In a letter to the White House, a group that represents school boards urged the Biden administration to consider whether confrontations by outraged parents over COVID restrictions and critical race theory (CRT) being incorporated into class curriculum violate the Patriot Act. The letter contended that “the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
The National School Boards Association has asked President Biden to determine whether recent incidents of threats and violence against educators are prohibited under the legislation, passed in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, as well as the Gun-Free School Zones Act and a number of other statutes.
“Coupled with attacks against school board members and educators for approving policies for masks to protect the health and safety of students and school employees, many public school officials are also facing physical threats because of propaganda purporting the false inclusion of critical race theory within classroom instruction and curricula,” a letter from the group obtained by Fox News read.
For over a year, parent activists have been battling school board members over COVID school policies, such as universal K-12 masking, as well as the teaching of critical race theory in the classroom, with some skirmishes culminating in teacher resignations or parents pulling their children out of public school.
The school board group’s escalation of the conflict to the federal level signals that many parents’ qualms with their tax dollars potentially funding indoctrination or a racialized education are being dismissed as illegitimate by administrators.
In Loudoun County, Virginia, which became ground zero for school board fights last year, an anti-CRT organization launched $500,000 worth of ads slamming the local school board for attempting to shut down the parent resistance to the district’s equity and inclusion initiatives. Similarly, in Guilford, Connecticut and other typically Democrat-dominated suburban towns across America, grassroots parents are building movements to oust their progressive school boards that have been spearheading or rubber-stamping new politicized curriculum changes.
During a press conference Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki indicated that the administration is investigating whether it can get involved to protect the school boards allegedly receiving these verbal assaults.
“We’re continuing to explore if more can be done from across the administration,” she said. “Obviously these threats to school board members is horrible. They’re doing their jobs.”
Echoing Psaki at a U.S. Senate committee hearing Thursday, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona slammed the antagonism against school administrators, applauding the school boards for their commitment to safe school re-opening. He expressed concern with the level of animus and aggression exhibited at some school board meetings, calling it “very dangerous.”