Opinion Blog


Rick Hess Straight Up

Education policy maven Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute think tank offers straight talk on matters of policy, politics, research, and reform. Read more from this blog.

Federal Opinion

GOP Should Yank Marjorie Taylor Greene from House Ed. Committee

By Rick Hess — February 02, 2021 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Last week, freshman House Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene was assigned to serve on the House Education and Labor Committee. It’s an awful decision that’s looking worse by the day. Committee Chairman Bobby Scott, D-Va., quickly denounced the move for failing to “reflect [a] commitment to serving students, parents, and educators.” The House Democratic leadership has deemed Greene unfit and made clear that, if the Republicans don’t reverse the decision, they will move to boot her from her committee assignments via a floor vote.

Now, in my experience, there’ve been times that Democrats on the education committee have unfairly denounced Republicans for sensible, even admirable stances. This is not one of those times. The Democrats are absolutely right.

The question is how House Republicans will respond. GOP leader Kevin McCarthy has said he’ll be meeting with Greene to discuss her assignment. In 2019, McCarthy stripped former Rep. Steve King of his committee assignments after a meeting for remarks that were far less egregious than Greene’s.

The Georgia Republican traffics in unhinged conspiracy theories such as QAnon (which holds that prominent Democrats are engaged in a global, Satan-worshipping child sex-trafficking ring). Last week, it became clear that she’s embraced a raft of other craziness, including the theory that an international Jewish conspiracy has sought to torch California using space lasers. And CNN even reported that Greene has expressed support online for executing leading Democrats.

But of particular relevance for our purposes is that Greene has spread poisonous calumny about school shootings—which should be reason enough for Republicans to want her nowhere near a congressional educational committee. Of the 2018 Parkland school shooting, in which 17 students and staff were murdered, Greene has stated, “That’s all true” in response to a Facebook post insisting that the shooting was “fake” and asserting “none of the School shootings were real or done by the ones who were supposedly arrested for them.”

When another Facebook user claimed that Parkland “was a false flag planned shooting,” Greene replied, “Exactly!” When one commenter claimed that the murder of 20 elementary school children and six staff at Sandy Hook in 2012 was a “STAGGED [sic] SHOOTING,” Greene indicated her approval. In December 2018, Greene declared, “I am told that Nancy Pelosi tells Hillary Clinton several times a month that ‘we need another school shooting’ in order to persuade the public to want strict gun control.” And when Education Week gave Greene a chance to recant or clarify these comments last week, Greene’s spokesperson declined.

Look, there are a lot of important disagreements that belong on the House Education and Labor Committee. Greene’s deranged denials of the tragedies at Parkland and Sandy Hook do not. McCarthy and the House GOP should do the right thing and pull Greene from the committee.

Related Tags:

The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning
Budget & Finance Webinar Staffing Schools After ESSER: What School and District Leaders Need to Know
Join our newsroom for insights on investing in critical student support positions as pandemic funds expire.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How can districts build sustainable tutoring models before the money runs out?
District leaders, low on funds, must decide: broad support for all or deep interventions for few? Let's discuss maximizing tutoring resources.
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal Miguel Cardona in the Hot Seat: 4 Takeaways From a Contentious House Hearing
FAFSA, rising antisemitism, and Title IX dominated questioning at a U.S. House hearing with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
6 min read
Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona testifies during a House Committee on Education and Workforce hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, May 7, 2024, in Washington.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona testifies during a House Committee on Education and Workforce hearing on Capitol Hill on May 7 in Washington.
Mariam Zuhaib/AP
Federal Arming Teachers Could Cause 'Accidents and More Tragedy,' Miguel Cardona Says
"This is not in my opinion a smart option,” the education secretary said at an EdWeek event.
4 min read
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona speaks during Education Week’s 2024 Leadership Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va., on May 2, 2024.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona speaks during Education Week’s 2024 Leadership Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Va., on May 2, 2024.
Sam Mallon/Education Week
Federal Opinion Should Migrant Families Pay Tuition for Public School?
The answer must reflect an outlook that is pro-immigration, pro-compassion, and pro-law and order, writes Michael J. Petrilli.
Michael J. Petrilli
4 min read
Image of a pencil holder filled with a variety of colored pencils that match the background with international flags.
Laura Baker/Education Week via Canva
Federal New Title IX Rule Could Actually Simplify Some Things for Districts, Lawyers Say
School districts could field more harassment complaints, but they can streamline how they handle them, according to legal experts.
7 min read
Illustration of checklist.
F. Sheehan for Education Week + iStock / Getty Images Plus