NSBA Was Aware of AG Garland's Memo Weaponizing FBI Prior to Publication

Posted: Feb 14, 2022 8:00 PM
NSBA Was Aware of AG Garland's Memo Weaponizing FBI Prior to Publication

Source: Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP

The National School Boards Association head had prior knowledge of U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland's Oct. 4 memo instructing federal law enforcement to crack down on parents at school board members, an email from an NSBA official reveals.

Chip Slaven, who was CEO of the NSBA at the time, was made aware of Garland's email without notifying the organization's Board of Directors, an email obtained by nonprofit group Parents Defending Education through a public record request shows.

"I understand Chip [Slaven] knew about the A.G. directives before they were published. So much for communicating with the BOD [Board of Directors]," reads an Oct. 5 email from NSBA southern regional director Pam Doyle to Beverly Slough, who sits on the NSBA Board of Directors.

This is the first revelation showing that the NSBA knew about Garland's memo prior to its publication.

The memo from Garland was released just days after the NSBA wrote a letter to the White House on Sept. 29 requesting federal assistance to curb violence and threats from parents at school board meetings that the organization likened to "a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes." The NSBA asked that the federal government use the Patriot Act to prevent alleged threats of violence at school board meetings.

Garland's memo then directed the Federal Bureau of Investigations and other law enforcement agencies to "address threats against school administrators, board members, teachers and staff."

Parents across the country had shown up to school board meetings to protest their children's schools pushing transgender policies, mask mandates and critical race theory.

The NSBA has since apologized to its members for the language used in its letter. Garland, however, said he stands by his memo because he did not adopt the same language despite testifying in front of Congress that the memo was crafted in response to the NSBA's letter.

Slaven's knowledge of Garland's memo is the latest indication of correspondence between the NSBA and the Biden administration regarding the NSBA's letter and the subsequent memo from the Department of Justice.

Last month, emails revealed that Education Secretary Miguel Cardona solicited the NSBA's letter. Still, the Department of Education maintains that Cardona had no such involvement.

And emails obtained in November by PDE showed that the NSBA was in coordination with the White House and the Department of Justice for several weeks prior to its Sept. 29 letter.

"The American people deserve the truth about this issue immediately," PDE president and founder Nicole Neily said in a statement to Townhall. "It is appalling that the Department of Justice and Education Department have continued to stonewall on this scandal, ignoring pleas not only from the very people they are supposed to represent but also from the elected officials to whom they report. It's little wonder that trust in government is at a historic low point."

The NSBA did not consult with state school boards associations prior to sending its letter to the White House.

At least 28 states have distanced themselves from the NSBA in response to its letter.