School board group asks White House for federal help with threats

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 30: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki listens to a question during a press briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on September 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. Psaki took questions from reporters on numerous topics including the continued negotiations between President Joe Biden and members of Congress over legislation for his Build Back Better agenda. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – SEPTEMBER 30: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki listens to a question during a press briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on September 30, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 6:28 PM PT – Thursday, September 30, 2021

A group representing the National School Board Association has asked the White House for federal assistance for threats against U.S. public schools. On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration was exploring what more could be done about the issue.

The association sent a letter to Joe Biden on Wednesday, saying U.S. public schools were “under an immediate threat,” especially in connection to threats regarding COVID-19 safety protocols and critical race theory. Psaki said the administration takes the security of public servants and elected officials across the country very seriously.

“Obviously these threats to school board members are horrible. They’re doing their jobs,” said Psaki.

The group’s president, Viola Garcia and Chip Slaven, its interim executive director and CEO, noted the threats and actual acts of violence against their school districts “are impacting the delivery of educational services to students and families.”

The letter added the classification of these “heinous actions could be equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

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