by Kendall Tietz
Leaders from President Joe Biden’s Department of Education (DOE) met with an education group that supported the FBI targeting parents Monday.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten met with representatives from the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) to discuss “how they are addressing students’ academic needs, tackling the social-emotional needs of students and staff, and using funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to help with recovery efforts,” according to a DOE press release. The NASSP has previously called on federal authorities to intervene in conflicts between school administrators and concerned parents, lauding the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) when it announced plans to “use its authority” against parents.
In a Sept. 16, 2021 letter, the NASSP called on “federal officials to provide support for school leaders being threatened and undermined by those who disagree with school guidelines on COVID-19 best practices.”
“While the pandemic has impacted every one—school leaders are bearing the brunt of conflicts over masks, quarantines, vaccines, and other highly charged issues,” the letter added. “They have been faced with hostile community members, threats to their own safety or safety of the school, and with non-compliance with rules that are meant to keep us all safe.”
“I know you’ll be able to find the way forward because you’re the trailblazers. Just know here at the Department of Ed, you matter.” Cindy Marten, deputy secretary @usedgov to our group of #Principals. #TrailblazingLeaders pic.twitter.com/AuCbvGaa6V
— National Assoc. of Secondary School Principals (@NASSP) April 25, 2022
The National School Board Association (NSBA) wrote its infamous September 2021 letter to the Biden Administration asking for federal assistance to stop threats and violence directed toward school board members over actions that could be “the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.” Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice responded days later with its October memorandum asking the FBI to “use its authority” against parents who threaten or use violence against public school officials.
NASSP said it “lauds the Justice Department’s announcement that the FBI will work with federal attorneys, as well as state and local leaders, to discuss strategies for countering threats against principals, teachers, school board members, and other educators,” according to an October announcement.
The group previously solicited its members to ask their Congressional representatives, along with President Biden and Secretary Cardona, that the federal government “do more to protect school leaders from rampant hostility and violence that disrupts our schools and threatens the safety of our educators and students,” according to a NASSP announcement.
The meeting between NASSP and the administration officials concerned billions of COVID-19 relief dollars allocated to schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER), according to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund website.
Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education (PDE), said in a statement that even though American students are struggling with low test scores and proficiency rates amid the pandemic, “countless districts across the country have chosen to use ESSER and ARP funds on controversial programming like SEL [social emotional learning], rather than the remediation of COVID-related learning loss.”
“These bureaucrats should be held accountable for those decisions – not feted for redirecting finite resources to pet projects like social justice,” she added.
The NASSP defines itself as “the leading organization of middle level and high school principals and other school leaders across the United States,” according to its website.
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Kendall Tietz is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Department of Education Deputy Secretary Cindy Marten” by NASSP.