The National School Boards Association scrubbed its letter, which compared the actions of concerned parents at school board meetings to those of domestic terrorists, from its website.
The deleted National School Boards Association (NSBA) letter, addressed to President Joe Biden’s administration, sparked outrage and backlash from parents across the country for requesting federal government intervention.
The letter suggested the use of statutes, such as the USA PATRIOT Act, to stop threats or violence directed toward school board members over actions that it said could be “the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes,” according to the Sept. 29. letter.
Five days after the letter was sent, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memorandum that called on the FBI to “use its authority” against parents who threaten or use violence against public school officials.
Garland cited a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff,” and he directed the FBI to work with each U.S. attorney and leaders “in each federal judicial district” to discuss strategy to address threats within 30 days of his statement, according to the memorandum.
On Tuesday, an FBI whistleblower leaked a statement that showed the Bureau created a “threat tag” to track instances of threats and ordered its personnel to compile parent threat assessments, according to a joint statement sent on behalf of the Assistant Directors of the Bureau’s Criminal Investigative Division and the Counterterrorism Division.
School boards have been battlegrounds for culture wars over mask mandates, COVID-19 vaccine requirements, schools reopening, remote learning, transgender policies and Critical Race Theory (CRT).
NSBA leadership apologized to its members over the letter “for the strain and stress this situation has caused you and your organizations.” The organization’s leaders reportedly collaborated with the White House for “several weeks” before publishing the letter, according to emails obtained by Parents Defending Education (PDE).
As of Nov. 9, 26 states’ school board organizations have “distanced themselves” from the NSBA’s letter, while 12 states have either revoked their membership or dues from the NSBA, according to data compiled by PDE.
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