A bombshell tweet from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is raising serious concerns.
DeSantis accuses U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland of “weaponizing the DOJ” against parents.
“Attorney General Garland is weaponizing the DOJ by using the FBI to pursue concerned parents and silence them through intimidation,” DeSantis says.
“Florida will defend the free speech rights of its citizens and will not allow federal agents to squelch dissent,” he added.
DeSantis vows to fight against an order from Garland that directs the FBI to address threats of violence against school officials and teachers.
Garland told the FBI and U.S. attorney offices to hold meetings with federal, state and local law enforcement leaders within 30 days.
Their goal is to combat what the DOJ described as an “increase in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school board members, teachers and workers in our nation’s public schools.”
Many parents have begun standing up for their children against overly restrictive coronavirus-related policies in schools.
DeSantis has supported those parents and their parental rights.
In response, DeSantis says it’s too early to tell what steps he will take against the DOJ’s order.
DeSantis says he will closely monitoring the situation “to protect the rights of Floridians from government overreach and the inappropriate politicization of federal law enforcement.”
“Several Florida school board members, including Democrats and Republicans, have reported receiving threats and harassment from activists on both ends of the political spectrum,” a statement from DeSantis said, in part.
“This is wrong, and anyone who is a victim of a crime should report it to their local police department. Florida law enforcement is perfectly capable of responding to crimes in Florida, and we have never heard the FBI suggest otherwise.”
“However, disagreement is not harassment,” the statement continued.
“Protest is not terrorism, unless it involves rioting, looting, and assault, like some of the left-wing protests of summer 2020.”
“Again, all of those actions are crimes in Florida and will be prosecuted, regardless of political context,” the statement continued. “Governor DeSantis condemns any attempt by the federal government to silence free speech. It is despicable and anti-American.”
Attorney General Garland is weaponizing the DOJ by using the FBI to pursue concerned parents and silence them through intimidation.
Florida will defend the free speech rights of its citizens and will not allow federal agents to squelch dissent.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) October 5, 2021
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Critics of Garland’s order complained that threats of violence are already illegal and that it’s parental rights that are under attack.
Videos of angry parents protesting against school board members over have become a regular occurrence over the course of the pandemic. DeSantis has routinely sided with the rights of parents when it comes to instituting those policies, saying they should ultimately have the right to decide whether their child wears a mask in school or has to be quarantined after being exposed to COVID-19.
In July, the governor ushered in Florida’s Parents Bill of Rights, which says the government “may not infringe upon the fundamental rights of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of a minor child.”