Miguel Cardona, President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Education, was slammed on Twitter this week after what many critics described as a tone-deaf tweet in which he shared that one of his favorite things about education was “the smile on a student’s face.”
Cardona has been a vocal proponent of school mask policies which have been the topic of heated debate since the fall of 2020, and which many experts warn could pose an adverse impact on students’ education experiences, particularly for young children.
“Today’s #LoveTeaching theme is ‘Tremendous Tuesday’ where we are challenged to tell a 6-word story that describes why you #LoveTeaching. Mine is: The smile on a student’s face,” he wrote on Tuesday.
The smile on a student's face.
— Secretary Miguel Cardona (@SecCardona) February 16, 2022
“Really? My son is halfway through 1st grade and his teachers have never seen his smile. Can you maybe do something about that?” one angry parent replied.
“Come on man! Really!!! School Boards are out here trying to hold it together and you are going to tweet this. Is anyone in Washington listening? Or, is this what people who work remotely and never have to put on a mask all day think?” wrote another father and doctor.
“You can see their smiles?” asked another.
“Is this a joke or just the worst tweet ever? Just outside DC my child’s teacher hasn’t seen my child smile because she’s in a MASK!” wrote another annoyed parent.
One user noted the secretary should “drive 15 minutes from DC to suburban Maryland” where he would see “kids masked in all schools and zero smiles.”
“Get out of your bubble and do your job, Mr. Secretary,” the user added.
Others replied with photos of prominent politicians, like former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams, grinning, mask-free in the center of a classroom full of children who all had their faces covered.
The consternation with Cardona’s tweet appeared to extend beyond mask mandates; several Twitter users replied by simply requesting that he cancel student loan debt.
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