Educrat (ED-yoo-krat) noun, usually pejorative. A government school official or administrator whose primary function is to spend tax dollars telling other parents what to do with their children.
Beltway education bureaucrats abhor families who choose to keep their kids out of public schools -- unless it's to grandstand over gun control.
Behold Arne Duncan, longtime pal of Barack Obama and former U.S. Department of Education secretary, who called last weekend for parents nationwide to withdraw students from classes "until gun laws [are] changed to keep them safe."
Emotions are still raw after a teen shot 10 classmates and teachers to death in Texas last week. But Duncan has no excuse for his cynical, made-for-cable-TV exploitation of the Santa Fe High School massacre. Existing state laws banning minors under 18 from purchasing or possessing guns didn't stop the shooter. Neither did laws against possessing sawed-off shotguns or pipe bombs.
And contrary to hysterical early reports, the accused 17-year-old gunman did not use "assault rifles." So a "commonsense" ban on "assault weapons" would not have saved lives, either.
But effective solutions to maximize students' safety and well-being seemingly aren't Duncan's goals. His mission is airtime. Publicity. Entertainment. Provocation for provocation's sake. Show time -- for the children, of course.
School boycotts are a "radical idea," he admitted to MSNBC. "It's controversial. It's intentionally provocative." Praising teacher walkouts and student protests, Duncan told The Atlantic he supported parent-initiated school shutdowns for gun control because "we are not protecting our kids... And the fact that we're not doing that -- we're not willing to think radically enough to do it -- I can't stomach that."
Ah, the royal, unstomachable "we."
Here's another thing I find hard to swallow: Education overlord Arne Duncan now championing the radical idea of parents exercising their autonomy to do what's best for their children.