Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has sparked outrage for making disrespectful remarks about all the concerned parents who’ve been speaking out at their local school board hearings.
Speaking with the Associated Press, he specifically accused the dissenting parents of “misbehaving.”
“There was civility. We could disagree. We could have healthy conversations around what’s best for kids,” he said, referencing an earlier time in his career.
“I respect differences of opinion. I don’t have too much respect for people that are misbehaving in public and then acting as if they know what’s right for kids,” he then added, slamming the concerned parents who’ve been speaking out.
The backlash erupted immediately.
“Cardona’s comments caused a major backlash on social media, where they were interpreted as a swipe at outraged parents who have spoken out at school board meetings across the U.S. against COVID mandates, books they deemed inappropriate for children and critical race theory,” according to Fox News.
Erika Sanzi, the director of outreach for Parents Defending Education (PDE), told Crisis in the Classroom (CITC) that Cardona “seems to think civility only flows in one direction.”
“One minute Cardona is saying parents are essential partners for schools and then, in the next breath, he’s characterizing frustrated and angry parents as misbehaving know-nothings,” she said.
“Meanwhile, he is silent about school boards dismissing parents’ concerns, calling parents names, cutting off mics during public meetings, and even keeping parents out of public meetings,” she added.
Caroline Moore, the PDE vice president concurred, calling Cardona’s remarks “unfathomable.”
“This is once again an instance of this administration taking a hardline stance against parental rights and the role parents have in advocating for their minor children,” she said.
Meanwhile, in a tweet, PDE President Nicki Neily accused Cardona of having “openly dismissed thousands of American parents who have been speaking out at school board hearings.”
Secretary Cardona openly dismissed thousands of American parents who have been speaking out at school board meetings:
“I don’t have too much respect for people that are misbehaving in public and acting like they know what’s right for kids.” pic.twitter.com/QafoiKwAdB
— Nicki Neily (@nickineily) September 22, 2023
In a statement to Fox News, she added, “Actions speak louder than words — and they reveal that Secretary Cardona does not, in fact, respect differences of opinion.”
“Look no further than the fact that in 2022, Cardona’s Education Department chose to shut down its faux ‘parents council’ stacked with rubber-stamping elites rather than add any members who would provide viewpoint diversity, and was named by a board member of the NSBA [National School Boards Association] as the instigator of its now-infamous letter,” she added.
The Department of Education (DoE) disbanded the parents’ council that Neily referenced in December of 2022 after several conservative organizations sued, alleging the creation of the council amounted to a violation of federal law.
As for the letter she mentioned, recall that in 2021, the National School Boards Association penned a letter to the Biden administration asking them to label dissenting parents “domestic terrorists.”
“After the NSBA sent the letter, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memorandum that instructed the FBI to take the lead on a task force to address threats against school officials, including creating a centralized way to report such threats,” according to Fox News.
“The NSBA eventually apologized for sending the letter and stated that such a move won’t happen again. Moreover, the House Judiciary Committee released a report revealing that the Biden administration, in collusion with the NSBA, ‘misused’ authorities to investigate parents at school board meetings,” Fox News notes.
Cardona is also facing backlash on social media.
Look (*Language warning):
Indoctrination stinks and so do you! Parents rule, Cardona drools.
— Steve Adams (@Guitarsare1) September 23, 2023
@SecCardona parents DO know what’s right for their kids, you fucking hack.
— Yavapai22 (@Yavapai222) September 23, 2023
Sit down, Cardona. You have to be taught that parents know what’s best for their children and silly, stupid democrats do not.
— Andrew (@AndrewOHuddle) September 23, 2023
We need to remove you from office. Parents have a say in what’s best for their children, not your stupid ass. If I was in charge of DHS your kids would be removed from your custody. You don’t deserve to be in charge of children nor any students.
— coochiecoochiecoo (@orphanMusician) September 23, 2023
You said parents don’t know what their kids need and what they need to learn? Really? We are a constitutional Republic not a communist dictatorship!! Although listening to the “dear Leader Biden” I would say we are getting close to a communist country
— Marie Sijen (@mieke1246) September 23, 2023
Elsewhere in the AP interview, Cardona slammed critics of the Biden administration’s student loan bailout.
He said he doesn’t like it when “people that have a problem when we’re trying to provide some support for those who are buried in debt complain about a 10 thousand dollar support for thousands of their constituents but are Ok taking over a million dollars in loan forgiveness themselves as an elected official.”
“That hypocrisy–I want to call it out at the top of this conversation because there is a team that is fighting for kids and a team that is fighting against kids,” he said.
FYI, handing out vital loans during a pandemic is not the same thing as paying off people’s student loan debts …
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