On September 29, the President and the Interim CEO of the National School Boards Association sent a letter to Joe Biden requesting federal help in dealing with “domestic terrorism and hate crimes.” What is the source of such terrorism and hate crimes? Unhappy parents who have been attending school board meetings.
According to the NSBA, school board members, teachers and others are subject to frequent threats of violence:
America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) respectfully asks for federal law enforcement and other assistance to deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation.
The violence is so severe that local law enforcement is not capable of dealing with it:
While local and state law enforcement agencies are working with public school officials in several communities to prevent further disruptions to educational services and school district operations, law enforcement officials in some jurisdictions need assistance – including help with monitoring the threat levels. … NSBA specifically solicits the expertise and resources of the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service, and its National Threat Assessment Center regarding the level of risk to public schoolchildren, educators, board members, and facilities/campuses.
While the NSBA letter footnotes a number of news stories in support of its request, few of them document actual violence at school board meetings. There is this statement in a report on the famous Loudon County school board encounter: “A third person received a minor injury, officials said, without releasing details.” And in Mendon, Illinois, “school officials attempted to escort Felde out of the meeting when he struck one of them before leaving the school.” It doesn’t sound like a national wave of violence that is too severe for local authorities to handle.
But the NSBA wants to bring the full weight of the federal government down on parents who express displeasure with the public schools at school board meetings:
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. As such, NSBA requests a joint expedited review by the U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, and Homeland Security, along with the appropriate training, coordination, investigations, and enforcement mechanisms from the FBI, including any technical assistance necessary from, and state and local coordination with, its National Security Branch and Counterterrorism Division, as well as any other federal agency with relevant jurisdictional authority and oversight. Additionally, NSBA requests that such review examine appropriate enforceable actions against these crimes and acts of violence under the Gun-Free School Zones Act, the PATRIOT Act in regards to domestic terrorism, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Violent Interference with Federally Protected Rights statute, the Conspiracy Against Rights statute, an Executive Order to enforce all applicable federal laws for the protection of students and public school district personnel, and any related measure. As the threats grow and news of extremist hate organizations showing up at school board meetings is being reported, this is a critical time for a proactive approach to deal with this difficult issue.
I think this is part of the broader effort by liberals to brand mainstream conservatives as domestic terrorists. The NSBA letter says that parents are angry about two issues: mask mandates and Critical Race Theory. Let’s focus for the moment on Critical Race Theory. Part of the problem here is that schools boards, administrators and many teachers are chronically dishonest about what is going on in the schools. Their first line of defense always is to deny that CRT plays any part in K-12 education. It is just an obscure doctrine found in law schools. That is what the NSBA does in its letter to Biden:
[M]any public school officials are also facing physical threats because of propaganda purporting the false inclusion of critical race theory within classroom instruction and curricula. This propaganda continues despite the fact that critical race theory is not taught in public schools and remains a complex law school and graduate school subject well beyond the scope of a K-12 class.
Really? The leaders of the National School Boards Association cannot possibly be unaware of the fact that in its annual meeting just two months ago, the National Education Association, the union that largely controls K-12 education in the U.S., pledged its undying fealty to Critical Race Theory. It adopted New Business Item #39, which encouraged teachers to instill the principles of Critical Race Theory in their students, even if doing so is illegal in their state. Here is New Business Item #39:
The NEA will, with guidance on implementation from the NEA president and chairs of the Ethnic Minority Affairs Caucuses:
A. Share and publicize, through existing channels, information already available on critical race theory (CRT) — what it is and what it is not; have a team of staffers for members who want to learn more and fight back against anti-CRT rhetoric; and share information with other NEA members as well as their community members.
B. Provide an already-created, in-depth, study that critiques empire, white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, racism, patriarchy, cisheteropatriarchy, capitalism, ableism, anthropocentrism, and other forms of power and oppression at the intersections of our society, and that we oppose attempts to ban critical race theory and/or The 1619 Project.
C. Publicly (through existing media) convey its support for the accurate and honest teaching of social studies topics, including truthful and age-appropriate accountings of unpleasant aspects of American history, such as slavery, and the oppression and discrimination of Indigenous, Black, Brown, and other peoples of color, as well as the continued impact this history has on our current society. The Association will further convey that in teaching these topics, it is reasonable and appropriate for curriculum to be informed by academic frameworks for understanding and interpreting the impact of the past on current society, including critical race theory.
D. Join with Black Lives Matter at School and the Zinn Education Project to call for a rally this year on October 14—George Floyd’s birthday—as a national day of action to teach lessons about structural racism and oppression—even in places where it is illegal and requires civil disobedience. Followed by additional days of action that recognize and honor lives taken such as Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, and others. The National Education Association shall publicize these National Days of Action to all its members, including in NEA Today.
E. Conduct a listening tour that will educate members on the tools and resources needed to defend honesty in education including but not limited to tools like CRT.
F. Commit President Becky Pringle to make public statements across all lines of media that support racial honesty in education including but not limited to critical race theory.
So this is what is happening:
1) For some years, driven by extreme left-wing teachers’ unions, most of America’s public schools have been replacing education with left-wing indoctrination. The principles of Critical Race Theory are now an important element of that politicizing of education.
2) When parents learn what is going in the schools, most of them don’t like it, because Critical Race Theory is racist and anti-American.
3) When parents voice their displeasure, as at school board meetings, educators consistently lie. They say they don’t teach CRT, which only exists in the law schools. Of course, they don’t teach students the words “Critical Race Theory.” Rather, the noxious doctrines of CRT drive the racist and anti-American messages that the schools deliver.
4) Many parents have caught on to the fact that they are being lied to. As a result, they sometimes express their entirely appropriate anger with too much vigor. Nothing like a George Floyd riot, of course, but sometimes shouting and insults are directed at school officials.
5) School officials like the ones who run NSBA desperately want to shut down debate over what is going on in our schools. Therefore, they try to label concerned parents as domestic terrorists and hate criminals, and now are enlisting the sympathetic Biden administration in their cause.
Where will it end? Millions are fleeing the public schools, understandably and appropriately. But the fight over the public schools is perhaps the most important one we are now waging. Will our schools perpetuate and help to improve the America that we know and love, as they used to in the past? Or will they continue to undermine our country by teaching our children to hate the United States and its history, and by dividing our children by skin color and teaching them to hate one another? There is no more important question now before us.