After recent revelations that the White House actually assisted in drafting the NSBA letter and alleges that Education Secretary Miguel Cardona solicited the letter (an allegation a Department of Education spokesperson has rejected), critics have suggested that the NEA letter represents even more coordination between government and interest groups to silence parents.
"This looks like a concerted effort between the federal government and outside groups like the NEA and NSBA to interfere with the First Amendment rights of parents," Ian Prior, father and executive director at Fight for Schools, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday. Stressing the allegations regarding the White House and Cardona, he announced that "it doesn't stretch the imagination to believe that the federal government was also involved in the NEA letter."
"Senate and House Republicans should do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of it," Prior suggested.
NSBA sent its letter on September 29, warning that school boards face "physical threats" due to opposition to COVID-19 policies and Critical Race Theory. After the Department of Justice published an October 4 memorandum that echoed the letter, NSBA issued an apology for it in October. 22. NEA sent its letter on October 8.
In the letter, NEA President Becky Pringle pressed the leaders of Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok to combat online "trends" that "have helped create a culture of fear and violence with educators as targets."
After mentioning a TikTok trend encouraging property damage at schools, Pringle mentioned, "the alarming growth of a small but violent group of radicalized adults who falsely believe that graduate level courses about racism are being taught in K-12 public schools because of misinformation spread on social media."
Pringle here made an oblique reference to Critical Race Theory (CRT) — a framework that involves deconstructing aspects of society to uncover systemic racism beneath the surface – which many parents argue has infiltrated school curricula.
She mentioned a "vocal group of extremists who are putting the safety of our children, educators, and families at risk over the notion that wearing a mask is an infringement on personal liberty." She referenced a few instances of parents physically beating educators over COVID-19 protocols, though she did not reference any such attacks about CRT.