Text of the Letter to the National School Board Association:
Ms. Viola M. Garcia and Mr. Chip Slaven
National School Board Association
1680 Duke St Fl. 2
Alexandria, VA 22314
Sent via Electronic Mail ([email protected])
Dear Ms. Garcia and Mr. Slaven,
On behalf of our 427,000 members, the undersigned organizations write in response to your September 29th letter to President Biden requesting “federal assistance to stop threats and acts of violence” against school board members, school officials, and teachers.
In that letter, you requested that the federal government “investigate, intercept, and prevent the current threats and acts of violence against our public school officials through existing statutes, executive authority, intragency and intergovernmental tasl forces, and other extraordinary measures” and that the government leverage “the expertise and resources of the U.S. Secret Service, and its Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service, and its National Threat Assessment Center.”
NSBA cites a tiny number of minor incidents in order to insinuate that parents who are criticizing and protesting the decisions of school boards are engaging in, or may be engaging in, “domestic terrorism and hate crimes.” NSBA even invokes the PATRIOT Act. The association of legitimate protest with terrorism and violence reveals both your contempt for parents and your unwillingness to understand and hear the sincere cries of parents on behalf of their children. To equate parents with terrorists dishonors the thousands of victims of actual terrorism around the world. Have you no shame?
Your letter to President Biden is a thinly veiled threat, intended to intimidate into silence and submission the very constituents that your members ostensibly represent.
Our organizations unequivocally oppose violence and find it deeply troubling that you imply otherwise about concerned citizens who care deeply about their community’s children – and who are concerned by the direction that America’s schools have taken.
Citizens are angry that school boards and school officials around the country are restricting access to public meetings, limiting public comment, and in some cases conducting business via text messages in violation of state open meetings laws. They are angry that schools are charging them thousands of dollars in public records requests to view curriculum and training materials that impact their children and that should be open to the public by default. They are angry that pandemic-related learning losses have compounded the already-low reading, writing, and math proficiency rates in America’s schools. They are angry that rather than focusing on declining student achievement, large numbers of districts have chosen to fund, often with hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money, “social justice” and “diversity, equity, and inclusion” programs with finite resources.
Your members refuse to listen to these concerns – and your association has chosen to smear their constituents rather than engage with them in good faith. It is appalling that you would choose to threaten your fellow Americans for having the courage to hold you accountable for your failures. We will not be bullied. We will not have our speech chilled. We have a constitutional right to petition our elected officials, and we will continue to do so.
We ask that your organization – and your members – engage respectfully and constructively with the country’s parents, grandparents, and concerned citizens so that we might work together to address and improve the quality of America’s public education system for all children.
Parents Defending Education
California Foundation for Equal Rights
Citizens for Brandywine School District
Conservative Ladies of Washington
Education First Alliance
Fair Education Santa Barbara
Fight for Schools
Moms for America
Moms for Liberty
New Castle Patriots for Delaware School
No Left Turn
Olentangy For Students
Oregonians for Liberty in Education and Liberty
in Education Foundation
Recall MTSD School Board
Take Back Our Schools GCS
Utah Parents United
We the Parents Coronado