MSBA Response to NSBA's Action
Last week, the Interim Executive Director and President of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent a letter to President Joe Biden expressing concern about the recent conflict situations at school board meetings across the country. The NSBA letter requested federal assistance to stop threats and acts of violence against students, public school board members, and other school district officials and educators. The letter was sent without knowledge, input or approval from the Mississippi School Boards Association (MSBA).
MSBA does not support the action taken by NSBA. Hearing from passionate stakeholders can be a sign of healthy community engagement. NSBA’s action is counter-productive to board efforts to engage parents and other stakeholders in the activities of the district and to our efforts to solicit stakeholder input and support.
The terminology used in the letter was inflammatory and has created great dissension, much unproductive discussion, and a rise of distrust in public school board members and educators. The action does not account for the ability of the school board leadership and the school district leadership to resolve problems at the local level and actually takes away from the local control that we have so long advocated for and value so highly.
As you know, navigating political issues at the board level, district level, state level, and national level is a continuing challenge, but one which our boards work diligently to resolve.
As Executive Director, I will be discussing this matter with the MSBA Board of Directors to determine how to best address the situation and to seek their support for writing a letter to the NSBA Interim Executive Director requesting immediate remedy to the situation which has resulted.
Thank you for your efforts as school board members in keeping the focus on our students and on making decisions which are in their best interest.
Denotris R. Jackson, M.Ed.
Mississippi School Boards Association