WASHINGTON – On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) joined 24 of his Republican colleagues on a letter demanding answers from U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on reports that he played a key role in orchestrating the National School Board Association (NSBA) letter to President Biden that labeled concerned parents “domestic terrorists.”
“Parents are not ‘domestic terrorists’ and it is appalling that anyone would suggest that exercising the constitutionally protected freedoms of speech and assembly would be characterized as a threat,” wrote the senators. “Parents across the country are outraged that their children’s education has been disrupted, delayed, even denied over the past two years.”
“While we knew early on that White House staff were complicit in the creation of this letter, it is only recently that information has surfaced implicating you and your office in this shameful episode,” the senators continued. “News reports indicate that the letter from the NSBA to President Biden was actually initiated at your request. Accountability begins at the top, and as U.S. Secretary of Education you must explain your role, or your staff’s role, in the creation of this letter.”
Signatories to the letter include Senators Tim Scott (R-S.C), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and John Hoeven (R-N.D.), and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska)
- On September 29, 2021, the NSBA sent a letter to President Biden accusing parents expressing concern and frustration with lockdowns, shutdowns, school closures, mandates and more of “domestic terrorism.”
- In response, on October 4, 2021, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo directing the FBI and U.S. Attorneys to act on the contents of the NSBA letter.
- On October 22, 2021, the NSBA apologized for the letter after receiving significant backlash from state school board associations.
- This week, new reporting revealed emails indicating the NSBA letter was sent to the Biden administration at the request of Secretary Cardona.
The full text of the letter can be found here and below.