An Educational Tonkin Gulf? The NSBA Apologies for the Letter that Triggered the Controversial Federal Operation

Engagement in the Gulf of Tonkin

We recently discussed the controversy following the letter of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) asking the Justice Department to investigate parents causing disruptions or making threats at school board meetings. The letter included a reference to using the Patriot Act against possible domestic terrorism. Attorney General Merrick Garland responded a few days later with an order to the entire Department of Justice to monitor school board meetings around the country and coordinate a response with local officials. Now the NSBA has issued an apology.  The question is whether Garland will now rescind or amend his much criticized memo. It has the feel of an educational version of the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Should we reconsider our deployment in light of the false premise that triggered the escalation of hostilities?

The NSBA stated “On behalf of NSBA, we regret and apologize for the letter . . . there was no justification for some of the language included in the letter.”

Notably, recent coverage indicates that the NSBA coordinated the letter with the White House before it was issued.  A significant number of people at the organization (and likely some in the Administration) saw early drafts of this letter. Not one appears to have objected to the reckless and extreme language directed toward parents, citing a handful of cases.



(Source: Oregon School Boards Association)


For his part, Garland stated that none of these past disruptions would constitute domestic terrorism. However, as I discussed earlier, he further pledged that he will not use such laws against parents objecting to critical race theory or other issues at these meetings. However, those answers only begged the question of why the Justice Department has pledged this broad effort to monitor and respond to threats at these meetings. If these are not matters of domestic terrorism, why is the Justice Department implementing this effort? The letter does not cite any pattern of criminal threats or their interstate or federal profile.

This question was picked up in a letter to Garland from half of the eight members of the Commission on Civil Rights. They requested “specific examples” of “harassment, intimidation and threats of violence” which Garland claimed as evidence for the need for federal intervention in parent protests at schools.

Now even the NSBA agrees that its letter was over-the-top and extreme.

214 thoughts on “An Educational Tonkin Gulf? The NSBA Apologies for the Letter that Triggered the Controversial Federal Operation”

  1. The Left is funny.

    During the “summer of love” riots, whenever there was a documented case of violence, their knee-jerk reaction was: But they’re “mostly peaceful protesters.” Don’t you believe in free speech?

    Now, during the school-board protests, their knee-jerk reaction is: They’re violent protesters, organized by a cabal of domestic terrorists. Free speech? Not for thee.

    1. Sam, explain why these protesters can’t just run for School Board and work within the system.

      1. Anonymous………”why can’t protesters …………work within the system”

        You mean, work within the system, like this? “The right to petition government for redress of grievances is the right to make a complaint to, or seek the assistance of, one’s government, without fear of punishment or reprisals. … The right to petition in the United States is granted by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (1791).”

  2. Comments By Trumpists Contradict Turley

    This column on school board disruptions, and a similar column days earlier, have generated volumes of posts by pro-Trump commenters.

    Most of these posts convey a sense of rage. Most are incensed that history is being twisted against White people. Most believe gay lifestyles are somehow being encouraged.

    These comments strongly suggest that school board meetings are being disrupted indeed by very angry White people. One should pity non-White school board members. They are dealing with some very bellicose elements.

    1. It’s not surprising given how far they go to firewall themselves from evidence and truth about the issues discussed by Turley. I believe that such rage or anger is not solely of their own sentiment, but from being stoked and provoked by others who are intent on making them feel that way. People like Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and other conservatives of similar character seem to use these gullible individuals as a means to gain some sort of legitimacy to what they spew. It’s clearly the height of ignorance and gullibility that makes these people so susceptible to being manipulated.

          1. >>”That is why you are always caught without proof while sucking your thumb.
            >Proof? It’s shown here on this blog every day. It’s not that hard to miss.”

            We see your thumb, but we don’t see your proof.


    Brevard County Florida Has Been Scene Of Violent Disruptions

    School Board Member Wrote Op-Ed Piece Detailing Harassment

    More protesters arrived at my home. They claimed to have been sent by Fine, who had been standing beside the governor at the news conference. “Be careful, your mommy hurts little kids!” one shouted at my daughter. “You’re going to jail!” they chanted. As I read my daughter a bedtime story inside, they walked outside her bedroom window toward their parked cars. I went out to ensure that they were leaving. One coughed in my face while another shouted, “Give her covid!” A third swung a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag near my face.

    The next day, a large “FU” was burned into my lawn with weed killer. The bushes in front of my house were hacked down. That was the day the Department of Children and Families investigator showed up.

    Edited From:

    Professor Turley would have us believe the people disrupting school board meetings are simply good Christians protecting traditional values. ..Nonsense..!! These disruptors are terrorists taking culture wars to the next level. Incited by rightwing media they think harassing perceived enemies is a ‘no-brainer’. They are brainless indeed!

    The story posted by Gray Anonymous, about the school girl with Downs Syndrome, could easily be manufactured. Yet if a child does indeed have Downs Syndrome, they are highly vulnerable to Covid. Masks and vaccination should be mandatory for them.

    Furthermore, posting the principal’s phone number, on this blog page, is naked intimidation. I am shocked that Turley allows that to stand.

    1. “Masks and vaccination should be mandatory for them.”

      Government compelling parents to force *their* child to undergo a medical procedure.

      And you wonder why parents are protesting tyranny.

      (Your pending what-abouts are fallacious diversions.)

  4. “The country’s largest school board association collaborated with the Biden White House before sending a controversial letter calling on the FBI to investigate parents as potential domestic terrorists, according to previously unreported emails.”

    The Biden administration will not tolerate dissent. So it creates a pretext to destroy free speech. This has Obama’s/Rice’s sleazy tactics all over it (with the execrable one cackling in assent).

    When they banish the free marketplace of ideas, what exactly do they expect people to fight with?

