On October 11th, the Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) sent a letter to the National School Boards Association (NSBA) addressing its concerns over NSBA’s request for federal intervention at local school board meetings. School board associations across the country, such as the Ohio School Board Association and the Missouri School Board Association, have terminated their affiliation with the national organization due to the NSBA request.
The FSBA did not respond when asked by The Florida Capital Star about their future relationship with the NSBA.
The original letter from the national organization to President Joe Biden said teachers were under “immediate threat” from parents over their vocal opposition to Critical Race Theory (CRT) and mask mandates in public schools and asked federal law enforcement agencies to launch investigations against the parents.
Attorney General Merrick Garland took the NSBA up on their recommendations and confirmed the Department of Justice (DOJ), along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), will launch investigations against parents. The letter proceeds to say parents who attended local school board meetings were akin to domestic terrorists.
“The NSBA also said these alleged acts from parents should be treated like ‘domestic terrorism.’ 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.”
In response, the FSBA said in its letter to their parent organization that they are calling for “a review of NSBA leadership and its processes, as well as urges a public acknowledgment of the federal overreach expressed in your letter.”
“Several elements of your letter run counter to the tenets embraced by the FSBA, and this communication has caused serious concerns, conflict, and consternation for many of our members within the FSBA. Not only has it unnecessarily distracted from the important work being carried out by our members, it has strained important local and state collaborative relationships our members have worked hard to build and maintain for years. This includes our Governor, Legislature, local law enforcement, communities, and our members questioning our commitment to the First Amendment rights of citizens, which we believe is the bedrock of democracy and would always protect.”
The NSBA issued an apology letter for calling parents “domestic terrorists.”
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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Florida School Boards Association” by Florida School Boards Association.