October 4 Memo from DOJ re: Threats Against Teachers
October 4 Memo from DOJ re: Threats Against Teachers. Recently, you can’t go a week without watching the news and seeing some story of some incident that occurs either at a school board meeting or at a school because people are either protesting or very upset, the different mandates and things that are happening in our public schools. So in a response to that, the Department of Justice on Monday issued a memo kind of outlining what they plan on doing here soon. So in this video I talk about that and I talk about what that may or may not mean, so stick around and I’ll talk to you here in just a minute.
Happy Friday, everybody, I hope you all are enjoying your week and getting ready for the weekend. So like I said, Monday this week, Merrick Garland, who is the US attorney general, issued a memo and a press release that talked about this uptick they’re seeing in threats and harassment and targeting of school board members and teachers and administration staffs and stuff like that. So what the Department of Justice is doing is they’re planning, in the next 30 days or so, to start meeting with some local law enforcement and local legislatures, statewide legislatures, to try and figure out what a good course of action would be to move forward, to kind of protect our educators and things like that.
So, first and foremost, I’ll put a link to the DOJ press release down here so you can go and read it. Couple things that stick out, first and foremost, it’s important to know that a lot of people, when this memo hit, got really upset because they thought what was being said was the DOJ was going to put a stop to people, citizens and concerned parents, going to school board meetings and voicing their opposition. That’s really not what it says at all, and that’s not what the concern is. The concern is not the parents that go and provide vocal opposition or vocal support to their educators at school board meetings, it’s when that crosses the line and it becomes these verbal threats, death threats that administrators and teachers have been getting, targeted harassment of teachers and school board members and administrators, showing up at their home, throwing things at their car, that sort of thing, when it crosses the line, that’s really what the focus of this memo is.
But what always concerns defense lawyers like me when we see a memo like this is, while we do understand and appreciate that there is a need to figure out if there is a solution to this problem, because there is this uptick of violence and threats, I understand that there’s a need to do that. The concern is that sometimes governments and law enforcement has a tendency to, for a lack of a better word, overcorrect, or they start really hammering down on things that, in my opinion, otherwise would not be criminal in nature.
So anytime I see a memo like this or a directive like this from the US attorney’s office, I always kind of step back and start really paying close attention because what could happen, it doesn’t always happen, but what could happen is you might see local law enforcements reading this either misinterpreting its message, misinterpreting what they’re supposed to do, and you might see an uptick in, in my opinion, unjustified arrests or unjustified criminal charges. So it’s just something to keep an eye on, especially if you either work in a school administration, or you’re an educator, or you’re one of these very active parents that attend school board meetings and vocally oppose things that your school is doing, which again, there’s nothing wrong with that, right? It’s a matter of, you’re the type of individual that has a tendency to sometimes be in the crosshairs when there’s this overcorrection.
So, as always, if this is something that either concerns you or you have questions about, I’m here to answer what I can. Obviously, I don’t have a ton of information on what’s going to happen next, because that’s literally what this says is they’re going to meet and start discussing it, but it is something I’m going to keep my eye on. And so if anything comes out of this or I start to see an uptick in cases being filed against parents like that, it’s something that I’ll let you guys know. But if there’s something specific that you want to know or questions that you want to ask, I’m always happy to answer them. Feel free to send me an email, give my office a call, whatever, and I’m happy to answer questions that way.
So, I hope this was at least a little bit informative and somewhat helpful. As always, if there’s something you want to see me cover in a future video, let me know please, and I’m happy to try to do that if it’s something that I can speak on with any amount of knowledge, because I always want to know what it is you guys want to know, so let me know. Hope you have a great weekend, hope you enjoy it. Stay safe, and we will see you all next week.