The National School Boards Association has issued an apology for a letter it sent to the Biden administration late last month that asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to crack down on “threats of violence and acts of intimidation” at local school board meetings.
Days after the letter was sent, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced he was ordering the FBI to investigate a recent spike in “harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” against school board members. The original NSBA letter asked the Biden administration to use the Patriot Act to look into “acts of malice, violence and threats against public school officials,” which the association said “could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
On Friday, the NSBA apologized for that letter and the language it used. In addition, the association apologized for not getting prior approval from the organization’s board to send the letter.
“On behalf of NSBA, we regret and apologize for the letter,” the organization wrote in a letter to NSBA members. “To be clear, the safety of school board members, other public school officials and educators, and students is our top priority, and there remains important work to be done on this issue. However, 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.”
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