The National School Board Association’s board of directors has apologized for a letter it sent to President Joe Biden on Sept. 29, which called for immediate federal law enforcement action against unruly parents who attend school board meetings and protest the policies being passed.
The apology is meant to calm a growing movement by local and state school boards to disconnect from the national organization, which has pushed many of the radical theories that parents increasingly are concerned about, such as Critical Race Theory. In the letter, the NSBA said school boards were under “immediate threat” by parents that required the Department of Justice to deal with the “growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation.”
The letter referred to “acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials” and “…the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes,” read the letter. The NSBA asked the Biden Administration to “examine appropriate enforceable actions” including the Patriot Act, which is used to track down terrorists.
The governing board of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association left NSBA after the letter; and soon it became clear the NSBA was facing a mass exodus from its conservative members.
“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 the issue. However, there was no justification for some of the language included in the letter. We should have a better process in place to allow for consultation on a communication of this significance. We apologize also for the strain and stress this situation has caused you and your organization,” the board wrote in its Oct. 22 apology to members.
Across the country, parents have objected to things like the rise of the use of Critical Race Theory in classrooms. CRT is a belief system that categorizes white people as inherently racist, and it is a theory promoted by NSBA. Other parents have objected to the masking of their children day after day in school or other Covid-19 related policies.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland had responded to the Sept. 29 letter with his own threat against parents and community members who take part in the public process. On Oct. 4 he said he had ordered the FBI to investigate “a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.”
In Anchorage, the only conservative on the Anchorage School Board proposed a resolution last Tuesday that condemned the National School Board Association for apparently coordinating with the White House and Department of Justice to send federal investigators to intimidate, or arrest angry parents.
Anchorage School Board member Dave Donley didn’t seek to go so far as some school boards around the country, which have left the national organization.
He only wanted the Anchorage School Board to make a statement that said it honors parents’ input, condemns the NSBA characterization of parents and the suggested use of force by federal agents, and does not believe using the FBI as a tool against local protesters is appropriate. He believes local school boards can provide their own security at their meetings.
Donley’s resolution to condemn the actions of the national school board group was buried in a committee by Anchorage School Board Chair Margo Bellamy.