- The Washington Times - Monday, January 24, 2022

A coalition of 120 conservative leaders is calling on Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to resign, citing his role in labeling parents who speak up at school board meetings as “domestic terrorists.”

In an open letter published online Monday by the Conservative Action Project, the group cites emails obtained via the Freedom of Information Act on Jan. 11 that showed Mr. Cardona asked the National School Boards Association (NSBA) to send a Sept. 29 letter asking the Department of Justice to investigate outspoken parents as possible lawbreakers.

“Given his apparent role in this effort to infringe on the rights of concerned parents, it is clear that Secretary Cardona can no longer credibly lead the U.S. Department of Education nor play a significant role in implementing federal education policy,” the conservative leaders wrote in Monday’s letter.

Signatories include former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, former Sen. Jim DeMint, Concerned Women for America President Penny Nance, conservative book publisher Alfred S. Regnery, retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin of the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.

In response, a Department of Education spokesman emailed a statement to The Washington Times saying Mr. Cardona’s collaboration with the NSBA did not include soliciting the letter.

“The Secretary did not solicit a letter from NSBA,” the spokesman wrote. “To understand the views and concerns of stakeholders, the Department routinely engages with students, teachers, parents, district leaders and education associations.”

SEE ALSO: GOP senators demand answers from Miguel Cardona on ‘domestic terrorists’ letter

The NSBA’s letter, which suggested deploying the Patriot Act against parents, has been removed from the organization’s website.

In response to the NSBA letter, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued an Oct. 4 memo directing the FBI and U.S. attorneys to investigate those who object publicly to school policies on gender identity and race as well as COVID-19.

Monday’s letter from conservatives encourages Congress to “further investigate” the Biden administration’s role in drafting the NSBA letter that referred to parents as “domestic terrorists” — which many observers credited with helping Republicans win elections last November in Virginia and school boards across the country.

“Parents are not ‘domestic terrorists,’” the conservative leaders said in the letter. “They have numerous serious reasons to be upset at the way public school officials have acted in recent months, including their unnecessary and harmful closure of schools, implementation of onerous and needless COVID-19 restrictions like student mask mandates, and injection of left-wing propaganda like critical race theory and gender ideology into the classroom.”

Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified the title of James Dobson.

• Sean Salai can be reached at ssalai@washingtontimes.com.

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