Florida School Boards Condemns National Group Invitation for Federal Participation in Parents’ Protests

The Florida School Board Association (FSBA) is resisting a call from its national counterpart for the federal government to step in and help deal with threats to school officials.

While the FSBA says it has “great concern” for the safety of its board members and school officials In the wake of recent reports of threats and protests, he does not fully agree with the letter the National Association of School Boards sent to the administration of President Joe Biden, which urged the federal government to begin “monitoring threat levels” against school officials and claimed that “the public and schools and their educational leaders are under threat.” Live “.

in a Message Sent by the state association to NSBA leaders on Monday, the FSBA alleged that the national organization submitted its application to the federal government “without consulting with our association or your board” and called for “a review of the NSBA leadership.”

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“The FSBA strongly encourages a review of the NSBA’s leadership and operations, and urges public recognition of the federal abuse expressed in your letter,” FSBA Executive Director Andrea Messina wrote. “Not only has it unnecessarily distracted from the important work our members are doing, it has soured important collaborative relationships at the local and state level that our members have worked so hard to build and maintain for years.”

The letter stated that the infringed relationships included “the governor, the legislature, local law enforcement, the communities, and our members who question our commitment to the rights of citizens under the First Amendment, which we believe are the bedrock of democracy and will always protect.”

The FSBA also made it clear that it wants to “encourage and welcome parents, as well as other interested citizens at our school board meetings to participate in vibrant, respectful and civic discourse,” adding that members “respect Florida’s open meeting laws, invite divergent beliefs to be shared, and believe that Hearing from enthusiastic stakeholders is a sign of healthy community engagement.”

The FSBA also announced that it would withhold its 2020-2021 dues, which were due in July, because it deviated from “the NSBA’s governance, leadership, transparency, and failure to embrace impartiality.”

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Last week, in response to the NSBA’s letter to the Biden administration, the Department of Justice issued a memo indicating that it would investigate potential violence against school boards across the country from parents protesting masks and critical race theory.

Christina Bacho, press secretary for Ron DeSantis, said the governor commended the FSBA for “taking a stand for parental rights and First Amendment in Florida communities.”

“The FSBA has emphasized that the opposition is not domestic terrorism. The protests are not a threat. A citizen’s criticism of his elected officials is not harassment,” Bouchou said.

“But in the rare cases where conflicts may cross a border into a threatened territory, Florida law enforcement is well-equipped to protect Florida residents, whether they are elected officials or concerned citizens,” she continued. “There is no reason for the federal government to get involved in domestic issues and try to criminalize free speech.”

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