For Immediate Release
October 9, 2021
On September 29, the National School Boards Association sent a letter to President Biden asking him to direct the force of the FBI and Homeland Security against angry parents who are disrupting school board meetings to protest masks and Critical Race Theory arguing that their behavior “…could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crime.”
This letter purports to speak for all its members, the NH School Boards Association (NHSBA) being one of them. Although the NHSBA reports that they were not consulted about the letter, they have not denounced it.
We do denounce it in the most unequivocal terms.
Public officials must be accountable to the public and this sometimes includes being in a room of angry parents who shout, protest, and sometimes swear. It is uncomfortable, so uncomfortable that those who suffer it would do much to avoid it – such as calling the police, abruptly adjourning meetings, and yes – transitioning the meeting to Zoom, which happened once not long ago at a Timberlane Regional School Board meeting in Plaistow.
School board members subject to the wrath of parents would exaggerate the threat to their physical person to protect from the very real threat to their pride, judgment and agenda. Their exaggerated and self-serving “fear” has led their national association to call for unconstitutional federal involvement in something that is not by any reasonable stretch a matter for federal authorities. Nothing that has happened in NH, or elsewhere, gives any justification for this.
Parents have every reason to be unhappy with the current state of public education and their representation. School boards sharply limit public comment at meetings and generally refuse to answer questions from the public at meetings. The administrations the boards oversee are often very slow and uncooperative in providing public information on request. Even more seriously, school boards turn a blind eye to political indoctrination of our children, deny the systemic prevalence of Critical Race Theory application in every level of public education, and by policy and practice encroach on parental rights and exclude parental involvement and consent.
The School District Governance Association of New Hampshire is a nonprofit organization, funded by memberships, dedicated to educating elected school district officials in their role and responsibilities so they can assert their authority to represent the voters. We call upon President Biden and our state and federal representatives to stop this outrageous intrusion in the normal political process of protest and disagreement with school boards.
We also call upon Governor Sununu to make it clear to Washington that parents in our state are not to be subject to investigation by federal authorities simply for being disruptive at school board meetings. Any disruption that crosses the boundary of legality is already handled by local law enforcement, as it should be. Not only does federal involvement step on constitutionally protected free speech and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances, but also infringes on the constitutional authority of state and local police.
Lastly, school boards in New Hampshire and across the country should withdraw their membership in the state chapter of the National School Boards Association. Public money in dues supports an organization that called for this unprecedented and unconstitutional attack on parents’ rights to free speech, dissent and protest.
If we stand for this intrusion on our rights, we stand for nothing. Public education must serve the public. School boards, which are the public’s representation, should stop pretending to be afraid of parents and start listening to them.
School District Governance Association of NH