A school board meeting in Fairfax County, Va., exploded Thursday as scores of parents donning t-shirts emblazoned with, “Parents Are Not Domestic Terrorists” entered and demanded members reject the characterization.
Several parents, meanwhile, also accused the board of signing off on divisive critical race theory curriculum in addition to pedophilic and pornographic materials for young students.
The parents mentioned two books in particular that had been added to the school library which they said promotes LGBTQ themes that they also said contained sexually explicit materials as well as the promotion of pedophilia. Those books are “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison and “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe.
In addition, some parents also made references to critical race theory, which teaches that the country’s founding institutions are systemically racist against persons of color. They called the curriculum harmful and divisive, noting that white students are taught to see themselves as oppressors while black students are encouraged to adopt a mentality of victimhood.
Audience members interrupted many of the speakers, but, Fox News reported, the school board only intervened to reprimand the crowd when some people interrupted a student who spoke in favor of the books. Also, a large group of students with FCPS Pride, a pro-LGBTQ organization, laughed frequently or snapped fingers when some students and parents spoke.
One parent, John Kochka, talked about his past addresses to the school board in which he also criticized the two books, but he was frequently interrupted by FCPS Pride.
“I stood at this podium and read graphic sexual material for two boys kissing,” he said to jeers from the group, adding in frustration the board: “If you can’t silence these people they need to leave!”
But the board did not act, and Kochka continued, describing how in one of the books, the author describes how an adult man discusses sodomy with an underaged boy.
“What is the takeaway for graduates? Learn how to commit criminal sexual conduct or be a willing victim of predators?” he said, going on to reference an announcement from Attorney General Merrick Garland earlier this week.
“The Biden administration just said we are domestic terrorists,” Kochka said. “This board should pass a resolution tonight condemning the Department of Justice for trying to intimidate and cancel parents.”
Garland announced an effort to combat alleged threats and violence against members of school boards as well as public school staff and officials after the National School Board Association sent a letter to President Biden last week seeking federal assistance and asking the government to utilize whatever legal tools and statutes it had, including those against “domestic terrorism.”
“Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values,” said Garland in a statement. “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 work without fear for their safety.”
“The Department takes these incidents seriously and is committed to using its authority and resources to discourage these threats, identify them when they occur, and prosecute them when appropriate,” he noted further in a memo. “In the coming days, the Department will announce a series of measures designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel.”
The AG directed U.S. attorneys’ offices and the FBI to meet within the next month with federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement officials “to discuss strategies for addressing” what the department has said is “an increase in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school board members, teachers and workers in our nation’s public schools.”
Garland did not refer to parents as “domestic terrorists,” but the letter from the NSBA suggested some parents could be considered as such.
Elizabeth Schultz, who spent eight years as a member of the Fairfax County School Board and is a former U.S. Department of Education staffer, also blasted the current board.
“For years on this board, I fought to increase the visibility of what is in our curriculum. I am telling you, stop peddling porn to our kids, it is child abuse. Stop making children hate each other, it’s racist. Stop teaching our children revisionist history, it is lying. Get out of the way!” she said at the meeting.
“In just the past week, we’ve had the gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe say that parents should not be telling schools what to teach their children, that parents shouldn’t have the right to decide,” she told Fox News in an interview after the meeting.
“You had the U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, deny that parents are the primary stakeholders in their children’s education. And then, the next day you had the NSBA [National School Boards Association] plead to the Biden administration to say that you should have a federal investigation of parents – who are not domestic terrorists – but liken us to domestic terrorists,” she added.
“The whole goal right now is to put the government between parents and children,” she said.
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