National School Boards Association apologizes for comparing parents to 'domestic terrorists'

The initial letter from the NSBA called on the White House to "deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation."

Updated: October 22, 2021 - 11:47pm

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The National School Boards Association apologized Friday for a letter it previously sent to the Biden administration in which it likened the actions of parents at school board meetings to acts of "domestic terrorism." 

in a memo to its members, the NSBA addressed the recent media attention it has received, as well as the distancing of over 20 state school boards associations. 

"On behalf of NSBA, we regret and apologize for the letter," the association wrote in the memo. "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. We apologize also for the strain and stress this situation has caused you and your organizations.

"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 group's apology comes after the Washington Free Beacon reported that the NSBA consulted White House officials in advance to discuss the specific language the group should use when penning the letter.

The initial Sep. 29 letter from the NSBA called on the White House and the Justice Department to "deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation."

"As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes," wrote the organization.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland responded by ordering the FBI and U.S. Attorneys to meet with law enforcement at all levels to address "a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff."

Widely interpreted as an effort to raise the specter of intervention by federal law enforcement to chill public expression by parents active in a grassroots revolt against public schools indoctrinating students in critical race theory, the Garland memo provoked furious backlash from parents, civil libertarians and GOP political leaders across the country.