A draft version of the National School Boards Association’s September 2021 letter to the Biden administration requesting federal intervention to investigate and potentially penalize “threats” leveled by protesting parents also asked that the Army National Guard and military police be deployed to certain school districts.
“We ask that the Army National Guard and its Military Police be deployed to certain school districts and related events where students and school personnel have been subjected to acts and threats of violence,” the draft read, according to the organization’s independent review of the incident released Friday.
The NSBA enlisted a law firm to do a deep-dive into the circumstances behind the letter, which the headquarters redacted many months ago after it led to nationwide backlash and a wave of state chapter exits. In a subsequent apology, the NSBA said 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.”
In former executive director Chip Slaven’s final petition to the White House, which had the active coordination of White House Senior Advisor to the President on education Mary Wall, the NSBA requested that the federal government target and potentially prosecute parents who demonstrated at school board meetings as “domestic terrorists,” a phrase which the letter used twice, under the Patriot Act. Slaven resigned from the NSBA after his role was revealed in the scandal.
The letter cited over 20 alleged episodes of threats from parents against school board administrators across the country. However, National Review discovered that the vast majority of incidents cited, mostly involving parent shouting matches or noncompliance with mask policies, did not qualify as threats of physical violence.
Yet in October, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo based on that letter directing the FBI to collaborate with state U.S. attorneys and federal, state, and local law-enforcement agencies to probe and potentially prosecute violent threats against teachers and administrators in school districts nationwide.
The NSBA’s early draft also called parents who spoke out against their school district’s equity-focused curriculum changes or mandatory masking policies “plotters who are targeting schools and educators,” Fox News noted. The first version also dismissed the critical race theory concerns of parents altogether, adding a line that was removed in the final copy: “an increasing number of public school officials is facing physical threats because of propaganda purporting the inclusion of critical race theory within classroom instruction and curricula.”