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Secretary of Education Won't Agree That Parents Are Primary Stakeholders in Children's Education

10-06-2021
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 (Alexandra Wimley/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP, File)
(Alexandra Wimley/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP, File)

This past year there's been no shortage of news coming out of packed school board meetings with parents voicing their concerns on policies ranging from critical race theory to transgender students to pandemic restrictions like mask mandates. 

In a recent letter to the Biden administration, the National School Board Association claims education leaders are "under immediate threat," adding that some of the parent's "actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes."

In response, Attorney General Merrick Garland directed the FBI to work with local law enforcement to protect school board members, teachers, and other public school employees should they suspect rowdy parents are going too far.

Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) argues parents have a first amendment right to bring concerns to school board meetings and shouldn't have Washington bureaucrats interfering in that process.

"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," Braun told CBN News

Braun, who served on a school board for 10 years, said parents need to have the primary say in their child's education.

"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," Braun continued. 

Braun believes families and local school boards should dictate school curriculum, not federal mandates.

"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 said. 

Braun recently questioned Education Secretary, Miguel Cardona about who should be in control of a child's education.

"Do you think parents should be in charge of their children's education as the primary stakeholder?" asked Braun. 

"I believe parents are important stakeholders but I also believe educators have a role in determining educational programming," responded Cardona. 

Braun told CBN News that he refused to say "primary" and suggested his response could preview federal school mandates to come.

"He wouldn't retract it either," explained Braun. "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."

Braun thinks schools are run best when state and local governments are at the helm instead of Washington lawmakers dictating policies that don't work in all 50 states. 

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