With the Wisconsin Association of School Boards' (WASB) decision to cut ties with the National School Boards Association (NSBA), more than half of the nation's state school board associations have withdrawn from the group since it sent a letter to the Justice Department to investigate parents for "domestic terrorism."
"Parents have seen the inside of the public school beast and understand better than ever who is feeding this beast, and are responding with a loud voice of not my child, not on my watch," Moms for America Senior Director Quisha King told Fox News Digital. "US State school boards associations are seeing the reactions of parents in many ways, from speaking up at school board meetings to getting their children out of these classrooms and state school boards know they do not want more problems with parents across America."
The NSBA's infamous letter to the Justice Department in September 2021 asked for parents protesting at school board meetings to be federally looked into, saying school officials were facing threats and violence at meetings. The letter requested that actions should be examined under the Patriot Act as domestic terrorism. The NSBA later apologized for the letter's language.
A recent independent review found that the NSBA letter was even more extreme in draft form, calling for the deployment of the Army National Guard and the military police to monitor school board meetings.
"Actions by the NSBA's leadership last fall needlessly harmed school board relationships and inflamed partisan tensions," the WASB said in a statement issued to its members. "Those actions caused more than half of the state school board organizations across the nation to distance themselves from the NSBA or drop membership entirely."
"Hmmm. How does the NSBA still continue to operate if they only have a few states left as members?" the Moms for Liberty account tweeted with news of Nebraska's exit. The question was on the minds of many education activists.
"We're halfway there," Corey DeAngelis, national director of research for the American Federation for Children, told Fox News Digital. "It's about time the ‘National’ School Boards Association seriously considered renaming itself. Perhaps it's now time to call them the ‘Semi-National’ School Boards Association since half of the states have decided to cut ties with the NSBA."
Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education, similarly applauded the mass exodus, but feared it won't solve the "underlying problem."
"While it's good that over half of the state affiliates have left NSBA, new organizations will spring up in its place, and the underlying problem will still remain: publicly-supported trade associations which claim to represent the views of their constituents are in fact ideologically-captured entities working at cross-purposes to what the majority of American people actually want," Neily said. "It's time to cut off the spigot to these institutions so our tax dollars aren't weaponize against us in the future ever again."
Fight for Schools executive director Ian Prior also predicted another, just as problematic entity will rise in its place.
"The NSBA is getting everything it deserves for colluding with the Biden Administration to weaponize federal law enforcement to track down parents exercising their First Amendment rights by speaking up at school board meetings," Prior told Fox Digital. "But while the NSBA is imploding, the equally anti-parent state school board associations are continuing to work against parents and will ultimately regroup into an NSBA-like organization and it will be important for parents to continue to exercise citizen oversight over any replacement organization and its state members."
The NSBA did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment.
Parents protested at school board meetings across the country the past two years to criticize COVID-19 related measures and to speak out on how schools were teaching race, including whether schools were employing the controversial critical race theory.
The Texas Association of School Boards was one of several to cut ties with the NSBA following last month's independent investigation of the letter to the Biden administration last year.
"We have been intently waiting for the release of this independent investigation for nearly two months. With this report now available, it’s clear that NSBA’s internal processes and controls do not meet the good governance practices that TSBA expects and requires in a member organization," TASB Executive Director Dan Troxell said.
In earlier defensive statements about the controversy, the NSBA said that, other than review by four Board Officers, "the letter was not widely reviewed or approved within the organization, and the finalized letter was not disclosed to the full NSBA Board of Directors or NSBA members until after it was submitted."
However, the former interim executive director and CEO of the NSBA Chip Slaven said it wasn't true that higher-ups were completely in the dark about the letter in a recent Fox News Digital interview, adding that he felt "backstabbed" after the group appeared to pin the blame on him in its apology.
"I felt betrayed, I guess, by [some of the] officers… when they issued the apology, announced the apology, and didn't bother to at least tell me," he said. "And the excuse given… was not enough time or too late or something like that. That was bull. [They] just chose not to include me."
"Kids don't belong to the government, and parents are never going to surrender their right to educate their children as they see fit," DeAngelis said. "The implosion of the NSBA shows that parents are a force to be reckoned with if they band together and push for change."