35 Idaho legislators have asked the Idaho School Board Association to disavow itself from the National School Board Association.
On September 29, the NSBA sent a letter to President Joe Biden, asking for the Department of Justice’s help at local school board meetings. Specifically, the letter asks for the DOJ to provide law enforcement help to address school board meetings.
Here is part of what the NSBA letter says,
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. 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.
Shortly after the NSBA sent their letter to Biden, the ISBA sent a letter to the NSBA. In the ISBA letter, the organization asked for a formal apology for the NSBA and said that the ISBA was never consulted on the decision to send a letter to Biden in the first place.
Here is a portion of the letter sent by the ISBA to the NSBA,
The Idaho School Boards Association Executive Board would like to issue a formal response regarding our participation – or, lack thereof – in the National School Boards Association
September 29, 2021 request to President Biden for federal intervention regarding threats, intimidation, and harassment towards locally elected school board members. ISBA was never asked to provide input nor were we informed that the letter was being sent. Despite that, it had the appearance of carrying the endorsement of every state association and its members. Had we been asked, we would have readily pointed out the mischaracterization of parents and patrons in our communities as domestic terrorists who merited federal investigation.
We want parents and patrons engaged in our public schools – we have sought that for years. ISBA values local control and believes situations that require intervention are better handled by a locally controlled operation close to our communities. While we look for support to our state and federal governments, we do not seek the involvement of federal law enforcement in local decisions.
Approximately two weeks after the ISBA’s letter to the NSBA letter, 35 Idaho lawmakers asked the ISBA to disavow itself from the NSBA. Lawmakers in the letter told the ISBA that what Attorney General Merrick Garland is doing as a result of the letter is a “slap in the face” to parents.
Here is part of what the lawmaker’s letter said to the ISBA,
We the undersigned members of the Idaho Legislature, request your prompt attention in the matter regarding the September 29th letter from the National School Board Association (NSBA) to the Biden administration. We are deeply concerned about the future of education in Idaho. We support excellence in education, a positive work environment where teachers are valued and effective, expanded opportunities for students, and active and involved parents (primary stakeholders) who are supported and encouraged by their school district in the education of their children.
Because of the recent message and actions by the NSBA, we urge the Idaho School Boards Association (ISBA) to formally withdraw membership/affiliation with the NSBA.
The following list is the 35 lawmakers (all Republicans) who signed the letter to the ISBA:
Rep. Ben Adams, Rep. Ken Andrus, Rep. Randy Armstrong, Rep. Vito Barbieri, Sen. Regina Bayer, Rep. Judy Boyle, Rep. Chad Christensen, Rep. Brent Crane, Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, Sen. Lori Den Hartog, Rep. Sage Dixon, Rep. Barbara Ehardt, Rep. Dorothy Moon, Rep. Mike Moyle, Rep. Ron Nate, Rep. Tammy Nichols, Rep. Joe Palmer, Rep. Heather Scott, Rep. Charlie Sheperd, Rep. Bruce Skaug, Sen. Mary Souza, Sen. Steven Thayn, Sen. Steve Vick, Rep. Barbara Ehardt, Rep. Greg Ferch, Rep. Terry Gestrin, Rep. Priscilla Giddings, Rep. Karey Hanks, Rep. James Holtzclaw, Rep. Mike Kingsley, Rep. Ron Mendive, Rep. Jason Monks, Rep. Tony Wisniewski, Rep. Julianne Young, Sen. Christy Zito, Rep. John Vander Woude
Several days before the lawmakers sent a letter to the ISBA, the NSBA apologized for the letter sent to Biden and said they would review the process to approve such letters in the future.
What do you think of the request by Idaho lawmakers requesting the ISBA to disavow itself from the NSBA? Let us know in the comments below.
Tags: Idaho Lawmakers, Idaho School Board Association, National School Board Assocation