In late 2021, the National School Board Association (NBSA) which represents 90,000 school board members, governs 14,000 local public school districts and educates more than 50 million schoolchildren, brought down the well-deserved the wrath of parents and conservative Legislators upon themselves after they wrote an open letter to President Joe Biden, asking for federal law enforcement help them deal with “domestic terrorism” at school board meetings, on account of parents upset over the teaching of Critical Race Theory and ender Studies in school, as well as COVID policies. They wrote:
“America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) respectfully asks for federal law enforcement and other assistance to deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation….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”
Public backlash was swift and fierce, to the point that many districts left. In response, Montana and 21 other states created a new association, called Consortium of State School Boards Association, which is a non-partisan, national alliance “dedicated to sharing resources and information to support, promote and strengthen state school boards associations.”
For the NBSA, the director soon resigned, replaced by a new one who was much more apologetic and mindful of the fury he was faced with, telling parents “There was no justification for some of the language included in the letter. We should have had a better process in place to allow for consultation on a communication of this significance.”
On Friday, the NSBA released the results of their independent review of the events, finding that former executive director Chip Slaven was mostly responsible for the heightened rhetoric of the letter. They also found that in an earlier draft of the letter, the NSBA requested the Army National Guard and military police to be deployed to certain school districts and help quell parental uprisings.
In most cases, these uprisings consisted of parents yelling about their 5-year-olds having to wear face masks, and their 8 -year old is being taught they are secretly racists who are full of white privilege.
The NSBA ultimately acknowledged that it should not have gotten involved and would be held accountable, which is what many conservative education groups wanted to hear all along. In a Facebook message posted by Parents Defending Education, a large grassroots organization that advocates for education, not indoctrination, President Nicole Neily shared: