Ed. Sec. Meets With School Principals To Discuss Hostile Parents In Schools

School principals met with the Ed. Sec. this week to discuss banning hostile parents from schools in wake of an erupting war on education.

By Rick Gonzales | Published

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school principals

School principals finally got what they asked for – some face-to-face time with U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. It was part of the kickoff for the Trailblazing Leadership Week and an important one at that. The meeting between the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and Education Secretary Cardona was to discuss how to move forward post-COVID while trying to deal with increasingly hostile parents.

The school principals’ meeting was inevitable. In the coming months after the NASSP asked the Biden administration to “ban hostile parents and individuals from school grounds who threaten our safety.” A letter was sent out to the Biden administration back in September as school board meeting after school board meetings were the scene of numerous contentious arguments and threats of violence toward school board members over the school district’s COVID policies.

School principals were complaining that they were “simply trying to follow the health and scientific safety guidance that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health departments are issuing.” For these efforts, they faced unrelenting threats. “NASSP is calling on federal officials to protect school leaders from rampant hostility and violence that disrupts our schools and threatens the safety of our educations and students,” NASSP said via Fox News.

School principals

It wasn’t only school principals who were requesting assistance with the growing threats. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) also reached out to the Biden administration to help with all the parental backlash they were seeing as well. In fact, it was an exchange of emails between the NSBA and the Biden administration that eventually connected the dots concerning the Biden administration creating a joint task force between the FBI and the Justice Department to start investigating any violent threats against school boards. It was here that the NSBA asked that protesting parents be investigated as domestic terrorists.

The investigation of threats against school officials, school principals, and teachers began in October, which had Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement, “Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values. Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety.”

The NASSP applauded the Justice Department’s efforts as the task force went to work. “School leaders have made their voices heard,” said NASSP CEO Ronn Nozoe on their website. “We thank the Justice Department for deciding to act, and we thank our members for their bravery in sharing their stories and advocating for action.”

School principals

Nozoe wasn’t the only person thrilled to see the Justice Department in action. “It’s alarming when you face personal and professional threats for just doing your job,” said Bill Ziegler, school principal of Pottsgrove High School and an NASSP board member. “The safety of my students, staff, and school community is of the utmost importance. Schools need to be conducive to teaching, learning, and collaboration, and I welcome the federal help to counter threats that individuals are making against our schools that are disrupting learning and potentially harming dedicated educators.”

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten joined Education Secretary Cardona in the discussions with the school principals. Trailblazing Leadership Week is being held at the Department of Education in Washington, D.C. While the discussion on how to best cope with irate parents post-COVID was the highlight of the first day, it wasn’t the only matter on the table. School principals were also able to discuss with Cardona and Marten how they are meeting the many academic student needs as schools are finally fully open. They were also able to discuss how they have been able to handle post-COVID recovery with the use of the American Rescue Plan funds.