By C. Mitchell Shaw
After the National School Boards Association sent a letter to the White House last September referring to parents who speak out against insane policies as “domestic terrorists,” the organization has taken a beating. Now, an early draft of the letter shows that the NSBA considered asking the Biden administration to send the military after those parents.
As Fox News is reporting:
Early demands from the National School Boards Association to the White House included calling for the deployment of the Army National Guard and the military police to monitor school board meetings, according to an early draft letter the organization’s independent review released Friday.
Given the hot water the NSBA found itself in over the version of the letter sent to the White House last September, one can only imagine if the earlier draft had been sent. The actual language of the draft is, “We ask that the Army National Guard and its Military Police be deployed to certain school districts and related events where students and school personnel have been subjected to acts and threats of violence.”
The final version of the letter is mild in comparison. That version of the letter accused concerned parents — frustrated with a litany of inanities in the nation’s public schools, including heavy-handed Covid regulations, Critical Race Theory, and the sexualization of children under the pretense of “fairness” to the LGBTQ mob — of threatening school-board members. The letter went on to ask whether these “threats” could be investigated under the PATRIOT Act, saying:
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. As such, NSBA requests a joint expedited review by the U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, and Homeland Security, along with the appropriate training, coordination, investigations, and enforcement mechanisms from the FBI, including any technical assistance necessary from, and state and local coordination with, its National Security Branch and Counterterrorism Division, as well as any other federal agency with relevant jurisdictional authority and oversight. Additionally, NSBA requests that such review examine appropriate enforceable actions against these crimes and acts of violence under the Gun-Free School Zones Act, the PATRIOT Act in regards to domestic terrorism, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Violent Interference with Federally Protected Rights statute, the Conspiracy Against Rights statute, an Executive Order to enforce all applicable federal laws for the protection of students and public school district personnel, and any related measure. As the threats grow and news of extremist hate organizations showing up at school board meetings is being reported, this is a critical time for a proactive approach to deal with this difficult issue.
As inflammatory as that is, the early draft is even worse — it appears to have stopped just short of asking for drone strikes on the homes of those parents.
According to the final NSBA report of the independent review, Chip Slaven — then-interim CEO and executive director of the NSBA — made several changes to the early draft before signing it and sending it on to the White House. He added the phrase, “in regards to domestic terrorism” after the reference to the PATRIOT Act. He removed the word, “immediate” in the sentence, “The National School Boards Association (NSBA) respectfully asks for immediate federal law enforcement and other assistance to deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation.” And — most important to this report — he removed the call for the military to storm school board meetings hunting for domestic terrorist parents who dared to speak up against insane school board policies.
There is, of course, little doubt that this independent review and sudden openness on the part of the NSBA is little more than window dressing. The NSBA began immediately hemorrhaging as soon as the final letter was reported last year. State school boards began withdrawing as soon as the letter hit the news cycle. The NSBA tried to backtrack, disavowing the letter as some kind of “oops” moment. But the bleeding — having begun — would not be stopped. As of February 16, 2022, 29 states — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming — have opposed or distanced themselves from the letter and 20 states have withdrawn membership or dues from the NSBA or announced plans to do so.
That amounts to more than 50 percent of states distancing themselves from the letter and exactly 40 percent of states leaving the NSBA. In its analysis of official documents related to the exodus of those state school boards, Axios reported that the departures accounted for losses of $1.1 million annually — more than 40 percent of the NSBA funding by states.
In the wake of the independent review showing that the NSBA wanted to ask for — was on the very brink of asking for — military intervention, it is possible that the NSBA will face further blowback. Even if that turns out not to be the case, the NSBA has likely already bled past the point of recovery.
With at least 20 states having ditched the NSBA and several others distancing themselves from the letter, NSBA may want to consider a name change — “National” just doesn’t seem to fit anymore. Besides that, taking a loss of more than a million dollars a year would hurt any organization, but it must be particularly hard on an organization that appears to exist for the sole purpose of raising that money and splitting it between salaries and woke policies.