House GOP Subpoenas Former School Board Officials

March 7, 2023

House Republicans subpoenaed former school board officials Monday amid their investigation into what they contend was a mistreatment of parents who protested so-called “woke” policies.

House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) subpoenaed three individuals, including the former heads of the non-profit National School Boards Association (NSBA), for what he said had been requests for “federal law enforcement assistance to target parents voicing concerns at local school board meetings.”

It’s part of the Judiciary Committee’s investigation into a September 2021 letter that the NSBA sent to the Department of Justice warning of rising threats against school board members over Covid restrictions and classes related to race.

The letter to the DOJ outlined more than 20 instances of threats, harassment, disruption and intimidation in several states, including California, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey and Ohio.

When Republicans took majority of the House in January, Jordan was out front among his fellow GOP House members in promising to investigate what he called “this weaponization of the DOJ against the American people.” 

Jordan asserts that as a result of the NSBA’s letter, the DOJ has created a “specific threat tag” for school board-related incidents, and that the Department has opened investigations “into parents simply for speaking out on behalf of their children.”

The NSBA has countered that its letter has been mischaracterized. The Association has stated repeatedly that its focus was specific to the issue of violence and threats—not parents’ protests.

The DOJ has also denied targeting parents. The Department claims it has already begun turning over to the Judiciary Committee requested documents. Last month, Jordan issued his first subpoenas as committee chair to Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, accusing them of government overreach.

Last week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) introduced legislation aimed at giving parents more say in their children’s school curriculum.

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