Arizona AG accuses DOJ of trying to 'prevent and intimidate' parents with new school board directive

Mark Brnovich is asking Garland to 'rescind' order to direct federal funds to investigate 'acts of intimidation' toward school boards

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FIRST ON FOX: The Arizona attorney general accused the Department of Justice of trying to "prevent and intimidate" parents from speaking out against critical race theory under the new directive by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

On Monday, Garland directed the FBI and U.S. attorney's offices to hold meetings with federal, state and local law enforcement leaders in the next 30 days, during which they will discuss ways to combat what the DOJ called a "disturbing trend" of harassment and threats against school officials.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich sent a letter to Garland on Tuesday, expressing multiple concerns with the DOJ’s controversial memo, declaring "Arizona will not tolerate any incursions on our state sovereignty, especially this latest attempt."

Brnovich wrote that the Biden administration "may find CRT a useful manipulation to support its radical agenda" but he and many of the citizens of his state view the ideology as "destructive and un-American."

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"CRT is nothing more than the neo-Marxist idea of how race may have influenced the inception and history of our nation, building upon a misguided utopian dream of creating a new society based on class," Brnovich wrote.

"Unfortunately, this radical concept is already threatening to consume many of our institutions – from the U.S. military, to our churches, our professional sports leagues, our legislatures, and our schools," the Arizona attorney general continued.

Brnovich wrote to Garland that Arizona parents, such as himself, "are rightly concerned and outraged by CRT being induced upon" their children and that the "vast majority of parents are protesting in accordance" with their constitutional rights, adding the "few who cross the lines into violence are appropriately dealt with by local law enforcement and existing laws."

"Your letter promotes a false narrative that most people who are against CRT are running afoul of our laws, and it further attempts to intimidate such parents from exercising their right to protest school board actions," Brnovich wrote. "This is a shameful attempt to force CRT upon our impressionable children, against the will of local communities."

The Arizona top cop wrote that the state would not "tolerate" Garland’s directive, calling on the attorney general to "rescind" his order while saying the Biden administration and DOJ "more generally do not respect state sovereignty that was reserved to the states and the people according to our Founders’ intentions."

Critics say the move amounts to an attempt by the Biden administration to bully parents from exercising their First Amendment rights.

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The announcement came a few days after the National School Board Association wrote a letter to Biden asking his administration and federal law enforcement agencies to assist school boards, which the group said has seen an increase in violent threats in response to COVID-19 restrictions and critical race theory curriculum.

DOJ did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on Brnovich’s letter.

Fox News’ Michael Lee contributed reporting.

Houston Keene is a reporter for Fox News Digital. You can find him on Twitter at @HoustonKeene.