On Thursday, January 28, 2021, Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA), Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, took the unusual step of criticizing a particular Republican member’s appointment to the Committee, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA). The freshman Republican was appointed to the Committee this week, and she brings with her a national reputation because of her open support for the “QANON” conspiracy group.

In his statement, Scott points out that Republican leadership is supposed to appoint responsible members who can make a positive contribution and reflect a commitment to serving students, parents, and educators.

He went on to say, “House Republicans have appointed someone to this Committee who claimed that the killing of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax…someone to this Committee who claimed that the killing of 14 students and three teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was staged.”

The QANON online conspiracy group has belittled the significance of real-life instances of pedophilia by claiming prominent Democrats and Hollywood figures are part of a ring of child abusers that includes torture, sexual abuse, cannibalism, and satanic rituals. The online conspiracies and its followers led to an incident in 2016 with a North Carolina resident traveling to a restaurant in Washington DC firing three shots from a semiautomatic weapon that fortunately missed killing any of the customers or employees. The restaurant had been the target of the strange theories.

Greene’s appointment was part of a group of 11 freshmen members appointed to the Committee this week. Scott went on to say, “House Republicans have appointed someone to this Committee who chased and berated a 17-year-old survivor of a mass school shooting, and then celebrated this behavior by posting it on social media…Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy must explain how someone with this background represents the Republican party on education issues. He is sending a clear message to students, parents, and educators about the views of the Republican party.”

Eleven new members added to the Committee on the Republican side (all freshman): Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Burgess Owens (R-UT), Bob Good (R-VA), Lisa McClain (R-MI), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Diana Harshbarger (R-TN), Mary Miller (R-IL), Victoria Spartz (R-IN), Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI), Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), and Michelle Steel (R-CA). There are a total of 24 Republican members of the Committee.