By Jeremy Frankel

After the Department of Justice announced Monday that it would direct the FBI to mobilize against parents who speak out at school boards, citing “threats of violence” and “efforts to intimidate,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis promised that the state would defend parents.

DeSantis tweeted Tuesday that “Attorney General Garland is weaponizing the DOJ by using the FBI to pursue concerned parents and silence them through intimidation. Florida will defend the free speech rights of its citizens and will not allow federal agents to squelch dissent.”

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According to Townhall, DeSantis’ office later released a statement saying that Florida law already prohibits harassment and that state law enforcement is “perfectly capable of responding to crimes in Florida, and we have never heard the FBI suggest otherwise.” 

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“However, disagreement is not harassment. Protest is not terrorism, unless it involves rioting, looting, and assault, like some of the left-wing protests of summer 2020. Again, all of those actions are crimes in Florida and will be prosecuted, regardless of political context,” the statement added.

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