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November 05, 2015

Thompson Inquires on FBI Extremism Website

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch expressing concern regarding news reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has expanded its Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) efforts into America’s classrooms by drafting a website for educators and students to use as a guide to spot radicalization. According to reports, plans for the website have been temporarily suspended.

In the letter, Congressman Thompson writes:

“[A] common refrain from educators is that they want to work with parents and students from diverse backgrounds and cultures, and to develop a shared responsibility for children’s outcomes between home and school. As a former educator, I understand a teacher may be the only person that some students can trust. Also, while a teacher may be best-positioned to notice changes in a student’s behavior, it is hard to see how having that teacher participate in a Federal law enforcement program would not chill relationships with students or, for that matter, undermine a supportive learning environment. Put simply, turning teachers into intelligence gathers and investigators has questionable value as a strategy for countering terrorism or violent extremism and may actually interfere with students involved in a range of risky behavior or in crisis turning away from that one person, a teacher, who might be able to make a difference.”

Link to Letter

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978