The National School Boards Association issued an apology Friday night for a letter sent to the Biden administration which targeted some parents who are concerned about their child’s school curriculum and said certain of their actions could be domestic terrorism.
“As you all know, there has been extensive media and other attention recently around our letter to President Biden regarding threats and acts of violence against school board members,” the NSBA wrote in a memo. “We wanted to write to you directly to address this matter.”
“On behalf of NSBA, we regret and apologize for the letter,” the NSBA said, noting that “there was no justification for some of the language included in the letter.”
(Source: Oregon School Boards Association) (Oregon School Boards Association)
After the NSBA claimed in its letter that some rhetorical clashes between school boards and parents may amount to domestic terrorism, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memorandum that instructed the FBI to take the lead on a task force to address threats against school officials, including creating a centralized way to report such threats.
A person familiar with Garland’s thinking told Fox News that Garland and Department of Justice officials are pleased with the updated letter as it now is catching up to his statement this week in front of House Judiciary. The person added that the letter now syncs up with Garland, and that the attorney general is solely focused on preventing violence, not calling parents domestic terrorists.
On Thursday, Garland denied claims that the DOJ would label parents as domestic terrorists, saying the “Justice Department supports and defends the First Amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in the schools.”
“That is not what the memorandum is about at all, nor does it use the words ‘domestic terrorism’ or ‘PATRIOT Act,’” Garland said.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland testifies at a House Judiciary Committee hearing at the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 21, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images) (Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., on Saturday called on Garland to resign after the release of the new NSBA memo.
“Merrick Garland mobilized the FBI to intimidate parents without legal basis and, we now know, premised on misinformation he didn’t bother to verify,” Hawley tweeted. “It was a dangerous abuse of authority that has badly compromised the Justice Dept’s integrity and Garland’s.”
Several educational groups, state school boards, and members of the U.S Commission on Civil Rights have criticized the administration for issuing the memo.
In a letter to Garland, half of the eight members of the Commission on Civil Rights requested “specific examples” of “harassment, intimidation and threats of violence” which Garland claimed as evidence for the need for federal intervention in parent protests at schools.
“Will the AG reverse?” asked Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, in a tweet Friday reacting to the new NSBA letter.