Kentucky cuts ties with National School Boards Association
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A letter drafted by the National School Boards Association (NSBA) prompted several state school board associations, including Kentucky, to cut ties, according to a report by the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The letter asked the Biden administration to intervene in parents’ protesting at school-board meetings, stating that “actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
“KSBA’s board of directors voted on Nov. 7 to withdraw membership from the National School Boards Association, a decision made in response to a pattern of dysfunction within the NSBA organization,” Kentucky School Boards Association spokesman Josh Shoulta told the Herald-Leader.
“NSBA’s Sept. 29 letter calling for broad federal law enforcement intervention was the most recent and visible example. KSBA objected to the tone, incendiary language and some characterizations made within the letter,” Shoulta said.
The NSBA apologized for the letter stating, “we regret and apologize for the letter. To be clear, the safety of school board members, other public school officials and educators, and students is our top priority, and there remains important work to be done on this issue.”
The statement from the NSBA went on to say, “However, there was no justification for some of the language included in the letter. We should have had a better process in place to allow for consultation on a communication of this significance. We apologize also for the strain and stress this situation has caused you and your organizations.”
Kentucky was one of at least 11 state school-board associations that have distanced itself from the national headquarters including Florida, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, as reported by the National Review.
NSBA officials have not immediately comment on the Kentucky chapter’s decision.
After the letter came out, United States Attorney General Merrick Garland committed the U.S. Justice Department to launch “a series of measures designed to address the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel,” KSBA officials said in an October statement.
Officials with the KSBA also said, “KSBA was not informed of or asked for any input into the creation of this letter. The NSBA position and request do not reflect the considered opinion of KSBA.”
While it does oppose the letter, KSBA officials acknowledged their awareness of when people have been inappropriate, and in some instances illegally, toward school boards, their members and district personnel.
A KSBA statement in October said, “These behaviors are troubling, and their seriousness should not be diminished. Thankfully, they appear to represent the isolated actions of a small number of people.”
KSBA officials continued stating, “Illegal acts, violence and intimidation of any public officials will not be tolerated, and districts will continue to work closely with local law enforcement to address issues of public safety.”