The Ohio and Missouri state school board associations announced this week that they had withdrawn from the National School Boards Association amid continued fallout from the organization’s letter to the Biden administration that called parents domestic terrorists.
Ohio and Missouri joined Louisiana and Pennsylvania in withdrawing from the national organization. Additionally, the Alabama, Florida, and Kentucky associations have all announced they are actively reassessing their membership with the national organization.
Ohio and Missouri both directly cited the letter from the NSBA to the Biden administration that called protesting parents domestic terrorists as the impetus for their withdrawal, strongly rebuking the organization for having sent it.
The letter prompted Attorney General Merrick Garland to establish a joint FBI-DOJ task force to investigate alleged terrorist threats from parents protesting school board meetings across the country.
The organization apologized for the letter last week following sustained public backlash and after Garland testified before Congress in defense of using the letter as the basis for establishing the task force. But the NSBA’s backtrack is proving to be a case of too little, too late.
In a letter to the NSBA, Ohio School Boards Association President Robert Heard and CEO Richard Lewis noted that the organization sent the letter to the Biden administration “on behalf of state associations and school board members across the nation."
“This assertion could not be further from the truth,” Heard and Lewis wrote. “OSBA was not notified of the letter, nor were we asked for our thoughts on the matter. If we had been consulted, we would have strongly disagreed with NSBA’s decision to request federal intervention as well as your claims of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
“OSBA believes strongly in the value of parental and community discussion at school board meetings and we reject the labeling of parents as domestic terrorists,” Heard and Lewis added.
In a letter to its members informing them of the decision to withdraw, Missouri School Boards' Association Executive Director Melissa Randol said NSBA’s decision to release the letter “demonstrated it does not currently align with MSBA’s guiding principles of local governance."
Randol called the NSBA’s apology for the letter a “step in the right direction,” but she added, “We believe NSBA still has significant work ahead, both implementing processes and procedures to prevent similar problems in the future, as well as repairing their fractured relationships.”
The NSBA did not respond to a request for comment.
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Original Author: Jeremiah Poff