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Ohio School Board Association Quits National Over Request For Federal Protection

Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau

The group that lobbies for Ohio’s school boards has broken from a national school boards group over a letter that asked President Biden for federal help with concerning incidents at school board meetings.  Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler says Ohio is among the first states to leave the national group over a letter that suggested threats against school board members might be “domestic terrorism”.

A threat to a Worthington Schools board member and a protests at the Nordonia Hills board meeting, both over masks, were cited in the letter by the National School Boards Association. Ohio School Boards Association CEO Rick Lewis says his group wasn’t consulted on and didn’t see the letter, which he says went too far.

“The call to federal law enforcement was certainly an overreach. In the end, our board felt the need to make a strong statement.”

The National School Boards Association has said it regrets and apologizes for the letter earlier this month. Violence and threats toward public school officials over masks, critical race theory and other issues that have been Republican talking points were described in the letter as potentially "equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes."

Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Missouri have already left the NSBA. At least a dozen other states are considering leaving the group.