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Official Who Co-Wrote Parental ‘Domestic Terrorism’ Letter Appointed to Biden Admin Post

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


One official with the National School Boards Association who penned a letter to President Biden likening some parental behavior at local school board meetings to “domestic terrorism” has been appointed to a federal post.

The New York Post reports that Viola Garcia, the president of NSBA, was appointed by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to the National Assessment Governing Board, established in 1988 during the latter stages of Ronald Reagan’s second term. The organization “oversees and sets policy for the National Assessment of Education Progress,” the paper reported.

Known as “the Nation’s Report Card,” the governing examines student performance on a number of subjects and reports on their achievements.​

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“The 26-member Governing Board is responsible for deciding which subjects NAEP assesses, determining the assessments’ content, setting achievement levels that describe student performance, and pursuing new ways to make NAEP results useful and meaningful to the public,” a press release dated Oct. 13 from the Department of Education announcing Garcia’s appointment notes.

Garcia and NSBA interim Executive Director and CEO Chip Slaven wrote in late September to complain about parental behaviors at some school board meetings around the country. Parents increasingly angry about divisive curriculum such as critical race theory, transgender policies, and sexually explicit content in libraries has led more parents to show up to board meetings and demand changes.

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“America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) respectfully asks for federal law enforcement and other assistance to deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation,” the letter from NSBA President Viola Garcia and NSBA interim Executive Director and CEO Chip Slaven noted.

“Local school board members want to hear from their communities on important issues and that must be at the forefront of good school board governance and promotion of free speech. However, there also must be safeguards in place to protect public schools and dedicated education leaders as they do their jobs,” the letter said.

Continuing, the pair said that “immediate assistance is required to protect our students, school board members, and educators who are susceptible to acts of violence affecting interstate commerce because of threats to their districts, families, and personal safety.”

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“Coupled with attacks against school board members and educators for approving policies for masks to protect the health and safety of students and school employees, many public school officials are also facing physical threats because of propaganda purporting the false inclusion of critical race theory within classroom instruction and curricula,” the NSBA officials wrote.

“As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes,” they added.

The letter spurred U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to issue a directive to U.S. attorneys and the FBI to work with local law enforcement agencies investigating parental behavior.

“Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland in an Oct. 4 statement. “Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety.”

“The Department takes these incidents seriously and is committed to using its authority and resources to discourage these threats, identify them when they occur, and prosecute them when appropriate,” Garland noted further in a memo. “In the coming days, the Department will announce a series of measures designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel.”

Garland’s directive angered several Republicans.

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“Parents are speaking out against Critical Race Theory in schools. Now the Biden administration is cracking down on dissent,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) tweeted in response to the DOJ announcement.

“At his confirmation hearing, Merrick Garland promised not to follow the Obama model of weaponizing DOJ to target & persecute his political opponents,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said. “Just a few months in, he’s already breaking that promise.”

Blake Masters, a GOP candidate who is running for U.S. Senate in Arizona, stated, “It can happen here. It’s happening here. Your government is being weaponized against you.”

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