Posts mischaracterize school board organization’s letter to Biden

Posts mischaracterize school board organization’s letter to Biden

CLAIM: The National School Boards Association is asking the Biden administration to label parents who protest school policies domestic terrorists.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The organization — the NSBA, for short — is not asking Biden to label parents who protest at school board meetings as terrorists. The NSBA asked the administration to do an interagency investigation of threats of violence against school board members and said the threats “could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.” Biden has yet to publicly comment on the issue, and there’s no indication he or the Department of Justice has called protesting parents “domestic terrorists,” despite false claims to that effect by social media users.

THE FACTS: Local school boards around the country have become political battlegrounds over issues such as COVID-19 mask rules, the treatment of transgender students and how to teach the history of racism and slavery in America, The Associated Press has reported.

The National School Boards Association, a non-profit representing U.S. school boards, said these disputes were also leading to harassment and threats of violence against school board members. On Sept. 29, the NSBA sent a letter to President Joe Biden, asking his administration to investigate these threats.

According to AP reporting, the NSBA’s letter documents more than 20 instances of threats, harassment, disruption and acts of intimidation in California, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Ohio and other states. It cites the September arrest of an Illinois man for aggravated battery and disorderly conduct for allegedly striking a school official at a meeting.

But on Sept. 30, social media users took to Instagram to spread misinformation about the letter.