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State votes to withdraw from National School Boards Assoc. over ‘domestic terror’ letter

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The Pennsylvania School Boards Association is one of 11 state school boards that are officially disavowing the National School Boards Association for asking the FBI to label parents protesting educational policies at school board meetings as “domestic terrorists.”

In a statement following a vote to cancel membership in the National School Boards Association, the PSBA noted that the recent letter to President Joe Biden which seemed to suggest protests by certain parents at board meetings may be rising to a form of domestic terrorism was the “final straw” in their decision to exit the national school board group.

The state groups are blasting the letter sent by the NSBA last week that asserted school board members and teachers were under attack. Attorney General Merrick Garland replied by sending a memo that warned of a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” against schools and asserted that the DOJ will “discourage these threats, identify them when they occur, and prosecute them when appropriate.”

“The Pennsylvania School Boards Association was not consulted prior to the letter being sent by the National School Boards Association to President Biden,” Annette Stevenson, who is the chief communications officer, told the Delaware Valley Journal. “We were not asked for input nor discussion on its content.”

“PSBA has always encouraged local school boards to welcome input and remarks from community members and all stakeholders, and Pennsylvania has a long history of relying on local school district control to ensure that the will of the community and parents is best represented,” Stevenson proclaimed. “PSBA is strongly averse to the lack of civility and violence being witnessed in some districts, and we support that local districts need to be able to work with their local and regional law enforcement to address such safety concerns.”

More Pennsylvania officials waded in to comment on the letter and memo as well.

Susan Stern, who is Radnor Township School Board president stated, “The Radnor School Board completely supports First Amendment rights and we welcome hearing public comment from all citizens. We also believe that a public meeting where all feel welcome to attend is of the utmost importance.”

Simon Campbell, who is a former Pennsbury school board member also noted, “Criminal activity is criminal activity, no matter where it occurs. Yet we don’t see public memorandums by the U.S. Attorney General targeting all citizens who go to convenience stores just because some convenience stores may have reported possible criminal activity. It is chilling that President Biden has authorized the targeting of American citizens based on those citizens’ engagement in matters of public policy. That anyone has to fear being investigated as a domestic terrorist for exercising his or her First Amendment rights at a school board meeting, is evidence that President Biden has launched an attack on our Republic and the very freedoms we cherish as Americans. This is like a horrible movie scene from 1930’s Germany.”

“This is constant with our transformation from a constitutional republic to a totalitarian one-party state. The Democratic Party is under the control of people with an agenda that includes the transformation of America into a highly regulated country in which all aspects of our society come under central government regulation and opposition speech is punished,” said Myron Goldman, who is a retired math teacher and is now running for a seat on the Cheltenham School Board. “We must not focus only on the micro specific incidents, such as punishing parents who object to government policy, and we must acknowledge the macro transformation that is happening.”

Attorney Matthew Weintraub was asked if it was appropriate for the Department of Justice to prosecute parents, “Absolutely not. There’s no need for it. There’s no place for it, it will have a chilling effect on our First Amendment right to free speech. I don’t want you to conflate what I’m saying though…if somebody is going to overtly threaten another person, whether it’s on the Internet or live at a school board in anger, they will be held accountable. But if they’re merely expressing their anger or their displeasure at their quality of education or the manner in which that education is provided, they have a right to be heard. And I will steadfastly uphold that right under the First Amendment.”

Bruce Johnson, who is a retired supervising special agent of a Joint Terrorism Task Force, stated that he was “stunned at the abuse of American’s civil liberties this memo entails.”

State-level school boards in New Hampshire, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, and Tennessee have now joined Louisiana and Virginia in taking a stance against the NSBA’s letter, according to the Washington Examiner. None of them were consulted beforehand. They are disavowing the targeted attack against parents who are protesting at school board meetings concerning what their children are being taught. These parents are simply exercising their First Amendment rights and states are stepping forward to protect them from federal persecution over it.

There’s a lot of support out there for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association over this:

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