The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board is torching Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) for defending angry mobs of parents storming school board meetings across the country in the name of "freedom."
In areas all across the country, anti-mask and anti-vax parents have attempted to hijack efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
Per the Post-Dispatch:
"The most common culprits are parents who have disrupted school board meetings around the country, shouting down, threatening and in some cases assaulting board members over mask mandates. It has become so common that the National School Boards Association last month asked President Joe Biden for federal help, writing that 'America's public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat.'"
Despite the dangers these parents' actions pose, Missouri leaders have defended them. The Post Dispatch laid out the problem with their actions as it criticized their stance. In short, justifying angry parents' actions only fuels them to do more harm than good.
"It would be one thing if Hawley, Schmitt and the rest were merely opposing federal involvement in local criminal matters — a legitimately debatable aspect of Garland's memo," the editorial board writes. "But the pushback from them and other Republicans goes way beyond that, holding up these misbehaving parents as heroes of advocacy and victims of intimidation instead of the purveyors of it."
The editorial board also highlighted the distortions plaguing today's society where freedom of speech is concerned.
"What is happening in society today when people interpret their constitutional right to free speech as a right to disrupt public meetings, hurl insults and threats at officials in public forums and even physically assault those officials? The Constitution protects the right of the people "peaceably to assemble," the editorial board writes. "The fury that so defines today's political landscape has been aimed at public servants by citizens who seem to have forgotten the word peaceably."