Earlier this month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made it known that he opposed the troubling directive Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland issued in response to the National School Boards Association letter that urged the Feds to get involved in investigating so-called “domestic terrorist” parents after alleged “threats” and “acts of malice” were supposedly directed towards school board members over mask mandates and Critical Race Theory disputes.
In an update, DeSantis announced today that Florida would NOT be complying with the Biden Dept. of Justice’s memo which directed the FBI, in concert with each U.S. Attorney, to “convene meetings with federal, state, [and] local” officials “within 30 days of the issuance” of the memo in order to “facilitate the discussion of strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff, and will open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response.”
DeSantis made it clear during today’s event that in his view any alleged threats directed towards public school officials could be handled by local and state law enforcement, and reiterated his belief that the animus behind the DOJ memo was actually to silence parents into shutting up. DeSantis said his state would be having none of that:
“At the state level, we are not going to be facilitating or participating in any of the things that were outlined in that memo, because it’s just not appropriate to do that. And understand, I mean, people, they get it. I mean, you know, when you sick the Feds on somebody, you’re bringing an 800 lb. gorilla and you’re just dropping it on somebody like a ton of bricks.
And so even if you’re just under the gun, even if you didn’t do anything wrong, they have the potential to ruin your life if they really want to do it. And, of course, much of what they do now is charge people with process crimes. So, they’ll try to get you, find an inconsistent statement, and then they’ll go and try to pursue that. We don’t want to go down that road at all in Florida.”
At another point during the presser, DeSantis point-blank declared that, “We’re not going to be cooperating with any types of federal investigation into parents and we’ll do anything we can to thwart such investigations. We are going to be fortifying the Parents’ Bill of Rights.”
Watch (and ignore the tweeter’s spin):
This is extraordinary. Governor Ron DeSantis today announced that the State of Florida will NOT be cooperating with the "feds"(@TheJusticeDept) in protecting school boards and educators from the systemic threats and intimidation they are being targeted with.#HoldThemAccountable pic.twitter.com/nPxbVLpgLH
— Matt Fleming (@Matt_Fleming321) October 20, 2021
DeSantis’ full comments (where he also pushed back against mask mandates) along with those invited to speak at the event (including numerous parents) can be watched below:
Governor DeSantis is in Brevard County addressing the Biden Administration’s weaponization of the Department of Justice against parents’ First Amendment rights.
Watch Now: https://t.co/hrEfyPeOYy
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) October 20, 2021
DeSantis’ announcement today was on top of the vow he made last week to sue the DOJ over Biden’s mask mandates, so it sounds like he is preparing to dig in his heels and not let up on fighting back aggressively against what is a clearly massive overreach from the Biden administration on federal mask mandates and the “threats” assessment memo, as he should.