Rowdy Town Halls Aren't "Domestic Terror"

We shouldn't label disruptive behavior a national security threat.

On September 29th, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) sent a letter to President Biden warning that “America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat.”

Citing community and town hall meetings where participants concerned about COVID-19 restrictions or racialism in the classroom have been rowdy or disruptive, the NSBA declared that “immediate assistance is required to protect our students, school board members, and educators who are susceptible to acts of violence affecting interstate commerce because of threats to their districts, families, and personal safety.”

They go on to request considerable federal intervention, including calling upon the FBI, Department of Justice, and Homeland Security to do a review of the situation. They even go so far as to invoke the specter of terrorism:

Additionally, NSBA requests that such review examine appropriate enforceable actions against these crimes and acts of violence under the Gun-Free School Zones Act, the PATRIOT Act in regards to domestic terrorism, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Violent Interference with Federally Protected Rights statute, the Conspiracy Against Rights statute, an Executive Order to enforce all applicable federal laws for the protection of students and public school district personnel, and any related measure. As the threats grow and news of extremist hate organizations showing up at school board meetings is being reported, this is a critical time for a proactive approach to deal with this difficult issue.

In order to bolster their case that such a massive federal intervention is needed, the NSBA lists a number of incidents that occurred around the country. I decided to look into them, and below you’ll find a representative list of some of what the NSBA considers a grave threat worthy of invoking the government’s anti-terrorism capabilities.

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