National School Boards Association Cooperated with the White House on AG Memo

SchoolAndrea Piacquadio

Internal documents revealed on Thursday confirm that the National School Boards Association cooperated with the White House before publicly requested government assistance to investigate and potentially prosecute parents who threatened school administrators.

Before sending their letter to the president, NSBA president Viola Garcia stated in an October 12 memo that the organization had been "Actively engaged" with federal departments including the White House, Department of Justice, and Department of Homeland Security.

At the White House's request, Chip Slaven, the NSBA's interim executive director, said in an email on September 29 that the letter, which portrayed parents as potential "domestic terrorists," had been updated to include information of specific risks.

As a result, the NSBA letter referenced 24 articles from local news outlets outlining threats parents made to school board members, the great majority of which were not illegal threats.

AG Merrick Garland issued a Department of Justice order mobilizing the FBI to work with federal law enforcement to target parents judged to be engaging in "threatening" activity against school board members in reaction to the letter, for which the NSBA has now apologized.

Garcia states in her report that the executive directors of the group's state chapters were informed during a September 14 meeting that the NSBA had communicated with the White House about the letter.

While the state chapters were given advance notice that a letter asking federal intervention would be written, there is no indication that they were provided any details about the harsh language that would be used.

After a considerable outcry from parents, twenty-four NSBA state chapters distanced themselves from the letter, and at least 12 state groups have legally disaffiliated from the parent organization.

"Members questioned why they were not contacted on the letter's contents or the board's involvement (or lack thereof). If I understand the preceding paragraphs correctly, the letter's origins began on September 14th with a meeting with White House personnel, but the letter fails to disclose who met with White House staff" Doyle explains.

Doyle also sought to know who was behind the letter to the Biden administration and under what authority that individual issued it, speaking on behalf of the board.

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