The Biden administration’s Department of Justice is moving to insert itself in the Virginia fight over Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin’s proposed transgender policies, writing to local school board members to offer the federal government’s “services in conflict resolution” ahead of the vote over whether or not to adopt the proposal.
In emails to local school board members obtained by The Daily Wire, the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service (CRS) said it was “aware of ongoing community tensions in Roanoke following the release of the new model policies for transgender students.” A government “conciliation specialist” told the board members the agency specialized in “preventing and responding to community tensions and hate crimes” and wanted to “offer support and services as you work to manage conflict within the community” related to the transgender policies.
The emails came just days after two activists were arrested at the Roanoke County, Virginia school board meeting where the proposals were being presented. There were no documented “hate crimes” in Roanoke — the two individuals arrested were reportedly detained for repeatedly yelling “protect trans lives” to disrupt the meeting. Youngkin’s suggested policies for school boards, finalized July 18, say that schools should not help a child transition to a different gender without his or her parent’s consent.
Youngkin’s office says the attempt to insert itself as mediator in local Virginia political disagreements shows the Biden administration “hasn’t learned its lesson” from October 2021, when Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered federal law enforcement to monitor angry parents at Virginia school board meetings after the National School Board Association labeled them as potential “domestic terrorists.”
“The fact that the Biden DOJ hasn’t learned its lesson from the last time they overstepped their authority shows a stunning lack of judgment,” said Macauley Porter, a Younkin spokeswoman. “After playing into the false narrative that Loudoun county parents are domestic terrorists, it is trying to undermine Governor Youngkin’s new initiative to ensure that parents are part of the conversation about their own child’s identity in school.”
“During a time when they should be reinforcing Americans’ trust in our justice system, the progressive left at the DOJ is doing exactly the opposite: continuing to act as a political arm of the Democratic Party,” Porter said.
It is unclear whether the DOJ will send mediators into the Virginia county, which Youngkin carried by about thirty points when he was elected in 2021. Amy Condra, a CRS spokeswoman who also includes her pronouns in her emails, told The Daily Wire that the government mediators can be invited into a community by “any of the stakeholders involved,” or even unsolicited.
“CRS can be invited into a community by any of the stakeholders involved, including local or state officials, community leaders or private citizens,” Condra said. “CRS can also initiate involvement in communities where we believe our services can be of assistance.”
Condra did not respond to inquiries on what prompted CRS to involve itself in Roanoke, or whether it could point to any criminal activity or hate crimes.
The DOJ says its Community Relations Service mediators are “impartial,” and that it “does not advocate for any party, nor for any particular issue. Rather, the mediator is focused on delivering a fair and unbiased process that assists parties to develop agreements.”
The CRS, however, has exhibited clear bias on the transgender issue. It runs training programs for law enforcement officers on “engaging and building relationships with transgender communities,” where “participants learn about issues impacting transgender communities and individuals, such as social and economic disparities, and high rates of violence and suicide.” In March, CRS joined with the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, which is suing states that enact transgender policies that the Biden administration does not like, to celebrate the “Transgender Day of Visibility.” The featured content on the CRS website is a fact-sheet on “New Actions to Protect LGBTQI+ Communities.”
Hannah Levine, the CRS conciliation specialist, also included her preferred pronouns in her email to the Roanoke school board members. Levine did not respond to a request for comment.
The Trump administration attempted to eliminate funding to the DOJ’s CRS program through his budgets, but was ultimately unsuccessful.