JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Is the US Attorney General telling the FBI to mobilize against school board protesters and even go as far as labeling them domestic terrorists? That’s the claim News4Jax is running through our Trust Index.
We’re checking the claim after the National School Bard Association asked for federal assistance earlier this week to investigate threats to administrators, board members, teachers and staff.
You’ve probably seen the viral videos by now of tense confrontations across the country between parents and school board members over policy changes, mostly surrounding COVID-19 mandates.
The National School Board Association is now requesting the federal government’s help. But is the FBI really being mobilized against school board protesters? The News4Jax Trust Index rates this claim as “Be Careful.”
In a video that went viral, you see parents in Tennessee threatening school board members after a confrontation over local mask mandate.
The parking lot after a school board meeting last night in Franklin, the wealthiest place in Tennessee. Parents harassed medical professionals who had spoken in favor of masks in schools. “We know who you are. You can leave freely, but we will find you.” pic.twitter.com/SzR0uvMeE7— Natalie Allison (@natalie_allison) August 11, 2021
Tempers have also flared in Florida with some parents being escorted out of Brevard County’s School Board meeting by deputies upset over mask mandates.
Citing more than 20 instances of threats and harassment in more than five states, the National School Board Association sent a letter to Biden Administration.
It asks them to investigate threats and intimidation. It’s led to parents sounding off on Twitter, like Minnesota MAGA Girl who writes in part.
One person on Twitter said: “Dude, AG Garland just ordered the FBI will treat and investigate school board protestors as “Domestic Terrorists”. This is how corrupt Garland is.”
But in a letter News4Jax obtained from the Office of the Attorney General, Merrick Garland isn’t necessarily mobilizing the FBI. Instead, he’s organizing a task force to determine the next steps within the next 30 days.
In the letter, Garland writes:
“I am directing the Federal Bureau of Investigations, working with each United States Attorney to convene meetings with federal, state, local, tribal and territorial leaders in each federal judicial districts within 30 days of this memorandum. These meetings will facilitate the discussion of strategies for addressing threats against school administrators board members, teachers and staff, and will be open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment and response.”
News4Jax also reached out to our local FBI office for insight, where a spokesperson writes:
“The FBI views this as a continuation of the ongoing, important work that we do every day to investigate and mitigate threats in coordination with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners. The FBI Jacksonville team will continue to work hand-in-hand with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in both the Northern and Middle Districts of Florida, which are leading the collaborative efforts for this initiative at this time.”
In summary: Be careful about claims the FBI is being mobilized against school board protesters, even possibly labeling them “domestic terrorists”.
FBI agents are not being dispatched to school districts across the country to investigate allegations of threats of intimidation.