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Supreme Court of the United States

National School Board Association Responds to Parents’ Outrage

October 29, 2021

It’s called a “Friday news dump.” When a government agency, organization, or official needs to disseminate negative information but wants to avoid the coming blowback, they often release it late on a Friday afternoon, hoping it gets forgotten as people turn off the news and enjoy the weekend.

So, you’d be forgiven if you missed that the National School Board Association (NSBA) finally responded to the righteous outrage of parents across the nation by releasing a letter of apology late last Friday afternoon. The apology came on the heels of a September 29 letter directed at the White House, suggesting parents upset with their school boards might be treated as “domestic terrorists” by the federal government. The letter even asked the Biden administration and the Department of Justice to consider employing the PATRIOT Act’s sweeping authority to target mothers and fathers.

On Friday, the group noted their “regret” for issuing the letter and that “there was no justification for some of the language included in this letter.” This came after a report by the Washington Free Beacon that detailed the frustrations of even some members of the NSBA board of directors, at least some of whom were not even aware of the letter before it was released. One member pointed out that “…we seem to have fanned those flames of hostility and division.” He also lectured fellow board members that “…the letter took a stance that went beyond what many of us would consider to be reasonable and used terms that were extreme and asked for action by the Federal Government that many of us would not request.”

Indeed, at least 21 state school board associations have since distanced themselves from the original letter, and Ohio’s state school board association has even officially pulled their membership , warning that the NSBA is “out of touch.”

Just days after that letter was sent to the Biden administration, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memorandum , without providing documented evidence of any crimes, directing the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in concert with the Department of Justice, to convene meetings with federal, state, local, and tribal leaders in every federal judicial district to discuss strategies for addressing “threats” posed to school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.

Alliance Defending Freedom General Counsel Kristen Waggoner wrote to AG Garland asking him to immediately rescind the letter.

Garland pointedly refused to provide any evidence or withdraw his memo when pressed at House Judiciary Committee hearing on October 21. He also appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday where he again refused to withdraw the memo.

Despite the Biden administration’s extraordinary efforts to chill their speech, parents nationwide have refused to be bullied, continuing to legally express their opinions at school board meetings.

Now that the NSBA has disavowed the letter that was the impetus for Attorney General Garland’s dangerous memo, when will he stop bullying parents, threatening them with investigations by the FBI and federal government, and getting between them and their children’s education and safety?

When will he affirm the constitutionally protected speech of parents to disagree (even strenuously and vehemently) with their elected school boards without fear of FBI investigations?

Stay tuned.


Alliance Defending Freedom

Alliance Defending Freedom

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Alliance Defending Freedom advocates for your right to freely live out your faith


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