September 30 (Reuters) – As schools across the country face growing backlash over pandemic safety measures and race studies in America, school board members seek federal help from the president to protect teachers and community members from the “immediate threat”.
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) said Thursday in a letter to President Joe Biden that school board members, officials and students across the country are facing an increased amount of malice, violence and threats that constitute “A form of domestic terrorism and hatred. crimes. “
“US public schools and its education leaders are under immediate threat,” Viola Garcia and Chip Slaven, acting chairman and executive director of the group, said in a statement regarding the letter.
“The National School Boards Association respectfully calls on federal law enforcement and other assistance to address the growing number of threats of violence and intimidation occurring across the country.”
The White House said Thursday that the administration was considering what more it could do to keep officials safe. “Obviously these threats to school board members are horrible; they are doing their job,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters. “We continue to explore what more can be done in administration, but, again, a big part of this will be local law enforcement.”
The debate over measures like mask warrants and COVID-19 vaccines in schools has been a flashpoint for U.S. school districts grappling with how to protect students and staff during the pandemic. The friction around the issue has turned the usually benign school board meetings into rowdy gatherings with heated yelling and disagreement.
Parents and community members have also bombarded board meetings with complaints that critical race theory, which has been widely misunderstood, is being used to promote anti-white and anti-American views. Read more
On behalf of 90,000 school board members in the United States that govern 14,000 public school districts across the country, the NSBA said it is asking the United States Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, as well as ” the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Secret Service to track and investigate risks to students, educators, board members, and campuses.
“This is a critical time for a proactive approach to deal with this difficult problem,” the organization said.
The group cited incidents in which an individual was arrested in Illinois for aggravated bodily harm and disorderly conduct at a school board meeting, and another individual shouted a Nazi salute at two separate board meetings. school in Michigan to protest masking requirements.
In New Jersey, Ohio and other states, anti-mask supporters recently instigated chaos at board meetings, the organization said, while in Virginia an individual was arrested , another man was ticketed for trespassing and a third person was injured during a school board meeting. discuss critical race theory.
Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Additional reports by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Aurora Ellis
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