VSBA raps national board’s knuckles over ‘domestic terrorists’ letter

“If we had been asked, we would have objected to certain language in the letter as inflammatory and misguided”

Public school board’s adoption of masking and Critical Race Theory policies has prompted pushback at some Vermont school board meetings, as at the Franklin County Northeast Supervisory Union meeting above.

By Guy Page

The Vermont School Board Association (VSBA) has distanced itself from the National School Board Association letter asking Pres. Biden for Dept. of Justice assistance with angry parents at school board meetings.

The Sept. 29 NSBA letter to the president compared parents protesting critical race theory, mask mandates and other issues to domestic terrorists, requesting federal help, according to reporting in Center Square and other media. In response, the Dept. of Justice and Attorney General Merrick Garland instructed the FBI to work with local law enforcement in every school district in the nation to monitor protests at school board meetings. 

The VSBA was never asked for input from the NSBA and was not informed it was sent, despite the NSBA letter implying endorsement from every state association, a Nov. 15 VSBA statement says. 

“If we had been asked, we would have objected to certain language in the letter as inflammatory and misguided,” the VSBA statement says. 

As reported Nov. 12, 26 state school board associations had distanced themselves from the controversial NSBA letter. At the time, Vermont was not among them. 

A copy of the VSBA letter was emailed today to Vermont Daily Chronicle by Executive Director Sue Ceglowski, in response to a Nov. 11 question: “According to this Center Square news report,  VSBA is not among the 26 state school board associations citing disagreement with the national SB association asking DOJ for assistance with unruly attendees at school board meetings. Has VSBA discussed the letter, and if so is it in agreement with the 26 states?”

The full text of the Nov. 15 VSBA statement appears below.

“This statement communicates the Vermont School Boards Association (VSBA) position  regarding the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) September 29, 2021 letter to  President Biden requesting federal intervention regarding threats, intimidation, and harassment  toward locally elected school board members.  

“VSBA was never asked to provide input to NSBA nor were we informed that the letter was being  sent. The letter incorrectly implied the endorsement of every state association and its members.  If we had been asked, we would have objected to certain language in the letter as inflammatory  and misguided.  

“On October 22, NSBA issued an apology, saying it values the work of local school boards and the  input of parents “who should and must continue to be heard when it comes to decisions about their  children’s education, health and safety.” The NSBA said “we regret and apologize for the letter.”  NSBA also promised to review its processes and procedures to ensure coordination and  consultation on future significant communications. NSBA’s apology is appropriate and welcome.  

“VSBA values the engagement of parents and community members in Vermont public schools –  engaging the community is one of six main areas outlined in our Essential Work of School  Boards Tool Kit. School boards are in the strongest position when they are engaged with the  community and clear in their vision for education. Strengthening positive community  relationships has never been more important as school boards strive to support students and  families during the pandemic.  

“VSBA believes threats of violence when discussing school policies are never appropriate and  advises school boards to work with local law enforcement when there are questions about  safety. The VSBA urges all educational stakeholders to (1) teach and model conflict resolution  and consensus building as those skills are necessary for the health and wellbeing of tomorrow’s  society and (2) engage in civil discourse as we set a course for the future of our schools and  communities.  

“We must renounce divisive tactics and be the leaders our children and youth deserve. Our  number one priority is keeping students safely in school and engaged for in-person learning. We  call on the citizens of Vermont to exemplify qualities of leadership – including civil discourse,  respect, and empathy — for the benefit of the children and youth in our communities.”

Categories: Education

6 replies »

  1. Unless any of these lib’s are personally caught red-handed, they’ll continue to be disingenuous, deceitful and dis-informative… That may come across as cynical, but unfortunately their history catches up with them, along with that “old dog, new tricks” analogy….CRT will continue to be taught in schools unless classes are video taped and when so, parents respond.

  2. It’s encouraging to learn that the VSBA was compelled to make this statement, disingenuous as it may be. Clearly, the tide of public opinion is turning. Nonetheless, we must not lose sight of the prize – School Choice. The VSBA may roll over today, but unless the public-school monopoly is eliminated, it’s various administrators, elected and appointed, will gravitate to their usual self-servitude.

    And, lest this concept be challenged – yes, self-servitude is not a bad trait. We all do it. But the rest of us can’t assert our selfishness on the community at large as can the public-school monopoly. For the rest of us, negotiation is the key. For the public-school monopoly, its all about authoritarian tyranny.

  3. Sixteen days ago , I emailed the Executive director for the VT School board association . My question for her was :

    You’re obviously aware of the letter that the leadership of the Nation School Board association sent to the Attorney General last month.

    And, this apology:

    With that being said , what is the stance of the Vermont School board association on the subject and intent of that letter?

    TODAY: Sue issued the statement referenced above.

    You’re welcome

  4. What is needed to blow this out of the water are good sound recordings made by a student of some examples of BLM/CRT indoctrination in the classroom, particularly in a class where it has nothing to do with the subject matter. Get a good collection of documented brainwashing sessions by activist teachers in algebra or english classes slipping the doctrine in when it is least expected and that would make waves nationally, so folks can see what we are getting for our $15,000/pupil/year.
    The left loves to promote the victimhood aspects of how our yoots are suffering under the doom of climate change, the spectre of a viral pandemic and the aftermath of Trump, and then they pile on by making the white kids hate themselves. Bring it out in the open.

    • Who needs literacy, basic change-making skills, etc., when you can be “woke”.
      Like when a hypnotist wakes someone while still keeping them under control.
      Actually, Mr. LaChapelle, your idea is effective, if it can be made workable.

    • Re: “…so folks can see what we are getting for our $15,000/pupil/year.”

      Keep in mind that, in in Vermont, the actual cost per student is north of $20,000 per student. In my district it’s north of $22,000 per student.

      The State arbitrarily inflates its enrollment statistics (thereby decreasing the cost per student) by using what it calls the ‘Equalized Student Enrollment’, by which each student is counted as being more than one person. And the State’s cost per student doesn’t include all of the education costs assigned to a local district. Just sayin’.

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