Massachusetts School Board Association Official 'Very Happy' with NSBA's Letter to the White House

Posted: Nov 01, 2021 10:45 PM
Massachusetts School Board Association Official 'Very Happy' with NSBA's Letter to the White House

Source: AP Photo/Marta Lavandier

A Massachusetts school board association executive was reportedly "very happy" that the National School Boards Association sent its Sept. 29 letter to the White House, in which the organization requested federal assistance to deal with "threats" posed to school officials by parents expressing concern over school policies such as mask mandates and the teaching of critical race theory.

Documents obtained by Parents Defending Education, an organization of parents, reveal that the executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees sent an email to the CEO and President of the NSBA expressing that the committee was thrilled that the national organization "reached out to the FBI."

"We in MASC are all very happy that NSBA has reached out to the FBI and, based on local coverage, has been identified as a key agent for generating federal support," MASC director Glenn Koocher said in the Oct. 6 email, according to the Daily Caller. "We are looking forward to collaborating on a possible regional effort and, certainly, doing something significant here in Massachusetts to generate public awareness of the need for Washington to have our backs on protecting our members and students as well."

The NSBA's letter was sent to the White House without the approval of the board's members. It has since apologized to its members for the language used in the letter, which said that parents protesting controversial school policies could be likened to a "form of domestic terrorism."

But Attorney General Merrick Garland has not walked back his memo instructing the Federal Bureau of Investigations and other law enforcement agencies to "address threats against school administrators, board members, teachers and staff."

Koocher said that MASC does not plan to stifle the speech of parents at school board meetings. He also said that the committee will not "censor" any of its members.

"Our position on parents is that Massachusetts has the highest standard of free speech protection in the nation and that right is extended to parents and the public at all times," Koocher told the Daily Caller. "We also do not censor our members, including those on both sides of the issues on our listserv." 

At least 20 state school board associations condemned the NSBA’s initial letter, and four of them — Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana and Alabama — are in the process of "reevaluating the benefits" of their NSBA membership. The Ohio and New Hampshire school board associations have already decided to end their membership in the NSBA.