FBI requested to work with local leaders to deal with threats made towards educators

ATLANTA — No metro Atlanta school district is reporting any threats or harassment over mask mandates, but the United States Attorney General is asking the FBI to meet with local leaders around the country to ensure they work with local law enforcement should such incidents arise.

Attorney General Merrick Garland sent a memo to the FBI asking them to set up those local meetings after he said he saw a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers and staff.”

His memo went on to read: “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.”

Georgia Association of Educators President Lisa Morgan said none of her members reported any threats of violence, but she still worries about the tone of the debate over mask mandates.

“There is a great deal of concern amongst educators in the tone and tenor of what is happening now,” Morgan said. “Particularly given the school boards and all that we have seen at the school board meetings that have become very heated.”

DeKalb County Schools sent a statement that read: “DeKalb County School District has not had any issues with anti-mask groups. DCSD Public Safety isn’t aware of any threats against district employees or Board of Education members over the district’s mask protocols.”

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Fulton County Schools also released a statement. “Fulton County Schools remain committed to the safety of all, and the district will take all necessary actions to enforce applicable laws regarding threats to students, staff, school leaders and elected officials.”

The Atlanta FBI Field Office had no comment on the Attorney General’s memo.