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Education Secretary Miguel Cardona is facing calls to resign after it was revealed Tuesday that, according to a National School Boards Association official, he had solicited the controversial letter from the NSBA last year that compared protesting parents to domestic terrorists.
The NSBA’s Oct. 22 letter, which it has since apologized for, called for federal action to address hostilities toward school boards as possible acts of “domestic terrorism” and suggested using the Patriot Act against parents.
Miguel Cardona speaks after President-elect Joe Biden announced his nomination for education secretary on Dec. 23, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Joshua Roberts)
President Biden’s Department of Justice relied on the NSBA letter in creating its own Oct. 4 memo directing the FBI and U.S. attorney’s offices to investigate “threats of violence” at school board meetings in order to combat what it called a “disturbing trend” of harassment of school officials.
Previous emails had revealed that the NSBA was in contact with the White House and Justice Department in the weeks before it publicly sent its letter, but an email exchange obtained by the parents group Parents Defending Education through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and reviewed by Fox News Digital indicates the Education Department was more involved with the letter’s creation than previously known.
In a Oct. 5 email, NSBA Secretary-Treasurer Kristi Swett recounted that NSBA interim CEO Chip Slaven “told the officers he was writing a letter to provide information to the White House, from a request by Secretary Cardona.”
“Stunning,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, reacted on Twitter. “The original source of the letter lobbying the Biden admin to use the Patriot Act to target parents as domestic terrorists? THE BIDEN ADMIN ITSELF. Biden Education Secretary: in effect, ‘Please ask us to treat Moms & Dads as terrorists.’”
Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., tweeted, “We now know where the idea for the NSBA letter to the Biden Administration labeling parents as domestic terrorists originated: The Biden Administration.”
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona testifies before the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 16, 2021. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., called on Cardona to resign.
“The truth comes out,” Scott tweeted. “Woke @SecCardona asked @NSBAPublicEd to write the letter @TheJusticeDept used to mobilize the FBI to begin treating parents like domestic terrorists. Cardona should resign.”
“It appears Biden’s Education Secretary may have helped initiate the NSBA’s now-retracted letter to the DOJ requesting they spy on parents under the Patriot Act,” Banks tweeted. “If true, he needs to resign.”
A Department of Education spokesperson denied that Cardona solicited the NSBA letter, despite the email indicating he did.
“While the Secretary did not solicit a letter from NSBA, to understand the views and concerns of stakeholders, the Department routinely engages with students, teachers, parents, district leaders and education associations,” the spokesperson told Fox News Digital.
Fox News’ Peter Hasson contributed to this report.