By Veronika Kyrylenko
The National School Board Association (NSBA) failed to consult their own board and local chapters, yet was in touch with the White House while crafting and publishing a letter with a call to label parents concerned with Critical Race Theory, masking regulations, and LGBTQ-related issues in public schools as “domestic terrorists,” e-mails reveal.
In a September 29 letter to President Joe Biden, the NSBA insisted that the classification of parents’ disruptive actions at school board meetings “could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes,” and urged Biden to direct the Department of Justice (DOJ) to apply the PATRIOT Act “in regards to domestic terrorism.”
On Thursday, a trove of NSBA emails, obtained by non-profit group Parents Defending Education (PDE) through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, showed that NSBA President Viola Garcia and CEO Chip Slaven had been consulting with the White House for “several weeks” on the details of the controversial letter before it was made public.
Slaven indicated that the White House had requested specific information be included in the final version of the letter. Specifically, the White House requested information on the “specific threats, so the letter also details many of the incidents that were occurring.”
While it may be assumed that the association would try hard to present the “attacks” on school-board members and teachers as dreadful as possible, the only cases of “intimidation” that were cited arguably do not constitute instances of the “domestic terrorism” and do not require the involvement of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Among other such “attacks,” the association mentioned disruptions at school-board meetings, penning “offensive” letters to school-board members, and making lists of school-board members who support CRT, masking, etc.
NSBA, while checking with the Biden administration, failed to talk to its own chapters, per PDE. As a result, as of October 21, the chapters from 21 states have distanced themselves from the NSBA’s letter, arguing the association’s national leadership overstepped its bounds and violated the constitutional authority of local school boards to manage the public-school systems in their states.
Many of the local members clearly indicated that if they were aware of such developments, they would have opposed a plea for federal involvement to manage school-district affairs. Among other local boards, a Louisiana chapter dubbed the letter a “huge step backwards” in “protecting and preserving openness, transparency, and local autonomy.” The Ohio board underlined that it strongly believes in “parental engagement, the value of our partnerships with local law enforcement and rejects the labeling of parents as domestic terrorists.” Some local boards also mentioned the inappropriate “tone and language” used in the letter.
On top of that, NSBA seems to have failed to consult with its own board of directors before sending the letter to president Biden, as appears from the e-mail of NSBA director from the Central Region John Halkias, who wrote, “the Board of Directors should have been consulted before a letter like this was sent out publicly, and no less to the President of the United States and the National Press.”
Halkias also argued, “Instead of helping our members and working to decrease the tensions and hostility that many of us are facing, we seem to have fanned those flames of hostility and division. Rather than helping our cause and calming the waters, this letter has re-awakened hostilities that were just beginning to finally calm down.”
In response to the letter, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memorandum directing the FBI to collaborate with federal, state, and local law enforcement to probe and potentially prosecute parents for “harassing,” “intimidating,” and “making threats of violence” against school-board members.
As reported by The New American, Garland indicated in the memo that he was set to shortly announce a series of measures aimed at addressing “the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel”.
In the meantime, Garland ordered the FBI, working with U.S. Attorneys, to conduct meetings and consultations with the local law enforcement to develop “strategies” to address the “threats.”
The DOJ also encouraged the public to report the “threats” to the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center (NTOC).
In addition, the DOJ is drafting training materials for “potential victims” to properly identify potential threats and offenders, and how to capture and collect evidence of the “crimes” perpetrated against them.
America First Legal (AFL), a conservative non-profit legal organization, was among the first to allege that the Biden administration has deliberately organized the operation aimed at silencing and oppressing parents who opposed the policies forced on children by the administration’s “stakeholders,” such as the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and others.
On October 7, AFL requested the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to investigate Garland’s order, which AFL alleges was formulated and issued based on “improper considerations.”
The newly revealed e-mails suggest the AFL’s allegations are correct.
Per the Washington Free Beacon:
The letter makes clear that the White House was aware of the letter before it was released, while raising questions about whether the White House colluded with the association on the letter to prompt federal action.
It is becoming clear that the Biden administration is actively engaged in attempts to stifle dissent among parents who dare to protect their children against mask mandates, teaching of Marxist CRT, and explicit sexual content at America’s schools.