On Wednesday, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) slammed a recent memo from Attorney General Merrick Garland directing the FBI to begin working with local law enforcement to crack down on “harassment” and “threats” against school officials, a memo that was believed to be issued in response to parents attending school board meetings to contest restrictive COVID-19 policies being forced on their children.
DeSantis said that Florida law enforcement would not work with federal agents to “squelch dissent” from parents and that the Biden administration’s move was meant to “intimidate parents.”
“To mobilize the FBI, there’s no need for it, of course. There’s not been any sense that somehow [Florida law enforcement] weren’t going to do their job if need be,” DeSantis said. “The reason to do that is to intimidate parents, is to squelch dissent, is to have them shut up and just take it even when they strongly disagree with what may be happening with their kid.”
“We’re not going to let the federal government come in and impose bad policies or mandates on Floridians,” DeSantis continued. “We’re going to make sure we’re protecting parents and students in the state of Florida. We’re not going to let the Department of Justice be weaponized to infringe the First Amendment rights of parents. We are going to fight to preserve the rights of parents. And as we continue to see the use of fear and intimidation to suppress opposition to the regime, we’re going to find new ways to be able to empower parents’ rights to decide what is best for their children.”
“Parents across the state should know that their freedoms are going to be protected here and that the state of Florida has your back,” DeSantis added.
DeSantis later followed up on his comments in a tweet, writing, “Weaponizing the Department of Justice against everyday parents trying to raise their kids is dangerous and un-American. We should encourage parental engagement in a child’s education – not use intimidation tactics to try and prevent it.”
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