Families, communities, and nations are stronger when parents are involved in the education of their children. In recent months, parents became more aware of what was being taught to their children in their schools, and they have attended school board meetings ready to make their views known about numerous topics.
Recently, the National School Boards Association sent a letter to President Joe Biden claiming that school board members were under “immediate threat” of violence from parents who were protesting. Biden sent the letter to the Department of Justice, and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the FBI would investigate any threat of intimidation against school board members. The NSBA immediately heard from critics at all levels from parents to state school officials to members of Congress. Today, the NSBA apologized.
As you all know, there has been extensive media and other attention recently around our letter to President Biden regarding threats and acts of violence against school board members….
On behalf of NSBA, 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. We should have had a better process in place to allow for consultation on a communication of this significance….
The apology did not note the specific language that was wrong in its letter, but it could have been this section: “As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
Parents and other adults do not appreciate being called terrorists for protesting against policies that they deem dangerous for their children, such as vaccine and mask mandates, critical race theory, and transgender bathroom controversies at public schools.
In its later statement, the NSBA claimed to “deeply value” the input from parents – the same parents that were likened to “domestic terrorists.” The NSBA indicated that an internal investigation would be performed to determine the processes and procedures behind the controversial letter.
The apology from the NSBA is one example of what can happen when parents stand up for their children against government overreach. Parents are tasked with the care and education of their children, and no school board has the right to exclude them from being involved. When parents are active advocates for their children, families, communities, and nations are stronger.