The National School Boards Association released an apology letter on Friday after a previous letter to the White House accused parents of “domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
The apology was addressed to school boards that are members of the National School Boards Association (NSBA). The apology was in response to an initial letter that likened school board protesters to domestic terrorists. That first letter pleaded with the Biden Administration to properly take care of the threats from parents against school board members, which enacted a quick response from the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The first letter gained quite a bit of media attention after it was sent. The NSBA addressed this issue in the apology memorandum, saying, “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.” The apology went on to say, “We regret and apologize for the letter… there was no justification for some of the language included in the letter.” You can view the memorandum here or below.
The Free Beacon reported that NSBA president Viola Garcia and CEO Chip Slaven sent the original letter to the White House—without the NSBA’s board’s approval.
The apology also follows emails released by Parents Defending Education and The Washington Free Beacon that show the NSBA had been in communication with the White House prior to sending the initial letter.
The emails reveal that the White House was aware of the letter before receiving it officially, but it is unclear if the White House worked with the NSBA to bring in the DOJ. The letter prompted claims that the Biden Administration is attempting to discourage parents from voicing concerns at school board meetings.
The emails also demonstrate NSBA board members’ frustration that they were not asked for approval for the letter. John W. Halkias, a director at the association, was not happy that the letter was sent.
“Many of us have been put in a position now of explaining or defending this action of our association as we are asked by members of our community if we consider them domestic terrorists for showing up to our meetings and expressing their opinions,” Halkias shares.
Halkias adds that the board would presumably not have approved the letter to be sent. He discloses that the letter “used terms that were extreme, and asked for action by the Federal Government that many of us would not request.”
The NSBA’s first letter even caused the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) to leave the national organization. PSBA explained in a statement that “attempting to solve the problems with a call for federal intervention is not the place to begin, nor a model for promoting greater civility and respect for the democratic process.”
Nicki Neily, President of Parents Defending Education, is not satisfied with the NSBA’s apology. She tells Fox News that it comes “too little, too late.” Neily points out that the apology is only addressed to school boards and not to parents.
“What about the parents?” she questions. “What about the millions of parents who were labeled domestic terrorists by this organization? We demand an apology as well.”
However, Neily is encouraged by the increase in involvement from parents at school board meetings. She believes parents should continue to speak out against school policies they don’t agree with.
“There is opposition to these ideas and how these things are being shoved down our throat. It crosses party lines, it crosses racial lines, ethnic lines, and so there is a real groundswell of opposition to what is going on, and I’m really optimistic that if people keep pushing, we can affect significant change,” says Neily. “And so, I’m very heartened by what’s going on, and I think this wave is going to continue.”
What do you think about the NSBA’s apology letter?
[…] parents who get too loud are terrorists. After huge pushback across the nation they apologized (https://noahwebstereducationalfoundation.org/nsba-apologizes-for-calling-parents-domestic-terrorists…). That doesn’t mean anything has changed. Parents who disagree with school board and district […]
[…] accountability can be unclear and sometimes deviates from community-based standards. The NSBA, which has recently come under fire for its approach to parental involvement, […]
[…] at school board meetings were acts of “domestic terrorism” and “hate crimes.” The NSBA has since apologized, but that didn’t do much to ease parents’ […]