Senators Voice Concern Over Reports Of Department Of Education Cracking Down On Parents
U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., joined colleagues in seeking a probe into multiple coordinated efforts by the Biden Administration, the National School Boards Association (NSBA), and the National Education Association (NEA) to silence parents protesting school policies related to COVID-19 and Critical Race Theory.
Wicker and Hyde-Smith are among 11 senators who signed a letter to the inspectors general of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) requesting the investigation.
“While we remain concerned that parents who are peacefully protesting continue to be threatened by the failure of the Attorney General to rescind his memo, we are equally disturbed that the NSBA and NEA used taxpayer dollars –collected as dues from member schools– to carry out politically motivated attacks against concerned parents at the direction of the Biden Administration,” the Senators wrote. “These actions must be investigated as threatening and intimidating concerned parents should never be tolerated. Parents deserve to know the complete truth on this matter.”
The request cites revelations that Education Secretary Miguel Cardona coordinated with the NSBA on its letter to President Biden where it equated protesting parents to domestic terrorists. It also focuses on the NEA, the nation’s largest teachers union, writing social media companies to request that they censure parents’ social media posts, among other concerns.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., led the letter to ED Inspector General Sandra Bruce and DOJ Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz. Senators Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Steve Daines, R-Mont., and James Lankford, R-Okla. also signed.
Read the letter here. The full letter is also printed below.
Dear Inspectors General Bruce and Horowitz:
We write with regard to the latest revelation that the nation’s largest teachers union, the National Education Association (NEA), on October 8, 2021, sent a letter to social media companies requesting that they remove “propaganda” and “disinformation” posted online by parents who were protesting school policies regarding COVID-19 and Critical Race Theory.
There is reason to suspect the NEA worked with Biden Administration officials to write this letter after email evidence revealed that the Secretary of the U.S. Department Education colluded with the National School Boards Association (NSBA) to produce a letter sent to President Biden few days earlier, on September 29, 2021. Parents Defending Education, a grassroots organization advocating for non-political education and the prevention of indoctrination in the classroom, obtained NSBA internal emails through the Freedom of Information Act. These documents show that last September, the NSBA coordinated directly with Secretary Cardona in writing a letter that characterized parents’ concerns about COVID-19 regulations, school curriculum, and other school policies to “domestic terrorism.” The NSBA also requested that the Administration use federal law enforcement agencies to address “threats” and “acts of intimidation” by parents against school staff.
The issue first garnered national attention when Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo on October 4, 2021, directing the Federal Bureau of Investigation to go after these parents. After receiving significant pushback from many state school boards, the NSBA issued a public apology on October 22, 2021. At least 19 states have since withdrawn their membership from this organization after the release of the troubling statements.
While we remain concerned that parents who are peacefully protesting continue to be threatened by the failure of the Attorney General to rescind his memo, we are equally disturbed that the NSBA and NEA used taxpayer dollars –collected as dues from member schools– to carry out politically motivated attacks against concerned parents at the direction of the Biden Administration. These actions must be investigated as threatening and intimidating concerned parents should never be tolerated. Parents deserve to know the complete truth on this matter. Just because someone disagrees with you does not give you the right to silence them. These fundamental and constitutional freedoms must be upheld by every American and every organization, even if their point of view does not align. Therefore, we request the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General and the Department of Education Office of Inspector General to investigate the coordinated actions between the Biden Administration, NSBA, and NEA.
We appreciate your efforts to hold our government officials accountable to the American people, especially when it comes to ensuring our government remains transparent with its decisions.
Thank you for your attention to this matter and we look forward to your prompt response.