Last Updated on October 6, 2021
Today the Associated Press failed to fact check the claim that the National School Boards Association (NSBA) asked Joe Biden to investigate angry parents for domestic terrorism. In reality, the NSBA sent a letter addressed to Joe Biden, urging his administration to consider using the PATRIOT Act and other laws against domestic terrorism against parents who are concerned with Critical Race Theory and other extremist school literature.
In the The Associated Press’s “assessment,” they rate the claim false. Instead, the once respected news agency claims, the “NSBA asked the administration to” investigate crimes that “could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”
According to the Associated Press, it is materially different for the NSBA to urge Biden to investigate domestic terrorism versus crimes that could be the same as domestic terrorism. This alone, the agency, seems to suggest, is enough to beat this fact check. They are factually incorrect.
In reality, this is exactly what the NSBA wrote in a letter dated September 29, as National File previously reported, emphasis added:
As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes. As such, NSBA requests a joint expedited review by the U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, and Homeland Security, along with the appropriate training, coordination, investigations, and enforcement mechanisms from the FBI, including any technical assistance necessary from, and state and local coordination with, its National Security Branch and Counterterrorism Division, as well as any other federal agency with relevant jurisdictional authority and oversight.
Additionally, NSBA requests that such review examine appropriate enforceable actions against these crimes and acts of violence under the Gun-Free School Zones Act, the PATRIOT Act in regards to domestic terrorism, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Violent Interference with Federally Protected Rights statute, the Conspiracy Against Rights statute, an Executive Order to enforce all applicable federal laws for the protection of students and public school district personnel, and any related measure. As the threats grow and news of extremist hate organizations showing up at school board meetings is being reported, this is a critical time for a proactive approach to deal with this difficult issue.
While the AP relies entirely on a paragraph comparing crimes to domestic terrorism, the NSBA itself specifically urges the Biden administration to review potential violations of “the PATRIOT Act in regards to domestic terrorism.”
In other words, the often criticized laws used against those suspected of either being terrorists or affiliated with them in the frenetic years following the devastating terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 should now be used against upset parents who attend school board meetings. If found guilty, those parents would be labeled domestic terrorists.
The AP fails to acknowledge this basic logical leap, or most of the second paragraph referenced above. Instead, the Associated Press quickly moves on. They refer to “more than 20 instances of threats” across the country referenced by the NSBA and seems to suggest the NSBA may only be referencing these instances of so-called threats. Here is what the NSBA actually wrote:
Our children are watching the examples of the current debates and we must encourage a positive dialogue even with different opinions. However, with such acute threats and actions that are disruptive to our students’ well–being, to the safety of public school officials and personnel, and to interstate commerce, we urge the federal government’s intervention against individuals or hate groups who are targeting our schools and educators.
Other groups are posting watchlists against school boards and spreading misinformation that boards are adopting critical race theory curriculum and working to maintain online learning by haphazardly attributing it to COVID–19.
NSBA is committed to working with you and your Administration as a partner to address this crisis affecting America’s public schools, and greatly appreciates your prompt attention to our requests. We stand ready to work with you.
Throughout the letter the NSBA always references the “crisis” as something that is ongoing. They urge “the federal government’s intervention against individuals or hate groups who are targeting our schools and educators” in general terms, rather than specific. They reference “other groups” that may have led to specific actions being taken. The Associated Press appears to ignore most of this.
Then, the AP takes a decidedly pro-school board stance by naming education activist Christopher Rufo and claiming he is the source of this alleged misinformation.
Your fact check is false. It's easily debunked in the text of the NSBA's letter: pic.twitter.com/yIdezMmIHY
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) October 6, 2021
While the Justice Department has thus far stopped short of invoking domestic terrorism or the PATRIOT Act, it appears the Biden regime is sympathetic to the plight of school boards confronted with parents upset over radical curriculum. This week, Biden aimed the FBI and Department of Justice at these parents with a statement from Attorney General Merrick Garland. Garland said the “threats” posed against school board members “are not only illegal” but “run counter to our nation’s core values.”