Merrick Garland Defends School Board Memo From Republican Criticism

Republicans accuse Justice Department of trying to silence parents after memo directs FBI to help address rise in violent threats to educators

Attorney General Merrick Garland testified in Washington on Thursday during a hearing that marked his first appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.

WASHINGTON—Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday defended ordering the FBI to help local leaders address threats against educators and school board members, after Republicans accused the Justice Department of seeking to silence parents who speak out about topics like mask mandates and how race is addressed in schools.

During a contentious first appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Mr. Garland sought to clarify the Oct. 4 directive calling on the FBI to work with federal prosecutors and local officials to thwart “a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” against teachers and school staff over politically charged issues.

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