NSBA responds to backlash against plea for board member protection
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
The National School Boards Association does not want to “silence parents” and did not call them “domestic terrorists,” it said in a letter Wednesday.
The NSBA’s new FAQ is a response to outrage at its recent letter to President Biden. The NSBA letter, released Sept. 30, cited recent examples of threats and violence against school board members and at schools around the country. It compared such acts to domestic terrorism and asked for a commensurate federal response to protect students, school board members and school staff.
National media reported on the letter. On Monday, Oct. 4, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation will work with local and state law enforcement to address the threats.
Backlash against the DOJ and the NSBA was swift, saying it was an attempt to silence parents who opposed schools’ COVID-19 protocols or diversity efforts.
The NSBA FAQ points out its original letter never mentioned parents. It says school boards want to hear from parents, whose input is crucial to making education decisions.
“Currently, however, many parents’ voices are being drowned out by individuals — many of whom are not even connected to local schools — who are intent on causing chaos and disrupting our schools and our students’ learning,” the FAQ says.
The NSBA said strong evidence of organized planning behind the intimidation called for national attention and a federal-level response.