After Attorney General Merrick Garland’s disastrous performances in congressional hearings Wednesday and last Thursday — bookending a fake apology from the National Association of School Boards over their collusion to target parents — it’s gleefully obvious that the educrats are in deep trouble.
In Wednesday’s hearing, Garland embarrassed himself by indicating he would keep targeting parents even after the NSBA walked back their letter, feigning ignorance of memorandums circulated by U.S. attorneys he supposedly oversees, and refusing to meaningfully answer questions about his own ethics complications. Multiple senators called for his resignation to his face.
Last Friday, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) apologized to its members for asking that our country’s top law enforcement organizations treat concerned parents as domestic terrorists. This sudden reversal came the day after Garland’s also-disastrous testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.
It’s no surprise that the educational establishment, terrified by the blowback it has been receiving lately, should seek to use the Department of Justice as its version of the Stasi. What is somewhat surprising, however, is that Garland was so ill-prepared to answer questions regarding the NSBA’s now-infamous Sept. 29 letter and his Oct. 4 response to it. This combination of hubris and incompetence has given parents an important victory in their war for the minds and souls of their children.
Garland Fumbled Last Week’s Hearing, Too
On Thursday, the attorney general appeared to believe the American people had forgotten all about his disgusting efforts to silence parents, since his opening statement made no reference to them. Indeed, the only mention of schools at all in that document was in the context of ransomware attacks.
Rep. Steve Chabot questioned Garland about whether parent asking school board members in Sarasota, Fla. if they had high school diplomas constituted domestic terrorism. Garland admitted it did not, contradicting the claims of the NSBA, which cited both those and similar comments at meetings across the country as “threats and acts of violence.”
When Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, asked the attorney general about the recently reported cases of rape and sexual assault involving the same “gender fluid” perpetrator in two Loudoun County high schools, Garland stammered his way through the exchange by repeatedly claiming to be ignorant of the basic elements of the case.
The NSBA’s ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ Apology
Garland’s testimony at Thursday’s hearing apparently scared the NSBA Board of Directors into issuing a memo to the organization’s members (many of whom have denounced the original letter). In it, they apologized for their ham-fisted effort to make complaining at a school board meeting a de facto federal crime.
After expressing their “regret,” the board fell back on typical bureaucracy-speak, promising a “formal review” that will result in “specific improvements … to ensure that there is improved coordination and consultation” among the members, the board, and the staff. In other words, the next time the NSBA colludes with the White House to trash engaged parents, everyone in the organization will know about it in advance.
Although the memo pays lip service to listening to “the voices of parents” on “their children’s education, health, and safety,” it offers no apology to those parents whom the NSBA casually compared to violent criminals.
The Enemy Is Desperate
What do all these political machinations mean for the current conflicts in American education? The educational establishment has all the earmarks of an authoritarian regime. When parents started asking questions in the wake of school shutdowns and these questions could no longer be safely ignored, the regime turned to accusations of racism and procedural changes to silence them.
When these efforts didn’t work, the educrats begged their allies in Washington to use the force of law to bludgeon their enemies back into quiet submission. The NSBA letter was a Hail Mary pass, a last-ditch effort to go back to business as usual. But Garland flubbed the reception on national TV, forcing the NSBA to publicly back off. Hopefully, the Biden administration will take the hint and abandon its role in this unconstitutional effort to intimidate parents.
For decades, the educational establishment has relied on bullying tactics and parents’ complacency to maintain their intellectual monopoly over children. Garland’s testimony and the NSBA’s sudden (if dishonest) reversal show that, despite the odds, parents are winning victories in their fight to slowly take back control over their children’s education. We should celebrate this victory over the tyranny of these “experts” and their political allies, while continuing to remind them who they actually serve.