Biden’s Education Secretary Miguel Cardona sparks outrage for slamming ‘misbehaving’ parents after Virginia dad Scott Smith gets into bloody scuffle at school board meeting over daughter’s rape
- The cabinet secretary said he has never seen such a fraught moment in the world of education
- He said that he’s open to various viewpoints but does not respect those who have ‘misbehaved’ at school board meetings on behalf of their children
- Backlash to Cardona’s comments was swift and highlighted the administration’s previous missteps in dealing with concerned parents
US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona called out American parents who he said are ‘misbehaving in public’ and acting as though they ‘know what’s right for kids,’ adding that he doesn’t have much respect for them.
In a sit down interview with the Associated Press, Cardona commented on the state of education in the US, including the recent decision by the Supreme Court to ban race-based admissions and the president’s attempt to relieve student debt.
Furious backlash to Cardona’s comments was immediate as crowds online took them to mean he was firing at the parents who spoke up at school board meetings across the country to limit COVID-19 mandates, and ban critical race theory and sexually explicit books from their children’s school libraries.
Regarding the currently fraught nature of education debates of the present, Cardona said there used to be ‘civility’ during conversations that featured different viewpoints.
‘We could disagree. We could have healthy conversations around what’s best for kids.’
‘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.
‘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,’ Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in an interview that is receiving backlash
Cardona added that he also does not respect ‘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.
Nicole Neily, the president of Parents Defending Education showed open disdain on X (formerly Twitter) for the secretary and his position.
Cardona, she wrote, ‘dismissed thousands of American parents who have been speaking out at school board meetings.’
‘Actions speak louder than words – and they reveal that Secretary Cardona does not, in fact, respect differences of opinion,’ she told Fox.
‘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.’
In September of 2021, the NSBA sent a letter to the Biden administration requesting the federal government investigate school boards meetings where parents were speaking up.
The letter suggested that school officials were facing threats of violence at school board meetings and asked that the parents being examined under the PATRIOT Act as ‘domestic terrorists.’
Subsequent to the receipt of that letter, Merrick Garland‘s Justice Department issued a memorandum that instructed the FBI to lead the effort to create a task force to address threats against school officials and create a centralized way to report such things.
Following a massive wave of uproar over the letter, the NSBA apologized and said it wouldn’t do anything like that again.
The father was left beaten and bloodied after he was ejected from the Loudoun County School Board meeting in June 2021
Smith was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. He said he tried to contain himself after teachers falsely asserted they had not received reports of sex assaults in the girls’ toilets
The outrage surrounding the letter coincided with the momentum leading up to the election of Virginia Governor, Republican Glenn Youngkin, who had predicated a good deal of his campaign on fighting for the rights of parents to have a say in the children’s education.
One such parent was Scott Smith, who was previously apprehended by law enforcement officers and given a 10-day suspended sentence for disorderly conduct after he was dragged out of a school board meeting for protesting a high school’s policies after his teenage daughter was raped by a transgender student in the bathroom.
Smith’s daughter was raped by an unidentified 15-year-old who became known as the ‘boy in a skirt.’ A month after the May 2021 attack, the school board of Loudoun County held a meeting during which it was stated that gender-fluid bathrooms were not a problem.
Smith became furious, and in a clip that went viral and has had a long shelf-life, was confrontational with school and law enforcement officials and was eventually charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Earlier this month, Governor Youngkin announced that he had pardoned Smith, saying that his administration ‘right a wrong.’
‘He should’ve never been prosecuted here. This was a dad standing up for his daughter.’
‘His daughter had been sexually assaulted in the bathroom of a school, and no one was doing anything about it.
‘This was a gross miscarriage of justice.’
Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin said ‘Mr. Smith did what any father would do’ as he issued a formal pardon earlier this month
Youngkin said school had ‘covered it up’ and told Fox that parents must have the final say over their children’s education.
‘Mr. Smith did what any father would do, what any parent would do, which is stand up for their child,’ Youngkin told Fox News Sunday.
‘I spoke with Mr. Smith on Friday, and I had the privilege of telling Mr. Smith that I will pardon him, and we did that on Friday.’
Cardona’s comments about parents believing they know what’s best for children directly contradict Youngkin’s position on the issue, and it is believed that Cardona was making reference to people like and including Smith when he spoke about those acting out at school board meetings.