In the first place, God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards.
School board meetings have been a real flashpoint over the past years, as entrenched, unresponsive, and largely uncaring bureaucrats have been confronted by the people who see the results of their self-dealing and contempt on a daily basis…those people would be called “parents.” The primary topics generating controversy are Critical Race Theory, remote vs. onsite learning, and mask/vaccination policies.
But I’d argue that these are the canary-in-the-coal-mine. In other words, frustration and anger over school board actions on many topics have been building over the recent years, and it took a perfect storm of wokeness and the Wuhan virus to bring ordinarily politically unengaged parents out to public hearings. For their part, school boards have generally reacted to this increased attention the way petty tyrants do everywhere. They make it difficult for citizens to testify. They abruptly shut off microphones. They cancel meetings on the flimsiest of pretexts. They have security forces empty the venue and forcibly remove witnesses.
Now, the National School Boards Association has decided that not even local security forces are sufficient. So, it is demanding that Joe Biden order federal law enforcement make protecting school boards against a manufactured threat a priority.
Here is the NSBA president doing a free promotion for the letter on CNN.
The video is pretty ridiculous. Police are present in most of the scenes and doing nothing; this is sort of a clue that no one is breaking the law.
There is no doubt that the professional Marxists that now control an incredible number of school boards, even in conservative counties, are spooked about having to answer to the public for the damage they have done. The hyperbole in the letter makes it clear.
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. As such, NSBA requests a joint expedited review by the U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, and Homeland Security, along with the appropriate training, coordination, investigations, and enforcement mechanisms from the FBI, including any technical assistance necessary from, and state and local coordination with, its National Security Branch and Counterterrorism Division, as well as any other federal agency with relevant jurisdictional authority and oversight.
Additionally, NSBA requests that such review examine appropriate enforceable actions against these crimes and acts of violence under the Gun-Free School Zones Act, the PATRIOT Act in regards to domestic terrorism, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Violent Interference with Federally Protected Rights statute, the Conspiracy Against Rights statute, an Executive Order to enforce all applicable federal laws for the protection of students and public school district personnel, and any related measure.
Let’s take a moment and examine the specific cases that NSBA calls out as meriting federal intervention, even though widespread looting during the summer of 2020 did not.
These threats or actual acts of violence against our school districts are impacting the delivery of educational services to students and families, as many districts receive federal funds and subsidies for services to millions of students with disabilities, health screenings and supplemental supports for disadvantaged students, child nutrition, broadband connectivity, educator development, school safety activities, career and technical education, and more. School board meetings have been disrupted in California, Florida, Georgia, and other states because of local directives for mask coverings to protect students and educators from COVID-19.
Threats and acts of violence against “schools districts” are simply not taking place. While “threats and acts of violence” should be discouraged and punished, disruption is not necessarily either. One person’s disruption is frequently another’s free speech right in full bloom.
An individual was arrested in Illinois for aggravated battery and disorderly conduct during a school board meeting.8 During two separate school board meetings in Michigan, an individual yelled a Nazi salute in protest to masking requirements, and another individual prompted the board to call a recess because of opposition to critical race theory.
In the first case:
A Mendon, Illinois, man was arrested Wednesday night for aggravated battery and disorderly conduct following a disruption at a Mendon Board of Education meeting at Unity High School, according to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Rich Wagner reported Thursday that Alex Felde, 30, had been removed from the board meeting and had been involved in some type of physical altercation at the school.
Sheriff Wagner stated school officials attempted to escort Felde out of the meeting when he struck one of them before leaving the school.
Let’s review the bidding. The supervillain referred to in the NSBA letter was escorted out of a school board meeting, threw a punch at one of the people throwing him out, and was arrested. This does not seem like a huge deal. In the second, “yell[ing] a Nazi salute” is highly improbable, unless someone sang the Horst Wessel Lied. You might not like being called a Nazi, but that is your problem. It isn’t a crime. If you are undertaking a fascist abuse of power, maybe you shouldn’t get mad when people call you on it.
In New Jersey, Ohio, and other states, anti-mask proponents are inciting chaos during board meetings. In Virginia, an individual was arrested, another man was ticketed for trespassing, and a third person was hurt during a school board meeting discussion distinguishing current curricula from critical race theory and regarding equity issues. In other states including Washington, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Tennessee, school boards have been confronted by angry mobs and forced to end meetings abruptly. A resident in Alabama, who proclaimed himself as “vaccine police,” has called school administrators while filming himself on Facebook Live.
