The Missouri School Boards Association withdrew its membership from the National School Boards Association this week after the NSBA “demonstrated it does not currently align with MSBA’s guiding principles of local governance” when it demanded the Biden administration use federal intervention tactics to silence parents who want to hold school boards accountable.
“We also believe that no school board member or educator should ever have to endure threats of violence or acts of intimidation against themselves or their families for making these difficult decisions,” MSBA Executive Director Melissa Randol said in a statement. “However, attempting to address that issue with federal intervention should not be the first step in most cases, and is antithetical to our longstanding tradition of local control. Further, the use of inflammatory terms in the NSBA letter is not a model for promoting greater civility and respect for the democratic process.”
Randol also noted that the “NSBA still has significant work ahead, both implementing processes and procedures to prevent similar problems in the future, as well as repairing their fractured relationships.”
The Missouri Times reported that state Senate Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden had previously pressured the MSBA to clarify whether it supported the NSBA’s letter.
“Missouri parents deserve to know who is fighting for them and fighting against them,” Rowden said in a letter. “And to be clear — violence is never acceptable. But to generically attempt to classify protests of any kind as ‘domestic terrorism’ is an overt attempt to take away the First Amendment rights of those who disagree with you. That is unacceptable and un-American.”
Missouri joins at least 21 states’ school board associations in condemning the NSBA after they were not consulted on the “domestic terrorism” request letter to the Biden administration. The Ohio School Boards Association also voted to leave the NSBA this week, “prompted by NSBA’s recent letter to President Joe Biden requesting federal intervention at local school board meetings,” which the Ohio association’s CEO Rick Lewis confirmed in a statement.