Rep. Hank Johnson compares protesting parents at school boards to Jan. 6 rioters

Rep. Hank Johnson compares protesting parents at school boards to Jan. 6 rioters

Posted For: Willie Wonka

By Lindsay Kornick

Georgia Democrat Rep. Hank Johnson claimed “MAGA Republicans” descended on school board meetings in a similar manner to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot during a committee hearing.

On Wednesday, the House Committee of the Judiciary met to discuss H. Res. 1238, which requested President Biden “provide certain documents to the House of Representatives relating to the October 4, 2021 memorandum issued by the Attorney General entitled Partnership Among Federal, State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Law Enforcement to Address Threats Against School Administrators, Board Members, Teachers, and Staff.”

In October, Attorney General Merrick Garland originally sent a memorandum on ongoing protests at school boards regarding coronavirus guidelines and critical race theory. Garland’s memo was in response to the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) letter that likened these protests to “domestic terrorism,” leading to intense backlash from parents and Republican lawmakers. By February, Fox News exclusively reported that the head of the NSBA had advanced notice of the memo, suggesting coordination between the NSBA and the federal government against protesters.

Instead of discussing potential coordination, Johnson attacked the parent protestors as “MAGA extremists” and criticized Republican lawmakers for bringing up the topic.

“Today, what we are seeing on this committee is an attempt by my friends on the other side of the aisle to continue demonizing school boards, local school boards, local school board members, school administrators, parents and teachers. These school board meetings have become a place where MAGA extremists go to disrupt based on false and deceptive information imparted to them by the former president and his MAGA extremist followers, deception about what’s being taught to our children,” Johnson said.

He added, “It’s really a travesty that we come today in Congress just a couple of months before a very important election that my MAGA supports on the other side of the aisle are intent on winning so they can take control of this body and then they will have the ability to harass and try to intimidate the administration with their oversight powers.”

He later compared parents who protested school board meetings to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots

“January 6, 2021, will never be forgotten, an infamous day in American history. MAGA Republicans descended upon the Capitol, engaged in an insurrection. They occupied the Capitol. Five people were killed, hundreds injured, including hundreds of Capitol Hill police officers attacked and bludgeoned. It was a day that we’ll never forget,” the lawmaker said. “And people on the local level at affected school board meetings, they won’t forget the MAGA Republicans descending on their school board meetings after January 6, like January 6, disrupting meetings. It was a coordinated attack happening across the country. Americans won’t forget about it. School board members, teachers, administrators, subjected to violence, threats of violence, harassment, intimidation.”

He also denied any connections between the federal government and the NSBA in condemning parents protesting against school board members.

“And in response to that, the National School Boards Association sent a letter to the Biden Administration seeking federal help. Things had gotten so far out of hand. And by the way, there is not one scintilla of evidence, either direct or indirect, that there was any coordination between the Biden Administration and the National School Boards Association that caused that letter to be sent seeking federal assistance,” Johnson said.

However, he later admitted that the memo was “indicating that there was going to be some coordination between the federal government and local governments to maintain order at school board meetings.”

Since President Biden’s condemnation of “MAGA Republicans” as a threat to democracy, Democrats, including the president, have been vague on who falls under that category, instead pointing to broader issues such as pro-life policies.

Although Johnson condemned both the parent protesters and Capitol rioters as a “threat to democracy,” he previously took part in a protest of his own outside a Senate building on July 2021. He stated at the time that he was protesting Senate “inaction” on voting rights legislation and filibuster reform and tweeted the video of his arrest as “good trouble.”

%d bloggers like this: