'No Justification': School Board Association Retracts Letter Likening Parents to Domestic Terrorists

Admission comes in wake of Free Beacon report exposing coordination with White House

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October 23, 2021

The country's largest school board association apologized late Friday for its letter to President Joe Biden calling on the FBI to investigate parents as potential domestic terrorists.

The National School Board Association said in a memo to its members that "there was no justification" for some of the language in the letter, which was sent to Biden on Sept. 29. "On behalf of NSBA, we regret and apologize for the letter," the association said.

The apology comes after the Free Beacon reported Thursday that officials with the association collaborated with the White House in the weeks leading up to the controversial letter.

Emails obtained by watchdog group Parents Defending Education show the White House asked the association to list examples of parents who had engaged in violence at local school board meetings across the country. In its letter, the association cited several examples of violent outbursts at school board meetings, and suggested the acts were domestic terrorism or hate crimes. Five days later, the Justice Department formed a task force of officials from the national security division and civil rights divisions and FBI agents to monitor school board meetings.

The interactions between the White House and the association have sparked allegations that the two colluded to justify federal action to monitor school board meetings. Parent groups have accused the Biden administration of stifling parents who oppose mask mandates and the increasingly left-wing curricula at America’s schools.

In the memo, the NSBA said it deeply values "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 emails showed that some association board members opposed how officials handled the letter.

One director, John Halkias, wrote that the letter "used terms that were extreme, and asked for action by the Federal Government that many of us would not request."

"Many of us have been put in a position now of explaining or defending this action of our association as we are asked by members of our community if we consider them domestic terrorists for showing up to our meetings and expressing their opinions," Halkias wrote in an Oct. 1 email.

The NBSA memo said it would conduct a "formal review" of the "proceedings leading to the letter," and announce improvements to ensure members would be consulted in the future.

Published under: Education