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Texas Severs Ties with NSBA, All States Should Follow Suit

Texas is the most recent state to leave the NSBA following the “domestic terrorism” controversy involving Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The Texas School Board Association (TSBA) announced on Monday that it was cutting ties with the National School Boards Association (NSBA).

The NSBA sent a letter to President Biden in September 2021 requesting federal investigation into parental protests of school board meetings, alleging that school personnel were facing threats of violence. The most significant implication in this letter is the request that the parents’ actions should be qualify parents as “domestic terrorists” under the Patriot Act and handled accordingly.

On October 4, Attorney General Merrick Garland instructed the FBI to collaborate with local leaders to address “threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff”, effectively targeting protesting parents. He went on to say that they “will open dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting, assessment, and response.”

If you’re a state that still hasn’t distanced yourself, even after the [NSBA] has distanced themselves from their own letter, that doesn’t look very good for your state.

Corey DeAngelis, National Director of Research at the American Federation for Children

“If you’re a state that still hasn’t distanced yourself, even after the [NSBA] has distanced themselves from their own letter, that doesn’t look very good for your state,” says Corey DeAngelis, National Director of Research at the American Federation for Children. “The only meaningful pushback is actually pulling your dues or severing ties formally when it comes to membership or participation with the national organization.”

The action in Texas follows the recent completion of the independent review conducted by the NSBA. The findings revealed that the the September 2021 letter was “‘principally directed, reviewed, and approved by’ NSBA’s former Interim Director and CEO Chip Slaven, who was responsible for both the ‘origin and substance of the letter.'”

While the NSBA is distancing itself from its own letter, 23 states have cut ties with the NSBA.

Arizona announced their split from the NSBA in February. Counting Arizona, California, and Texas, the southwest still needs commitments from New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. The school board associations within these states have a duty to the parents, students, and families they represent to step away from the extremists at NSBA.

The safety of students is paramount, and suggestions from a national entity that parents are “domestic terrorists” is an affront that should not be tolerated.

By Patrick M. Brenner

Patrick Brenner is the founder and president of the Southwest Public Policy Institute, a limited-government research institute and think tank focused on the southwestern United States. An advocate for open government, he leads the institute's government transparency and accountability efforts.

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