HELENA, Mont. – In response to a recent request by the National School Boards Association on President Joe Biden to label critics of mask mandates and critical race theory as “domestic terrorists,” Montana’s elected officials voiced their support for parental rights.
In a related Tweet, Senator Steve Daines said, “Labeling parents as threats because they hold elected school board members accountable for what’s going on in the classroom is a clear attempt to silence political opposition.”
In a memo released earlier this week, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland “directed federal authorities to hold strategy sessions in the next 30 days with law enforcement to address the increasing threats targeting school board members, teachers and other employees in the nation’s public schools.”
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen sent a letter to President Biden calling for respect of local control. Superintendent Arntzen also stated, “The effort to silence parents is getting out of hand. I strongly encourage Montana’s educational leaders to work together to make sure local control is respected. This is only possible when locally elected school boards actively partner with our parents to engage in the educational well-being of our children. We are seeing a preliminary uptick in enrollment in Montana schools due to an increase in our state’s population, which reflects two things: All across the country, Montana is seen as a state that celebrates our freedoms, and that parents want their children to receive a robust education by attending public school in person. I ask everyone to join me in putting our Montana students first by honoring the first teachers of our children — their parents.”