Parental rights in education is not domestic terrorism. Any organization that says otherwise should have no influence over public policy whatsoever.
And yet, in a first draft of a letter to President Joe Biden, the National School Board Association requested the Army National Guard and military police to monitor parents in school board meetings. Why? Because parents voicing concern about woke curriculum is tantamount to “domestic terrorism.”
When I read that I thought, “this has to be a joke.” The National Guardsmen would die of boredom. Parents are not a threat to national security, and we have a right to have our voices heard.
I myself am a parent who has been very concerned about what my child is exposed to when she goes to school. In fact, I filed public record requests with my school district last year to find out if critical race theory was being taught in the classroom. As a result, I was sued by both the National Education Association Rhode Island and the National Education Association South Kingstown, the union’s local branch.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d be called a domestic terrorist. It’s laughable that, while begging my 3-year-old to eat his broccoli and coaxing my 6-year-old to start her bath, I would be on some FBI watch list. But, thanks to the National School Board Association and Department of Justice, that’s exactly what moms like myself were labeled in October 2021.
How did wanting transparency in education become dangerous extremism? When did parents being involved in their child’s education become a concerning trend for federal law enforcement—let alone the military?
I hope that any American soldier receiving orders to loom in the tater-tot scented cafeteria of a middle school, monitoring mothers opposing equity initiatives and mask policies, would be too embarrassed to follow such blatantly unconstitutional orders. Surely our military is not so cuckolded that its last effective function is harassing moms.
The fact that National School Board Association’s interim director, Chip Slaven, even considered militarizing school boards speaks volumes to the fundamentally disconnected nature of the association and organizations like them, which exist only with the consent of the taxpayers it targeted.
Twenty-three states have ended their membership with the National School Board Association, and it’s time the remaining states disband for the sake of parental rights in education. The threat to parents’ free speech will permanently linger as long as National School Board Association exists.
The only threats I make are for timeouts and early bedtime. I also count to three a lot, and my kindergartner finds that very threatening. The National School Board Association, however, colluded with the FBI to threaten my constitutional rights. Most of the “threats” cited in Garland’s memo weren’t even legitimate threats of violence. It’s clear where the real threat lies here.
My own state of Rhode Island is one of those remaining states clinging to National School Board Association membership. In fact, the Rhode Island Association of School Committees’ executive director, Tim Duffy, was so gleeful about targeting parents that he immediately galvanized his Rhode Island school committee membership.
The day after Garland released his memo, Duffy emailed Rhode Island school committee officials stating that the Rhode Island Association of School Committees would coordinate with the FBI and U.S. attorney general for Rhode Island. He directed school committees to report to him “any issues you have had during your school committee meetings.”
Well, this certainly must have been an exciting turn of events for a boring executive director of a nonprofit! One day you’re writing model school board policies, and the next you’re an FBI-deputized bounty hunter of moms. Who can resist such a power rush? Well, 23 other school board associations resisted it. I’m sorry to say my expectations for Rhode Island Association of School Committees are terribly low, at least under the leadership of Duffy.
Now, it’s easy to view this National School Board Association debacle as a story unique to public education, but it is not a standalone event.
An investigation into the events surrounding the September 2021 National School Board Association letter concluded that “lack of internal controls” at the association and an aimless board of directors were to blame for the association’s recklessness, but this targeting of parents is not simply the result of its disorganized workplace and lack of leadership. This is a culmination of the Biden administration’s repeated attempts to identify political dissidents and weaponize government power to silence their dissent.
The same ideological opponents in the military were purged under the pretext of fighting extremism. For the Biden administration, parents are just more “enemies [that] lie within our own ranks” and pose a threat to keeping America “safe.” This notion cannot stand and will die only with the dissolution of the National School Board Association.
Parents aren’t thinking about upcoming elections when they oppose racialized and sexualized curriculum in school. They’re thinking about the welfare of their kids. It’s not a political ploy to want to know what your child is being taught in school. It’s a parental right.
Under the regime of the National School Board Association, parents will always be viewed as domestic terrorists because their objections threaten the ideology of a politicized public education regime. Parents haven’t made physical threats of violence. Any perceived threat by parents is a threat to an ideology. And those are absolutely permissible.
The good news is that the Biden administration and the National School Board Association drastically underestimated the resiliency of American parents.
As for myself, parenting a 3-year-old and 6-year-old has equipped me for dealing with my local school board and other anti-parent groups. Both deal in tantrums, emotional manipulation, and fear tactics; both require constant attention and coddling; and both need timeouts. The National School Board Association needs a permanent timeout.
When parents were first threatened with federal investigations in 2021, my response was “arrest me!” Had the military actually been deployed to school board meetings, parents still would not have been shaken.
Nevertheless, the power and control of local school boards must be restored to its elected representatives, unencumbered by special interest groups like the National School Board Association hijacking public education to impose its progressive political agenda.
This restoration will be a long haul because the National School Board Association is not the only special interest group leeching off public education tax dollars. Teachers’ unions, consulting agencies, and equity grifters have been riding that public education gravy train for decades. Now that the National School Board Association has overreached, we must hold them accountable by demanding more than empty mea culpas. Some things you can’t come back from.
If colluding with the FBI to investigate innocent parents after seriously considering siccing the Army National Guard and military police on school board meetings is forgivable, then there are no bounds to government abuse of power. A society that values freedom and government restraint cannot tolerate the continued existence of the National School Board Association.
President Harry Truman said in a special message to Congress in 1950, “Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens, creating a country where everyone lives in fear.”
The National School Board Association has shown itself to be that source of terror. It is now falling apart, and with its radical views, it should be.