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An astounding announcement by the federal government demonizing parents who care about the education they get in government schools is galvanizing Jacksonville families.

Attorney General Merrick Garland is diverting the resources of the Department of Justice to focus on concerned parents, despite the myriad of real problems it should be addressing.

Parents who complain to local school boards have been likened to “domestic terrorists” by officials in the government school.

That fact has been labeled false by the AP, which is a lie by the AP. The letter clearly states that “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.” It also urges the Biden administration to review potential violations of “the PATRIOT Act in regards to domestic terrorism.”

Although the DOJ ostensibly is concerned with violence and threats, many observers, including Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, think it is intended to suppress free speech by frustrated parents and force compliance to unpopular policies.

This latest outrage coincides with local news stories containing new details about a local activist teacher who was fired earlier this year — and then enriched by the School Board with an award of $300,000.

Another development that is eye-opening is the revelation of Garland’s glaring conflict of interest. His daughter is in the business of peddling the divisive, racist material on Critical Race Theory to government schools, according to Carlson.

That topic is one of the main complaints of the parents Garland is attacking – and he apparently profits from it. This is so blatant that it is astounding. But it shows how certain the Deep State is of its immunity to criticism from the media that often acts as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democrat Party.

It makes the perpetrator the victim and the victim the perpetrator.

Parents around the country have been complaining to local politicians about the practices in the government schools, often in strong terms. And they have a perfect right and ample justification for doing so.

Government schools have gone from education to indoctrinating in many districts infuriating many of the people who pay handsomely to operate the schools.

The case of the local activist illustrates the problem. She turned her classroom into a political action center, flying Black Lives Matter flags and refusing to take them down, and giving students extra credit and higher grades for political activism.

But after she was fired, she sued – along with the Far Left Southern Poverty Law Center — and the School Board decided to pay her off to avoid legal costs.

One local organization that keeps an eye on local schools is Moms for Liberty – Northeast Florida, which is a conservative grassroots movement advocating against the progressive agenda in public schools, “dedicated to the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.”

Emily Nunez of Moms for Liberty told Eye on Jacksonville, “Last summer the democrats ‘peaceful protests’ had actual violence and then the governor’s anti-riot bill was called ‘intimidation of political speech’ by Democrats.”

Yet now, impassioned free speech is called violence.

She called the DOJ action “a tragedy” and said, “I don’t think it is going to go away.”

Moms for Liberty members routinely attend meetings. Melissa Bernhardt heads a committee to monitor those meetings.

The hot issue right now is mandatory masks for students. The last two meetings have been contentious, although largely overlooked by the local media.

 “I have not heard of any threats to anybody,” Nunez said, but she has heard of parents getting cut off from being able to speak and said some board members and their attorney are openly hostile to speakers who support the mask order from Gov. Ron DeSantis, which the board recently voted 4-3 to oppose in court.

On Sept. 28 Moms for Liberty had more than 50 speakers signed up to speak in opposition to mask mandates.

But a quarrel with a board member on whether speakers could use the names of board members ensued and then the room was cleared because of audience applause. The board’s attorney announced that it was against the law to disrupt board meetings.

Speakers were allowed to re-enter and speak one at a time.

“I agree teachers and board members should not be threatened,” Bernhardt said.

“I do not think I qualify as a domestic terrorist. I am a law-abiding citizen. But the School Board is not obeying the law.”

She said board members Charlotte Joyce, Cindy Pearson and Lori Hershey supported parent’s rights but the board’s liberal majority voted to file suit against the state government, which requires mask mandates to provide opt-outs.

Joyce said she did not think it was a good idea to challenge a Harvard graduate (the Florida surgeon general) when none of the board members have a medical degree.

Clearly, the federal government is overstepping its boundaries in a big way. Education is a matter for state and local governments and to use the power of the FBI and other government agencies to shield elected school officials from accountability is unconscionable.

Even so, it is entirely in keeping with the major power grab under way by the Democrat Party and its socialist allies.        

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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