United States Department of Justice ordered federal bodies to boost communication with the country's law enforcement in the next 30 days in order to address the increasing threats received by school board members, teachers and other employees.
A memorandum looked over by Attorney General Merrick Garland said that there has been "a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s public schools", according to reports from Associated Press.
Garland said that the federal authorities like the Federal Bureau of Investigation will coordinate with the authorities on all levels, which includes federal, state, local, territorial and tribal in order to develop strategies against the threats.
He said, "While spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views", according to reports from Associated Press.
The National School Boards Association made a request to federal authorities to address the concern. The association asked United States President Joe Biden to investigate and stop threats made over policies including mask mandates.
The federal government was asked to investigate those cases where threats could be considered as violations of federal laws. Additionally, the FBI, Secret Service, Department of Justice and Homeland Security to assist in minor level threats raised against staff members of various schools and their students.
The group's letter documented more than 20 instances of threats, harassment, disruption, and acts of intimidation in California, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Ohio and other states, according to reports from Associated Press.
It cited the September arrest of an Illinois man for aggravated battery and disorderly conduct for allegedly striking a school official at a meeting. In Michigan, a meeting was disrupted when a man performed a Nazi salute to protest masking.
(With AP inputs)