REMINDER: Secretary of Education Refused to Say Parents Were “Primary Stakeholder” In Schooling

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Last week, the Department of Justice shocked parents across the nation by issuing a directive to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) that raised concerns that members of many of the very vocal and active protest movements that have been confronting school boards across the nation could soon be treated like suspected domestic terrorists.

The directive came after the National School Board Association (NSBA) wrote a letter to President Joe Biden’s administration calling on his federal law enforcement agencies to address the “threats” posed to teachers and school board members by an increasingly angry public.

While both the NSBA and the DOJ referred to overt threats of violence made against teachers, administrators, and school board members, to supporters of the many parents who have showed up at school board meetings to protest and voice their concerns about everything from mask mandates to decidedly ideological curricula or policies, it seemed difficult not to see this as a direct attack on the overwhelmingly law-abiding movement as a whole.

What’s more, as CBN News recently pointed out, the Biden administration’s secretary of education refused to agree that parents were the “primary” stakeholder in their child’s education during a hearing last month when pressed to do so by Senator Mike Braun (R-IN).

Braun recently spoke with the outlet, defending the rights of parents to lawfully appear in person to voice their concerns and opinions about how their children are being taught.

“I think anytime you want to make your point that it gets beyond a reasonable discussion, that’s a bad way to make it, but you have to be able to make it and you don’t want the feds or bureaucrats interfering with the process,” the lawmaker explained.

“When there is sincere discussion, even if it gets a little heated, that’s a First Amendment right in the most important arena where we teach our kids … where we instill those early values,” he also said.

Braun noted that the central issue here is the role that parents ought to play in their children’s schooling.

“I think they’re trying to distract from the content that they’re trying to push forward – critical race theory, and direct traffic from here down which they seem to want to do on everything,” he charged.

This was the point he pressed to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona in September, asking him “Do you think parents should be in charge of their children’s education as the primary stakeholder?”

“I believe parents are important stakeholders, but I also believe educators have a role in determining educational programming,” Cardona replied.

Braun told CBN that this was a clear evasion of agreeing that parents are the principal stakeholders in their education, which he believes doesn’t bode well for future federal education policy.

“He wouldn’t retract it either,” he said. “That tells you how dug in they are on wanting to do things from here to dictate what we do in our own school systems.”

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