Commentary: Furious parents at school board meetings have a right to speak. We should listen to them.

Brian Jones
The Washington Post

Excerpt: Reports of escalating hostility and threats of violence at school board meetings across the nation — stemming from fights over masking policies and school curriculums — have recently made headlines. I thought of those parents after the National School Boards Association addressed a letter to President Biden requesting assistance from federal law enforcement in investigating threats, and after Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the FBI would coordinate with local leaders and law enforcement to address a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers and staff.”

A word of caution to those who would blithely cast angry parents as a threat, or the act of disrupting open public meetings as domestic terrorism. In the vast territory of civic anger and frustration lies the opportunity for growth and enlightenment, and better decision-making among public servants willing to listen.