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James Harvey, leader of the National Superintendents Roundtable, reported that federal authorities will investigate violent threats made against school personnel and school boards in response to mask mandates. Stories in the Washington Post and elsewhere have demonstrated that some of the groups harassing educators and school boards about masking and “critical race theory” are funded by the Koch Network and other rightwing foundations and are intended to sow chaos and discredit public schools.
|AP picks up Roundtable report on superintendents quitting|
|The Roundtable’s report on superintendents’ stress amidst the pandemic has received widespread attention. The Associated Press picked up the press release describing the report, which was initially distributed by Cision (PR Newswire). Within 48 hours of the distribution of the press release, Cision estimated that it had been distributed to 84 major outlets with a potential viewing audience of 122 million people.
The outlets included Business Insider and AP, which in turn distributed the release to 963 different outlets, including C-SPAN, CBS News Radio, the New York Times and the Washington Post.
Download the report at the link above. By all means share it with your colleagues and via your social media.
|NSBA asks the Feds for help|
|It’s unprecedented. In the last week, the National School Boards Association (NSBA), the group that represents school boards and school board members around the country, asked the White House for federal assistance to investigate and stop threats against school boards by citizens incensed about school pandemic policies, such as mask mandates. The association likened the vitriol experienced by some of its members to a form of domestic terrorism.
According to a story filed by Carolyn Thompson of the Associated Press, “The request by the National School Boards Association demonstrates the level of unruliness that has engulfed local education meetings across the country during the pandemic, with board members regularly confronted and threatened by angry protesters.”
|Justice Department to look into violent threats against school leaders|
|On October 4, Andrew Ujifusa of Education Week reportedthat the Justice Department agreed to have the FBI examine violent threats against school leaders, including board members and superintendents.
Ujifusa reports that the “FBI will work with federal attorneys, as well as state and local leaders, to discuss strategies for countering threats against teachers, principals, school board members and other educators.”“In addition, the U.S. Department of Justice announced plans to create a federal task force to address ‘the rise in criminal conduct towards school personnel,’ ” reported Ujifusa, “as school boards and other educators have faced anger and harassment in response to COVID-19 restrictions and other controversial issues in schools.”