    “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” (George Washington)

  5. If Merrick Garland was on the Supreme Court, he would throw the First Amendment under the bus.

    1. Garland would join with others of his religious beliefs to throw baby (i.e. one-child delegated) and parents under the bus in a bid to planned parent/hood to reduce “burdens”.

  6. That’s not what “to beg the question” means. To beg a question means to avoid a question using circular reasoning, not beg for the question to be answered. Please look it up. Correct language matters. If the thing itself speaks, it should do so correctly.

  7. It is time to stop using the word “progressives” and start calling this radical faction what they really are. Communists or Marxists or Marxist Communists.

    This wing of the party is not recognizable by a civil libertarian or a traditions democrat. These are radical activists who hate this nation. They despise independent thinkers.

    What we are witnessing is extremely well organized, agenda-driven activism that appears to be an attempt to overthrow this nation. The current President was never the sharpest tool in the shed. What we see now is the shadow of the man and one who has no moral compass. The things he fought for and his stated core beliefs he articulated not so many years ago have gone down the drain. He believes nothing and is told by those running him what to read on the teleprompter.

    Who would attack a parent who pays the taxes for the schools and who has a vested interest in what their children are learning? Their children’s safety. This is deeply disturbing and terrifying.

    Children need a safe environment and they need to master the core skills. It is not the job of the schools to go beyond their stated purpose. It is the job of the parents to stand up to this craziness and insanity being pushed on their children and their schools.

  8. Progressives loudly and constantly lied claiming that Trump used AG Barr as his own personal defense and prosecution office. What a crock.

    Here we have progressive unions representing school board members using the Democrat National AG as their own personal attack dog to silence any and all critics, esp. those same private citizens forcefully coerced to pay taxes supporting the AG and the school boards.

    Mafioso Dons would blush if they woke up and found they had so much power.

  9. “The only thing that has kept the race of men from the mad extremes of the convent and the pirate-galley, the night-club and the lethal chamber, has been mysticism – the belief that logic is misleading, and that things are not what they seem.”

    G.K. Chesterton

  10. Well, that’s it then. The United States has gone down in flames.

    To get or renew your USEF judging license for equestrian sports now requires training in DEI, which originated with CRT. All breeds. Dressage, Hunter/Jumper, Endurance, Eventing, Carriage Driving, Combined Driving, Reining, Western, Vaulting…All disciplines.

    “All applicants must complete Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training as assigned by the Federation.”

    Before you can judge a horse’s conformation or a jumping round, you’d better check your privilege. In all seriousness, for there to be equity in equestrian judging, then every rider and every horse would have to receive the same score. Otherwise, it’s not equity, but a meritocracy.

    What a racket. People are making so much money in the racist CRT fad.

      1. Yes, diversity [dogma] (i.e. color judgment), not limited to color, sex, in a bid for class-based affirmative discrimination.

        1. NN – I await the day that stallions enter the filly conformation ring, when everyone gets a perfect score in their dressage test, and a rail down is no longer penalized with 4 faults.

          Mind you, a bitless bridle is still not permitted in a dressage test, but by golly, that judge will be trained in diversity, equity, and inclusion, as long as that does not include tack.

      2. Karen………I am so sorry about this. How ridiculous. How stupid How truly pathetic

        RIP America.

    1. Alternatively, the Supreme Court finds the rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities of Americans have been universally and egregiously denied and violated, and they begin dismantling the entire communist American welfare state because it is irrefutably, entirely unconstitutional. Perhaps someone will remind the Justices that they swore a binding and solemn oath to support the United States Constitution, not the Communist Manifesto.

      Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto 59 years after the adoption of the Constitution because none of the principles of the Communist Manifesto were in the Constitution. Had the principles of the Communist Manifesto been in the Constitution, Karl Marx would have had no reason to write the Communist Manifesto. The principles of the Communist Manifesto were not in the Constitution then and the principles of the Communist Manifesto are not in the Constitution now.

      Look around you. Do you see any Central Planning, Control of the Means of Production (i.e. regulation), Redistribution of Wealth or Social Engineering?

      Oh, look, there’s some right over there.


      ” But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

      – Declaration of Independence, 1776

    2. Karen S,

      “ Well, that’s it then. The United States has gone down in flames.”

      Good grief woman, you’re being as dramatic as one of those whacked out Karens you see on YouTube.

      If that’s the case leave, stay and hunker down, or just stop taking everything so seriously.

      “ To get or renew your USEF judging license for equestrian sports now requires training in DEI, which originated with CRT. All breeds. ”

      DEI started in the 60’s. CRT was conceived in the late 70’s

      This is just stupidly bad grammar and proof of massive ignorance. DEI did not originate with CRT. It has zero to do with CRT. CRT was not even known when DEI was first conceived. Here’s the actual history of DEI.

      “In the late 1960s, a time when traditional social relations and educational practices were being challenged the world over, Carnegie Mellon University started making significant changes of its own. In the intervening years, the institution launched a number of programs with diversity as their goal. Each was wellintentioned and effective to an extent. We made progress. But we knew the university could do more to reinforce a deeply rooted and broadly embraced commitment to change.
      In 1968, for example, responding to a nationwide call for equal opportunity, the Carnegie Mellon Action Project (CMAP) was founded with the aim of boosting recruitment and retention among African American students. Today CMAP, now CMARC, serves African American, Hispanic, Native American and First Generation students not by providing remedial services, but by guiding and reinforcing talent through services including recruitment, academic and professional counseling, tutoring and assistance in job placement.“

      “ The basic tenets of critical race theory, or CRT, emerged out of a framework for legal analysis in the late 1970s and early 1980s created by legal scholars Derrick Bell, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Richard Delgado, among others.”

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