On September 29th, the National School Boards Association [NSBA] sent a letter to the White House, which requested that federal law enforcement to be weaponized against parents who attend school board meetings. The letter paints a wild picture of local school boards under siege and facing a “growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation.” The NSBA called for federal law enforcement to investigate parents to stop “domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
The letter cited no specific examples of any of the allegations made.
FOIA requests show that NSBA President Viola Garcia and CEO Chip Slaven collaborated with the White House before publishing the letter. Other leaders of the NSBA claim they were not even consulted and did not know about the letter.
After the letter, Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered federal law enforcement to develop a plan of action against parents to attend school board meetings. On October 18th, seventeen state Attorney Generals signed a letter accusing Garland of hyping a false narrative and attempting to use federal law enforcement to violate the 1st and 14th amendment rights of parents.
Since then, the NSBA has been in damage control. Last week, they issued an official statement saying, “We regret and apologize for the letter. To be clear, the safety of school board members, other public school officials and educators, and students is our top priority, and there remains important work to be done on this issue. However, there was no justification for some of the language included in the letter.”
However, the damage has been done. The group Parent’s Defending Education is tracking the response of each state school board. At least 23 state school board associations have fully denounced or at least publicly distanced themselves from the letter.
Meanwhile, The New Hampshire School Board Association just became the 5th state school board association to withdraw from the national association completely. The state school board associations of Missouri, Ohio, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania have also quit the national association during the past two weeks.
“NHSBA has decided to withdraw its membership from the National School Boards Association, effective immediately. NSBA’s recent actions have made our continued membership untenable.” pic.twitter.com/eoozMT5rGe
— Corey A. DeAngelis (@DeAngelisCorey) October 28, 2021