BREAKING NEWS: Saline Parents Join Lawsuit Against Attorney-General Merrick Garland Regarding School Board Free Speech
Parents in the Saline Area School district have joined a community of parents in Virginia in a lawsuit against Attorney-General Merrick Garland. Five parents and the Saline Parents organization have hired the American Freedom Law Center, challenging recent action by Garland to combat an increase in harassment and threats against school officials and school board officials across the country. But Robert Muise, one of the attorneys for the parents, dismisses that there is a problem and that the federal government would have jurisdiction against any perceived harassment or threats of violence in school board meetings, and that the current policy violates the First and Fifth Amendment rights of his clients.
"This is a challenge to the Attorney-General’s recent announcement that he is going to marshal federal law enforcement to crack down on these parents, who are objecting loudly and strongly to these progressive, left-wing school board policies," Muise told the Sun Times News in an interview by phone, Tuesday.
To be clear, the plaintiffs are joining with parents from another school district west of Washington DC to sue the Attorney-General. Saline Area Schools is not being sued. Superintendent Steve Laatsch declined comment.
The Attorney General claims that the building nationalized partisan fight over school issues – including trans student issues, like the one recently passed by the SAS School Board – have created flashpoint political issues and a resulting increase in harassment and threats. Muise said that he and his clients believe the real intent is to create a chilling effect on what the lawsuit
describes as the use of “Federal law enforcement resources to silence parents and other private citizens who publicly object to and oppose the divisive, harmful, immoral and racist policies of the ‘progressive’ left that are being implemented by school boards and school officials in public school districts across the United States.”
"Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values,” wrote Attorney General Garland. “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," Garland said in a press release from the Department of Justice, October 5.
Parents from Saline did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
This story is breaking and will be updated as more information becomes available.