Pennsylvania state Rep. Ryan Bizzaro, D., appeared to lambast some parent school board protesters as “malcontents” in a recent interview with TalkErie.com’s the Joel Natalie Show, sparking a contentious response on social media.
Bizzarro, who represents Pennsylvania’s third congressional district in Erie County, sounded off on the widespread issue of parent-school board face offs that have emerged in the Keystone State and across the rest of the nation, calling some of those who have pushed back as “malcontents” and accusing them of “wasting time and taxpayer resources.”
“If [parents] have a legitimate concern, they should go address it with the school administrator, the teacher, or the superintendent,” he told Natalie last Friday.
“What I do think is unacceptable is you have some of these malcontents who go to meetings week after week doing nothing but causing problems for school board members, school administrators, with gripes that aren’t even legitimate at this point,” he added.
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Bizzarro called some protesters a “drain” further in the discussion, adding that they should be “ignored accordingly.”
“People are there to do a job, and they can’t do their job if you are there every week making up scenarios in your mind trying to paint them as a bad guy. It’s just not acceptable,” he said. “People need to be able to do their jobs and do the jobs that the voters elected them to do.”
The lawmaker argued that people with “true concerns” would not go before their local school boards and “make scenes” or start Facebook groups in protest.
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“They [should] go and try to tackle the issue one-on-one with the administrator or with the school board members and if they’re not getting anywhere, maybe then they’ll make a little noise, but, after you address their concern, they stop,” he said.
Bizzarro claimed that some who make their grievances with school board policies known publicly are “looking for attention online.” He later said some people are looking for attention “because they either didn’t get it as a child or they’re not getting it at home.”
Earlier in the conversation, Bizzarro said parents have got “to let teachers do their job in the classroom,” which he said is “to take care of your child, not to raise them.”
American Federation for Children senior fellow Corey DeAngelis shared screenshots of the interview transcript, urging parents and voters to “wake up.”
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Fox News Digital has reached out to Rep. Bizzarro for comment.
Responses in the comments were mixed, with some showing support for Bizzarro’s claims and others criticizing them.
Some argued that disdain for parents across the country is why candidates like Glenn Youngkin, R-Va., won Virginia’s gubernatorial race last year while others slammed Bizzarro for criticizing parents who are concerned about what their children are being taught, including Pennsylvania state Rep. Barb Gleim, R. Gleim referenced the recent results from the Nation’s Report Card that showed national declines in math and reading.
“@NAEP_NCES [The National Assessment of Educational Progress] shows the first-ever declines in math and largest drop in reading since the 1980s. Schools are teaching race and gender theories, disappointing parents who send kids to learn basics, not indoctrinating theories. Dems like Bizzaro are out of touch with parents,” she tweeted Thursday.
Supporters said Bizzarro’s claims were accurate, however, and argued that his comments will not encourage anyone to vote against him.
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