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There’s been so much bad behavior at school board meetings across the country lately that it’s surprising there’ve been no reports of board members seeking hazardous duty pay.

The source of much of the discord is, not surprisingly, COVID mitigation procedures and/or vaccination requirements. Unfortunately, response to a public health crisis has become flash point for many Americans, including parents of school-age children.

That’s what prompted the National School Boards Association to send a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, requesting intervention from the federal government to respond to protests and threats at school board meetings.

If you see that as an overreaction, you’re in good company. State school board associations in 26 states – including Alabama — have distanced themselves from or cut ties with the national association over the memo.

In objecting to the national organization’s approach, Sally Smith, executive director for the Alabama Association of School Boards, tapped into what most would consider common sense.

“The Alabama Association of School Boards is extremely concerned about lack of civil discourse at board meetings and threats to public officials and school employees,” Smith wrote in a statement. “We believe any criminal activity should be investigated by local law enforcement agencies; however, we do not believe there is a need for federal intervention…”

The mere presence of a uniformed police officer at local school board meetings would go a long way toward maintaining decorum in the public forum. There’s no need to make a federal case of it.


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