COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has joined 13 other states in a lawsuit that seeks to determine how the federal government targeted parents who raised concerns with local school boards about the education of their children.
“Targeting concerned parents as if they were domestic terrorists is deeply troubling, and we deserve some answers,” Yost said. “Protesting is a freedom all Americans share and is not a criminal act that warrants surveillance by the federal government.”
A 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 (FOIA) requests filed last fall on behalf of Indiana, Ohio and the other states.
The FOIA requests seek federal officials’ communications preceding an Oct. 4 Department of Justice memo that called for FBI surveillance of parents expressing opinions at school board meetings and other forums.
According to Yost, “In the Oct. 4, memo, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland parroted language from a Sept. 29 letter to the Biden administration from the National School Boards Association. That letter lamented the rise of parents pushing back against divisive ideologies, including critical race theory. It further suggested that protests by parents across the nation were rising to the level of ‘domestic terrorism.’”
“This administration needs to be transparent about its actions and release these records,” Yost said.
Besides Ohio and Indiana, other states participating in the lawsuit are Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.