Education Secretary Miguel Cardona criticized the growing movement of activist parents protesting changes in school policy and curriculum. The sentiment is similar to Congressional Republicans’ accusations that the FBI was investigating parents who criticized their local school boards.
The cabinet official said that he’s never seen public education “where it is now” during his academic career. He said that public education was “under attack.”
“There was civility. We could disagree. We could have healthy conversations around what’s best for kids,” Cardona said in a recent interview.
“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 said.
This is what Joe Biden’s Education Secretary Miguel Cardona thinks about parents speaking up at school board meetings: “I don’t have too much respect for people … acting like they know what’s right for kids.”
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) September 23, 2023
The secretary continued, criticizing public officials who oppose student loan forgiveness but accepted funds during the pandemic.
He said that “there is a team that is fighting for kids and a team that is fighting against kids.”
Cardona’s comments come after a growing movement of parents and activists against what they see as government or school overreach. These include disagreements over vaccine requirements in school and explicit books being used in classrooms. Other parents have taken exception to the use of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in some classroom settings.
Earlier this year, Republicans argued that the FBI opened 25 investigations into parents who protested educational policy. Six of these cases were sent to the agency’s counterterrorism office.
The report from the House Weaponization of Government Subcommittee added that just one of the 25 preliminary probes was followed by a full investigation. None of the situations, the panel argued, was due to a legitimate concern.
According to the subcommittee’s report, the Biden White House’s “goal seems to have been silencing the critics of its radical education policies.” The report followed a directive from U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in 2021 to create a federal task force to investigate potential threats against school boards.
The task force also created a means to anonymously tip off the federal government about these alleged threats.