President of the Maryland State School Board Exhibits Blatant Hypocrisy
by Jan Greenhawk, Editor/Writer Radio Free Oxford
This is a response to a letter from the President of the Maryland State School Board.
This week many of us have been writing about recent temper tantrums and demands from the State Superintendent of Schools. We’ve been calling him out for his desire to run all of the 24 jurisdictions in the state.
And I guess that pointing out that the State Superintendent of Education is a bully and tyrant is offensive to some, namely the President of the State School Board who hired said Superintendent with the approval of Lawrence Hogan, our former Governor. It’s so offensive that he decided to write about blog entries posted on the Delmarva Parent Teacher Coalition. Here’s his letter:
It’s very clear that Mr. Crawford dislikes the assertion that the State Superintendent, by forcing locals to implement the curriculum HE wants and not the curriculum chosen by elected school boards, is committing acts that could be construed as “illegal” and even “terroristic.”
This is “despicable” according to Mr. Crawford.
Maybe he is right. Maybe Mr. Choudhury shouldn’t be accused of committing terrorism. Maybe Mr. Crawford has the high moral ground on this issue.
Not so fast. He doesn’t.
In September 2021, the National School Boards Association, an Association that represents national, local and state school boards including those in Maryland, wrote this letter. Read this letter carefully.
This letter asks President Biden for “federal law enforcement and other assistance to deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation.” Supposedly, the terrible events cited were being perpetrated by PARENTS SPEAKING AT SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS.
The NASB asked for assistance from the U.S. DOJ, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service, and the National Threat Assessment Center and even the U.S. Postal Service to protect people from PARENTS SPEAKING AT SCHOOL BOARD MEETINGS.
Why so many agencies? Well, the NASB wanted these agencies to review enforceable actions against these people under the PATRIOT ACT as in regard to DOMESTIC TERRORISM.
Wow. That’s pretty clear. The NASB wanted these parents handled as “domestic terrorists.” They actually portrayed them as such.
It didn’t stop there.
This prompted the DOJ, under the direction of Attorney General Merrick Garland, to issue a memo regarding the handling of parents as violent extremists. There are parents who had the FBI show up at their door after these people spoke at school board meetings.
Here’s the memo:
Seems like a pretty strong reaction to parents exercising their freedom of speech in front of their elected officials to advocate for having a say in how their children were taught. Seems like a despicable accusation from the NASB.
You know what some of the “threats” were? They were people telling school board members that they wouldn’t get re-elected. Wooooo….that’s so violent.
Surely, the Maryland State Board of Education and Mr. Crawford wrote a letter expressing disgust and dismay at how parents were being portrayed, right? Surely, he pointed out that these two documents “belie(s) an ability to conduct any genuine policy disagreements that may be had in a civil and productive manner.”
Anyone? The answer is NOPE.
But surely Mr. Crawford encouraged local school boards in Maryland to distance themselves from the NASB, condemn them, speak out against them, right?
Take a look at the following website to see how many states responded to the actions of the NASB:
What states did:
As of May 24th, 2022, 30 states have distanced themselves from the NSBA’s letter: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
26 states have taken further action—Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin — to withdraw membership, participation, or dues from NSBA.
You can see how what each did. Even CALIFORNIA, yes CALIFORNIA, left the NASB.
Here’s specifically what MARYLAND did as listed on the Parents Defending Education website:
Maryland: no response
When parents were said to be domestic terrorists, violent, horrible people. MARYLAND had NO RESPONSE.
Where was Mr. Crawford with his outrage? Where was his letter telling people how dismayed he was that innocent parents had been painted as domestic terrorists? The author of the post that Mr. Crawford was so angry about did not call Mr. Choudhury a terrorist. Here is the section of the blog that made Mr. Crawford furious enough to write a letter in less than a day:
As far as the county school boards, all of the boards need to band together and refuse to implement the framework. Those who have adopted the framework have a choice to unadopt it. Despite his threats, the state superintendent cannot defund all of the the counties. Would the state superintendent really force a school system to close their doors so that students can’t go to school in the name of equity? That’s not going to happen. That by definition is domestic terrorism.
As it stands, this is coercion and extortion, and it’s a felony in the State of Maryland. The local county school boards need to grow a backbone, unite with the other counties, and use their board attorneys to form a class action lawsuit to sue the state of Maryland in federal court. For the first time, the school boards need to use their attorneys to help the people instead of using them against the people.
Let’s see. A national organization contacts the President to request national resources against parents who were called terrorists for speaking out at school board meetings. An Attorney General of the United States acted on that letter to take action against normal, everyday people who just want to speak to their elected officials.
The President of the Maryland State School Board said NOTHING. NADA. ZILCH.
A local blogger calls out a State Superintendent for his attempt at a tyrannical takeover of every school system in the state and the invalidation of the votes of citizens. What happens?
In less than a day, the President of the Maryland State School Board wrote a letter decrying the content of the blog with a ton of fretful pearl clutching.
Please Mr. Crawford, spare us your hypocritical outrage. It’s not only ludicrous, but it is an insult to all the people in this state who believe in freedom of speech and the right to address grievances against their elected and appointed public officials.
We know why you did it. You are trying to shut us up.
Not going to happen. And, if you are trying to intimidate us into silence, you might want to re-read the part of Merrick Garland’s memo where he promises to protect American citizens from forms of intimidation and harassment. Like letters from public officials that attempt to stifle free speech.
Sorry if that ruins your day.
Jan can be reached at email@example.com
Jan is a retired teacher, former Talbot County Teacher of the Year, and a current Chapter Chair for Moms for Liberty, Talbot
© Janet L. Greenhawk and Radio Free Oxford, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janet L. Greenhawk and Radio Free Oxford with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.