Youngkin Blasts DOJ Offer to ‘Mediate’ School Board Meetings

(The Lion) — The Republican governor’s office in Virginia assailed the Biden administration for using the Department of Justice Community Relations Service to insert itself into local school board meetings.

“The fact that the Biden DOJ hasn’t learned its lesson from the last time they overstepped their authority shows a stunning lack of judgment,” said Macauley Porter, a spokeswoman for Gov. Glenn Youngkin, according to the Daily Wire. “After playing into the false narrative that Loudoun county parents are domestic terrorists, it is trying to undermine Governor Youngkin’s new initiative to ensure that parents are part of the conversation about their own child’s identity in school.”

The salvo from the governor’s office came as the Daily Wire revealed emails from the DOJ to local school boards in Virginia offering mediation services for meetings where transgender issues will be discussed. 

The DOJ’s Community Relations Service specifically mentioned Roanoke, where two transgender activists were arrested after disrupting a meeting.

At the meeting, the protesters yelled “Protect trans kids” and were subsequently taken into custody for trespassing after several warnings to come to order by the board chairman went unheeded, according to local WDBJ 7 News. 

The meeting was to discuss new policies by the Virginia Department of Education, formulated under Youngkin, which will require parents to be notified in cases of gender dysphoria in children that are discovered by the schools. 

The new policies would also require transgender students to use the bathrooms and play the sports associated with their biological birth-sex as recorded legally, said Fox 5 News DC.  

“After two warnings, the school board chairman asked all visitors to leave,” said a statement by Roanoke County Public Schools about the disturbances, according to local WSLS 10 News. “Sadly, some chose not to do so and had to be escorted out by police. This is not the kind of behavior we tolerate and these actions in no way are reflective of the many outstanding parents, students and staff that are part of the Roanoke County Public Schools community.” 

The board listened to orderly comments from 27 students, staff, parents and Roanoke County residents during the meeting, said the district.  

However, the incident apparently led the DOJ to get involved once again in school board meetings, which critics say is an intimidation tactic from the left on behalf of Democrats.  

“During a time when they should be reinforcing Americans’ trust in our justice system, the progressive left at the DOJ is doing exactly the opposite: continuing to act as a political arm of the Democratic Party,” Youngkin’s spokesperson added, reported the Daily Wire. 

A previous intrusion by the DOJ under the Biden administration into school board meetings helped propel Youngkin to the governor’s mansion in 2021.  

The DOJ and Attorney General Merrick Garland at that time said some activities by parents who show up at school board meetings could be considered domestic terrorism.  

“When you start to criminalize dissent, when the head of the federal government, through the president, through the Department of Justice, is saying you might be a domestic terrorist if you raise your voice, I think that’s appalling and is chilling and is very, very dangerous,” said Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky about the activities of the DOJ and Garland in relation to school board meetings, reported local WJAR 10 News.  

Youngkin subsequently campaigned heavily on protecting parental rights in schools, and Virginia voters seemed to agree with him.