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Florida School Boards Association rejects FBI intervention at local council meetings

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The Florida School Boards Association has rejected the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) request for assistance to federal law enforcement in dealing with frustrated parents who oppose Critical Race Theory (CRT) and mask terms of office at local school board meetings.

In a letter to NSBA President Viola Garcia and Acting Executive Director Chip Slaven, FSBA Executive Director Andrea Messina wrote that the state association feared it had not been consulted about the letter to Biden, a situation which suggests the need for “a review of the leadership of the NSBA and its processes.

Messina said the NSBA’s letter to the president “also urges public recognition of the federal scope expressed therein,” and added:

Several elements of your letter go against the principles adopted by the FSBA, and this communication has caused serious concern, conflict and consternation for many of our members within the FSBA. Not only has this unnecessarily distracted attention from the important work being done by our members, but it has strained important collaborative local and state relationships that our members have worked hard to build and maintain for years. This includes our governor, the Legislative Assembly, local law enforcement, communities and our members questioning our commitment to First Amendment citizens’ rights, which we believe to be the foundation of democracy and that they would always protect.

While the FSBA asserts that “illegal acts, violence and intimidation of any public official should not be tolerated”, the association declares that such incidents fall under the jurisdiction of local law enforcement.

“[O]Our districts will continue to work closely and collaborate with local law enforcement to effectively resolve these and other public safety issues if and when they arise, ”the FSBA noted. “We respect our local and state law enforcement agencies and will continue to rely heavily on them to ensure that all participants in our school board meetings are safe.”

The FSBA informed the national group about its vision of the role of parents during the local council meetings:

We also encourage and welcome parents, as well as other concerned citizens in our school board meetings to engage in a lively, respectful and civil civic discourse. We follow Florida’s open meeting laws, invite disparate beliefs to be shared, and believe hearing from passionate stakeholders is a sign of healthy community engagement. We will continue to provide a safe environment for all stakeholders to exchange views; this ensures that parents’ voices are heard when it comes to making decisions about the education and safety of their children.

In light of the views expressed in the NSBA letter to Biden, the FSBA said it would continue to withhold contributions “until further notice.”

The FSBA joins the Louisiana and Virginia school board associations, also members of the NSBA, who rejected the national association’s request to involve federal law enforcement in local school board meetings. These two school board associations also observed that they were not consulted by the NSBA prior to its letter to the president.

The NSBA recommended in its letter that the administration use the PATRIOT Act and other laws to identify parents who voice their concerns as “national terrorists.”

Among its list of examples of “actual threats or acts of violence” for which the NSBA seeks assistance from the Federal Police included:

An individual was arrested in Illinois for aggravated bodily harm and disorderly conduct at a school board meeting. During two separate school board meetings in Michigan, one individual shouted a Nazi salute in protest against the masking requirements, and another prompted the board to request a suspension due to opposition to critical theory of the race.

The group said parents at local school board meetings also broadcast “propaganda” about teaching CRT concepts in K-12 schools, “despite the fact that critical race theory is not. taught in public schools and remains a complex law school and academic subject far beyond the reach of a K-12 class.

In September, however, the United States Conference of Mayors passed a resolution at its annual convention in which its members pledged to support the teaching of CRT in K-12 schools.

“NOW BE IT RESOLVED that the mayors of the country support the implementation of CRT in the public education program to help our youth participate in programming that reflects an accurate and comprehensive account of the history of BIPOC ”, declared the mayors.

In July, the National Education Association (NEA), the country’s largest teachers’ union, also decided to openly promote the teaching of critical race theory in preschools and oppose any bans on race. ‘teach both Marxist ideology and widely discredited ideology. New York Times’ Project 1619.

The union agreed to “research organizations that attack educators,” to do what it called “anti-racist work,” as well as “to use the research already done and put together a list of resources and of recommendations for state affiliates, locals, and individual educators to use when attacked.

Christina Pushaw, press secretary to Governor Ron DeSantis (right), said the governor praised the FSBA “for taking a stand for parental rights and the First Amendment in Florida communities.”

“The FSBA has asserted that dissent is not domestic terrorism,” Pushaw said, according to Fox News. “Protests are not threats. A citizen’s criticism of his elected officials is not harassment.

“But in the rare event that disputes can cross the line into threatening territory, Florida law enforcement is well equipped to protect Floridians, whether elected officials or concerned citizens,” he said. she continued. “There is no reason for the federal government to intervene in local issues and attempt to criminalize free speech.”



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