Congressional Delegation Urges TASB to Withdraw from National Association

Senate Judiciary Committee Hears Testimony From Attorney General Nominee Merrick Garland
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaking. | Image from NPR

Following the National School Board Association’s (NSBA) controversial letter to President Joe Biden and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, requesting federal intervention in local school board meetings, several state school board chapters have disassociated themselves from the NSBA.

The NSBA’s letter addressed concerns of possible violence and harassment against school board members by parents. After a public outcry arose over the controversial letter, the NSBA apologized and acknowledged that some of the letter’s language may have been excessive.

Sydnie Henry of Texas Scorecard noted that 12 states, including Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin, have already withdrawn their membership from the NSBA.

Earlier this week, nine members of a Texas congressional delegation sent a letter to the Texas Association of School Boards questioning why the Texas chapter of the organization continues its membership with the NSBA.

In this letter, Representatives Chip Roy, Louie Gohmert, Van Taylor, Ronny Jackson, Beth Van Duyne, Randy Weber, Roger Williams, Lance Gooden, and Pete Sessions criticized the NSBA’s recent actions.

The delegation’s letter stated that the NSBA’s letter to Biden and Garland requesting federal involvement “was clearly intended to intimidate parents into silence, threatening them for defending their values and children’s educational interest.”

The congressional delegation’s letter to the TASB requested answers to three questions:

  • To what extent did TASB know about the September 29 NSBA letter, and when?
  • Does TASB agree with NSBA’s decision to call on federal law enforcement to target parents?
  • If not, did any TASB member communicate their disagreement with this decision to NSBA?

The TASB has not yet responded publicly to the delegation’s query.

Late last month, TASB released a statement defending itself from allegations that it called for federal intervention against parents.

In part, it reads: “TASB was not consulted nor involved in the development of the NSBA letter (of September 29) … Our position has always been that school board meetings should be places where parents and community members are welcomed and provided the opportunity to openly share their opinions and concerns on how the schools in their community are being governed.”

The House Judiciary Committee recently questioned US Attorney General Merrick Garland about his agency’s actions following the NSBA’s petition for intervention. Garland denied using his office to go after parents.

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