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Some political controversy has been generated by Merrick Garland's October 4, 2021, memo to the FBI, which directed the agency to "...open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response" involving local school board meetings. However, what this exactly means or what has been done along these lines is unclear.

What specifically has the FBI done to respond to Garland's memo, if anything? Has the FBI created or begun to create a specific apparatus for local school officials to report parents to the FBI?

Note that so far I have only read that the FBI has created a "threat tag system" in response to the memo, but defining a new threat tag is not the same as a "threat reporting" system.

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    Why are you asking if they've created something to "report threats from parents"? The entire point of the article you linked seems to be that it's a misconception that Garland's memo was about threats from parents.
    – Giter
    Jan 10, 2022 at 5:03
  • @Giter The link to the article was just to illustrate the political controversy--which the article refers to. The article doesn't really say anything substantive that would answer my question one way or another. Jan 10, 2022 at 7:53
  • I guess my point was that if you're only asking if they've created a way to report threats from parents (like in your title), then answers could be a pretty narrow "no, since they never planned to". However, in your body you also ask what's been done to respond to Garland's memo in general, which could have a more satisfactory "they've done X, Y, and Z" answer if that's actually what you want to know.
    – Giter
    Jan 10, 2022 at 16:28
  • @Giter I already partially answered the question in the question itself. I am looking for a more comprehensive answer. Jan 10, 2022 at 16:38
  • Not clear if the phone number for the relevant bureau within the agency that has always handled such complaints counts within the meaning of this answer.
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 10, 2022 at 18:18

1 Answer 1

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Q: Has the FBI created a structure or apparatus for school boards to report threats from parents?

There was no need to create a specific "structure" for such reporting. It was only necessary to create a threat tag.


Q: What specifically has the FBI done to respond to Garland's memo, if anything?

In an FBI-wide email, the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division and Criminal Division announced the creation of a new threat tag—EDUOFFICIALS—and directed all FBI personnel to apply it to school board-related threats. [Letter to AG Garland]


but defining a new threat tag is not the same as a "threat reporting" system.

Unfortunately, the article was behind a pay wall and could not be assessed in full. It appears the author was incorrect about creating the system in response to the memo. Other news articles only mention "threat tag".

While the full text of the email concerning the "Attorney General’s directive" could not be located, the following letter to the FBI shows only the use of "threat tag".

... to apply a new “threat tag” to all “investigations and assessments of threats specifically directed against school board administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.” 3

3 Email from Carlton Peeples, Deputy Assistant Director, Criminal Investigative Div., Fed. Bureau of Investigation, to FBI_SACS (Oct. 20, 2021).

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