash from some critics, many of whom argued that the DOJ was targeting parents who were telling their local school boards on issues like masks, gender policy and the inclusion of important race theory in the curriculum. were expressing their concerns.

Controversy inspired America First Legal Submit expedited request Seeking information from the DOJ, hoping to uncover the department’s motivation for the effort and if it coordinated with potential political allies of the administration, such as the National School Boards Association.

But that request was denied by the DOJ and other divisions within the department, including the Criminal Division, the United States Attorney’s Executive Office, and the Office of Legal Counsel. Among the reasons cited for denying the expedited request, the DOJ argued that the issue “is not a matter of wider media interest.”

Lawyers for American First Legal told Granthshala News that the decision to deny the request was concerning, raising fears that the decision had political motivations.

FILE PHOTO: Angry parents and community members protest after the school board stopped a Loudoun County school board meeting as a crowd refused to calm down in Ashburn, Virginia, June 22, 2021.  (Reuters / Evelyn Hawkstein / FILE PHOTO / FILE PICTURE)

Lawyers raised several concerns about the October 4 memo, arguing that the DOJ failed to define exactly “harassment or intimidation.” He also pointed to the DOJ’s lack of citations to support the claim that crime and harassment against school officials have increased, saying an omission was “unusual” and that the department while issuing such memorandums should be normal.

America First Legal now plans to appeal the decision, noting that a failure to expedite the request could result in a delay of months that would prevent the public from accessing vital information and “paralyze the debate on the issue.” will make it.”


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