Well, that took long enough.
In late September, conservative parents and voters discovered what the NSBA is. It wasn’t a pleasant introduction:
The National School Boards Association penned a letter to President Joe Biden in which the educators group asked “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.”
This sounds pretty dire until you realize the letter was talking, in large part, about parents revolting at school board meetings over radical curriculums that included elements of critical race theory and overreaches such as mask mandates.
— KVCR (@EmpireKVCR) October 23, 2021
In the letter, the NSBA accused parents of “spreading misinformation” and asserted, without evidence, that “extremist hate organizations” were “inciting chaos” at contentious school board meetings.
And then the kicker: This activity “could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
In a matter of days, Attorney General Merrick Garland snapped to attention and sent out a memorandum promising the FBI would hold meetings with school officials nationwide to “facilitate the discussion of strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff, and will open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response.”
This quickly soured on both ends — particularly the NSBA’s assertion that parent activists were involved in “domestic terrorism.” Things got worse on Thursday when the Washington Free Beacon reported that emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show the NSBA’s president and CEO collaborated with the White House before the letter was sent — and that it was released without the approval of the NSBA’s board.
“On behalf of the NSBA, we regret and apologize for the letter. To be clear, the safety of school board members, other public school officials and educators, and students is our top priority, and there remains important work to be done on this issue,” the letter stated.
“We apologize also for the strain and stress this situation has caused you and your organizations.”
Breaking: In the wake of yesterday’s @FreeBeacon report, National School Board Association announces “we regret and apologize for the letter” to Biden admin characterizing concerned parents as potentially domestic terrorists pic.twitter.com/3RBufvWqAN
— Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) October 23, 2021
“As we’ve reiterated since the letter was sent, we deeply value not only the work of local school boards that make important contributions within our communities, but also the voices of parents, who should and must continue to be heard when it comes to decisions about their children’s education, health, and safety,” the letter continued.
And, of course, what belated apology would be complete without this line?: “We are going to do better going forward.”
“Doing better” is apparently defined as “a formal review of our processes and procedures,” as well as “specific improvements” regarding “coordination and consultation among our staff, and our members across the country.”
This will apparently stop the NSBA from implying parents who love their children are engaged in “domestic terrorism.” It’s also worth noting that the memorandum does not address the specific inflammatory language and positions of the group’s Sept. 29 letter to the White House, nor does it discuss the prior coordination with the White House.
Also unaddressed is the questions Garland faced over the letter — and the Department of Justice’s subsequent memorandum, issued just days after the NSBA’s missive — during his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last week.
“Three weeks ago, the National School Board Association writes President Biden asking him to involve the FBI in local school board matters. Five days later, the attorney general of the United States does just that, does exactly what a political organization asks to be done,” Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan said.
“Republicans on this committee have sent the attorney general 13 letters in the last six months,” he added. “Eight of the letters, we’ve got nothing — they just gave us the finger.” Other letters took weeks to merit a response, Jordan said. But it was merely days before Garland promised the NSBA “open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting.”
“A snitch line on parents started five days after a left-wing political organization asked for it,” Jordan said. “If that’s not political, I don’t know what is.
BREAKING: Ohio Rep. @Jim_Jordan let loose on Attorney General Merrick Garland at Thursday’s hearing: “Folks all around the country, they tell me, for the first time they are afraid of their government” pic.twitter.com/9aWjNCnohU
— Newsmax (@newsmax) October 21, 2021
None of this was mentioned in the NSBA’s apology. Just a sanitized “mistakes were made“-ish retraction of an inflammatory letter which, by all appearances, spurred the Department of Justice and the FBI to treat American parents as if they were domestic terrorist threats for caring about their children’s education.
It certainly took long enough. And after all that, the apology was neither public nor specific. Meanwhile, it appears the FBI still remains mobilized against the chimerical threat the NSBA railed against.
Some mea culpa.
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