AG Knudsen joins multi-state lawsuit to compel release of records involving White House’s intimidation tactics against parents
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen joined a 14-state effort to force President Joe Biden and his administration to turn over records related to the administration’s schemes to prevent parents from speaking out against leftist indoctrination in public schools.
The lawsuit filed Friday asks a U.S. district court to compel the Biden administration to release federal officials’ communications that preceded an October 4, 2021 Department of Justice memo calling for FBI surveillance of parents who expressed opinions at school board meetings and other forums.
“Parents concerned with what their kids are being taught in school are not domestic terrorists – and the White House’s attempt to label them as such is deeply troubling,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “Montanans deserve a full accounting of the Biden administration’s plans to surveil parents who attended school board meetings.”
Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen welcomed the lawsuit.
“We appreciate that our Montana family values and government transparency are being supported by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen,” Superintendent Arntzen said. “Parents are the foundation of our children’s education as well as their first teachers. The rights of Montana parents to engage in their children’s education must be respected.”
In the Oct. 4 memo, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland parroted language from a September 29, 2021 letter to the Biden administration from the National School Boards Association (NSBA). That letter lamented the rise of parents pushing back against divisive ideologies, including critical race theory. It further suggested that protests by parents across the nation were rising to the level of “domestic terrorism.”
“Attorney General Garland testified in Congress that his Memorandum was based on a now debunked and rescinded letter drafted by individuals in the Federal Government (EOP, ED, and DOJ) working with the National School Boards Association (‘NSBA’) dated September 29, 2021,” the lawsuit reads. “This letter, from the NSBA to President Biden, called on him to invoke ‘the PATRIOT Act in regards to domestic terrorism,’ arguing that as ‘acts of malice, violence and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.’”
Facts then came to light suggesting the NSBA and White House worked together all along to concoct a false premise for targeting parents. The NSBA eventually apologized for its language comparing parents to domestic terrorists, but the Biden administration has never rescinded its threatening memo. The NSBA’s participation was the “final straw” for the Montana School Board Association, which announced it would exit the national organization.
In October Superintendent Arntzen wrote a letter to President Biden urging him to respect local control. She also wrote a letter to the Montana School Boards Association asking them to denounce their association with NSBA prior to their decision to do so.
States participating in this lawsuit are Indiana, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.
Click here to read the lawsuit.