Arkansas among fourteen states seeking FOIA information from Biden White House on targeting parents
Updated: Mar 7, 2022
Arkansas is participating in a 14-state effort to force President Biden to turn over records related to the Administration’s efforts to prevent parents from speaking out against indoctrination in public schools.
The multistate lawsuit, led by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, asks a U.S. district court to force the Biden Administration to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests the coalition filed last fall.
“Parents of public school children have a right to be involved in the education process and must not be silenced,” said Arkansas Attorney General Rutledge. “The Biden Administration threatens parents’ freedom of speech, but are fighting to shed light on these atrocious policies.”
The FOIA requests seek federal officials’ communications preceding an October 4th Department of Justice memo that called for FBI surveillance of parents expressing opinions at school board meetings and other forums.
In the memo, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland parroted language from a September 29th National School Boards Association letter to the Biden Administration.
That letter disparaged parents pushing back against divisive ideologies, including critical race theory. It also labeled protests by concerned parents across the nation as "domestic terrorism.”
Facts then came to light suggesting the NSBA and White House worked together to concoct false grounds for targeting parents. On October 18th, a 17-state coalition demanded that the Biden Administration rescind its threat to sic the FBI on peacefully protesting parents of schoolchildren.
The NSBA eventually apologized for its language comparing parents to domestic terrorists, but the Biden Administration has never rescinded its threatening memo.
Besides the White House and U.S. Department of Justice, the lawsuit also names as defendants the U.S. Department of Education and its leader, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
States participating in this lawsuit are Indiana, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.