Again, causing “chaos” is not necessarily criminal and often is a very good thing. The details on the Virginia case are here. For public officials, being confronted by groups of dissatisfied citizens is part of the job description. The right to “petition government for redress of grievances” is a bedrock Constitutional privilege. The right to do it without retaliation by the government is likewise a founding concept. Implied in that is the obligation of the government to listen respectfully, even when the proles are saying stuff that offends their refined sensibilities. The fact that school boards are adjourning when the audience is not engaged in rapt adoration seems to me to indicate that they don’t really understand their role.
Other groups are posting watchlists against school boards and spreading misinformation that boards are adopting critical race theory curriculum and working to maintain online learning by haphazardly attributing it to COVID-19.
This is constitutionally protected behavior. One can understand why school boards don’t like it, but one cannot understand why they think this warrants federal intervention.
In Ohio, an individual mailed a letter to a school board member labeling the return address on the envelope from a local neighborhood association and then enclosing threatening hate mail from another entity. This correspondence states that, “We are coming after you and all the members on the … BoE [Board of Education].” This hate mail continues by stating, “You are forcing them to wear mask—for no reason in this world other than control. And for that you will pay dearly.” Among other incendiaries, this same threat also calls the school board member a “filthy traitor,” implies loss of pension funds, and labels the school board as Marxist. Earlier this month, a student in Tennessee was mocked during a board meeting for advocating masks in schools after testifying that his grandmother, who was an educator, died because of COVID-19. These threats and acts of violence are affecting our nation’s democracy at the very foundational levels, causing school board members – many who are not paid – to resign immediately and/or discontinue their service after their respective terms. Further, this increasing violence is a clear and present danger to civic participation, in which other citizens who have been contemplating.
No one likes receiving hate mail (I can show you my folder if you’re interested), but hate mail is not necessarily illegal, and the “threats” don’t seem to be physical but electoral. Mocking witnesses–if they are telling the truth or making a factual argument–isn’t good form, but that is hardly a law enforcement issue. School board members resigning rather than face the parents they are insulting, demeaning, and marginalizing seems to be a feature rather than a bug of this process. Maybe if all your friends and neighbors are torqued about what you are doing as an elected official, it is time to pause and consider that it might be you rather than them who is totally f***ed up.
What is noticeable about the letter is the failure to cite a single instance of actual or attempted violence against a school board member. Likewise, there is not a single instance of protests forcing the cancellation of a hearing, but numerous cases of school boards preemptively canceling a scheduled meeting rather than listen to voters.
The topic came up earlier this week at a White House press briefing, and Psaki didn’t sound all that interested:
Reporter: The national school boards association has sent a letter to the President asking for help from federal law enforcement agencies because of the violence and the threats that they’re seeing across the country. Has the President received that request? And are you considering offering that help?
Psaki: Well, first let me say, we take the security of public servants and elected officials across the country very seriously. And obviously these threats to school board members is horrible. They’re doing their jobs. Obviously there are going to be different law enforcement authorities that will be related to each community and where this is happening. So we’d certainly refer you to them about any specific threats and we’d encourage individuals to report any threats they face to local and state law enforcement agencies. And we’re continuing to explore what more can be done from across the administration. But again, a lot of this will be local law enforcement and how they can help ensure these school board members feel protected. Go ahead.
But as we get closer to the 2022 elections, it will be harder for Biden to ignore the voting bloc the educrats can turn out. Likewise, it will be difficult to ignore the race-baiters and deviants who use school boards to push their agenda and recruit acolytes for them. So I suspect that by next summer, we will be told that disagreeing with your school board in a public venue makes you a domestic terrorist.
This whole business is alarming. Not from the bullsh** allegation that school boards and their members are operating under continuous threats of violence because they aren’t, but because elected officials have determined that they do not have an obligation to listen to constituents, consider their requests, or even associate with them. The fact that the national umbrella organization representing school boards is calling on the president to shut down protests shows just how far down the road to totalitarianism we have traveled in a very short amount of time. It also hints at how long it will take to get us back on the right track.