The National School Boards Association (NSBA) was already in communication with the White House before a controversial letter that compared disapproving parents to terrorists came out, according to recently found emails.
“NSBA has been actively engaged with the White House, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Education, the Surgeon General, and other federal agencies on pandemic related issues,” the memo said. It was written by NSBA president Viola Garcia, extracted by Parents Defending Education, and released Thursday, Nov. 11.
Details of the memo suggested at least one meeting between the NSBA and a White House staff two weeks before the letter was officially issued.
“In the Sept. 14, 2021 meeting of the OSAED [Organization of State Association Executive Directors] liaison group, they were informed there had been a meeting with White House staff that morning and that NSBA was preparing to send a letter to the President,” it reads.
On Sept. 17, the OSAED was informed that the NSBA was sending the letter asking for federal help with parents who may be aggressive over their disagreements with the school board.
It is known that the parents were reacting to critical race theory, a Marxism-akin curriculum, aside from COVID-19 restrictions.
On Sept. 29, the letter was sent to the Biden administration, which said the members of NSBA were being subjected to violence comparable to “domestic terrorism” from the unaccepting parents and asked for help.
It led to a more contentious issue as on Oct. 4, the Attorney General of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Merrick Garland, announced it would form a task force with FBI agents to assist the NSBA in prosecuting parents who resort to violence to solve their conflicts.
The move sparked immediate outrage, with critics saying it was a sheer violation of parents’ right to have their voice heard about their children’s education. In addition, the letter resulted in at least 26 state groups distancing themselves from the NSBA, with eleven withdrawing their membership, participation, or dues, the Washington Examiner reported.
The NSBA apologized for the inappropriate language used in the letter on Oct. 22.
In testimony to Congress last month, Merrick Garland would not rescind his memo, saying that he was reacting to “threats of violence,” not according to how the parents were described in the NSBA letter.
“The language in the letter that they disavow is language was never included in my memo and never would have been. I did not adopt every concern that they had in their letter. I thought that only the concern about violence and threats of violence, that hasn’t changed,” Garland said.
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are requesting information from the DOJ in the hopes of persuading Garland to revoke his memo.