Ohio School Boards Assoc. Quits NSBA, Rejects 'Labeling of Parents as Domestic Terrorists'

Michael W. Chapman | October 27, 2021 | 12:09pm EDT
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Parents speak out at a Loudoun County School Board meeting in June.  (Getty Images)
Parents speak out at a Loudoun County School Board meeting in June. (Getty Images)

(CNS News) -- Although the National School Boards Association (NSBA) apologized for labeling parents concerned about left-wing curricula as potential domestic terrorists, the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) has dropped its membership in the NSBA, asserting that it rejects "the labeling of parents as domestic terrorists."

In an Oct. 25 letter to the executive director and the president of the NSBA, the Ohio association wrote that its "decision to terminate membership and affiliation with the NSBA Association is a direct result of the letter sent by you to President Joe Biden late last month."

"The letter purported to be sent on behalf of state associations and school board members across the nation," reads the letter. "This assertion could not be further from the truth. OSBA was not notified of the letter, nor were we asked for our thoughts on the matter."

(Screenshot, Fox 5 DC)
(Screenshot, Fox 5 DC)

"If we had been consulted, we would have strongly disagreed with NSBA’s decision to request federal intervention as well as your claims of domestic terrorism and hate crimes," said the Ohio group in the letter.

In the Sept. 29 letter to President Joe Biden, which is being used by Attorney General Merrick Garland and the FBI reportedly to monitor school board meetings, the NSBA wrote, "As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials [allegedly by parents] have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

"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."

Garland's actions prompted Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) to demand that the Justice Department "not interfere with local school board meetings or threaten the use of federal law enforcement to deter parents’ free speech."

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.  (Getty Images)
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. (Getty Images)

In its letter to the NSBA, the Ohio School Boards Association further wrote that it "believes strongly in the value of parental and community discussion at school board meetings, and we reject the labeling of parents as domestic terrorists."

"The NSBA letter [to Biden] demonstrated just how out of touch the national association is with the concerns of local school boards and the principle of local control," said the Ohio group.  "OSBA can no longer allow NSBA to speak for our association or our membership and no longer see the value of continued membership."

The letter was signed by OSBA President Robert M. Heard Sr. and CEO Richard C. Lewis. 

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Oct. 27, Attorney General Garland said he would not rescind his Oct. 4 memo to federal officials, which party reads, "I am directing the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working with each United States Attorney, to convene meetings with federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders in each federal judicial district within 30 days of the issuance of this memorandum.

"These meetings will facilitate the discussion of strategies for addressing threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff, and will open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response."

Many parents nationwide have attended local school board meetings over the last year to complain -- often loudly -- about COVID restrictions, such as mask wearing, as well as the introduction of sexually explicit books and other materials in the classroom, including the teaching of Critical Race Theory, which posits that the United States is inherently racist and white people (or Europeans) are the enemy. 

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