An Arizona school board colluded with local law enforcement to kick out and arrest parents who spoke out against the district’s anti-science mask mandate for young children.
According to emails obtained by Not in our Schools, Sgt. Greg Howarth of the Chandler Police Department spent time in April and May gathering evidence on parent groups opposed to critical race theory and child masking to satiate the request of Chandler Unified School District’s (CUSD) Director of School Safety Tanya Smith.
Ahead of controversial school board meetings, Smith, who admitted she was already seeking out information about dissenters on social media, asked Howarth to share any information he had about certain parent groups that were openly opposed to mask mandates. Howarth reassured her that he already had “access to their sites” and would “be monitoring them.”
On May 27, Howarth notified other officers in his department of the intelligence operation between the district and himself and asked for further monitoring of multiple groups that he claimed have been “disruptive” in the past. Howarth labeled two of the groups he mentioned, Purple for Parents and Patriot Party AZ, as opponents to the third group, “Parents for Equity,” which advocates for critical race theory in schools. Howarth also characterized the “intel” on the organizations using source material from the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, which regularly smears nonprofits and conservative organizations as “hate groups” to justify further action against them.
“Here are some sites for you to pass along to the Intel Unit and Lt. Salazar, so whomever [sic] is coordinating and running this [operation] can continue to monitor and prepare for this one,” Howarth wrote.
Howarth had previously informed CUSD and Smith over email that they could request for someone to be removed from the property and even arrested.
“If someone doesn’t comply and you want them removed from the property let us know,” Howarth said in an April 27 email, one day before he was scheduled to “brief” the district and his officers on the “excellent action plan.” “If they fail to leave let us know that you want them trespassed and we can do that.”
The collusion revelation comes on the heels of the Biden administration’s national effort to target parents frustrated with the wokeification of education under the leadership of leftist school boards.
Attorney General Merrick Garland indicated he doesn’t plan to stop federal law enforcement from intervening even after the National School Boards Association walked back the inflammatory language contained in its letter asking the Biden administration to weaponize “domestic terrorism” laws against parents. At least 23 state school board associations, however, have disassociated themselves from the NSBA, with many citing the infamous letter as the reason.