The Florida School Board Association (FSBA) announced it has withdrawn from its affiliation with the National School Boards Association (NSBA). The announcement comes as 26 state school board associations have either cut ties or distanced themselves from the parent organization.
The impetus for the withdrawal stems from the NSBA’s letter to the federal government asking for intervention at local school board meetings. Attorney General Merrick Garland took the NSBA up on their recommendations and announced they would be launching investigations into parents at school board meetings.
The NSBA also called parents who were protesting Critical Race Theory and mask mandates “domestic terrorists.”
“When we were down in Fort Meyers the board voted to condemn the letter that NBSA sent to the White House requesting the FBI to get involved with local school board businesses,” said Escambia County School Board member Kevin Adams.
Okaloosa County School Board Chairman Tim Bryant said the NSBA was not listening to its constituents and that he backed the FSBA’s vote “whole-heatedly.”
In response to the NSBA’s letter, the FSBA sent their own letter to the parent organization calling for “a review of NSBA leadership and its processes, as well as urges a public acknowledgment of the federal overreach expressed in your letter.”
The NSBA has since apologized for calling parents domestic terrorists.
“On behalf of the NSBA, we regret and apologize for the letter. 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,” the NSBA wrote. “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 some consultation on a communication of this significance.”
Internal emails within the NSBA have since been released and have shown that some NSBA staffers were not supportive of the letter and thought it went too far. The Justice Department also discussed the NSBA’s letter with the White House before issuing its own memo targeting the parents at the school board meetings.
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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Florida School Boards Association” by Florida School Boards Association.