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Last Wednesday, President Biden met with a group of teachers at the White House for a “Teacher of the Year” event, where he hinted that educators fulfill the role of parents when children are in his classroom.
“You’ve heard me say it many times about our children, but it’s true, they’re all our children. The reason you’re the teachers of the year is because you recognize that. They’re not somebody else’s children, they’re like yours when they’re in the classroom.”
The president’s comments soon sparked criticism on social networks and among parents’ associations, who had a lot to answer about their children’s education.
In a news report prepared by Fox News, members of different organizations for parental rights in education expressed their rejection of Biden’s statements, and advocated for their own right to decide how to educate their children and the values that are instilled in them.
Parents vs. the State: whose children are they?
Elicia Brand, co-founder of Army of Parents, said there is no way her children belong to someone else, and found the president’s speech “appalling.”
“We have a fundamental right to decide on the upbringing and the schooling of our children. And I am the primary person in my child’s life. Never will there be a teacher, and administrator, or any public servant that is in charge of my child’s life. And I will tell you that there are parents all over this country that will die on a hill to say that we do not co-parent with the government”
Ashley Jacobs, CEO and co-founder of Parents Unite, takes issue with the president’s statements and finds them “dangerous.”
“Children do not belong to the State, they belong to their parents. I think that is a very dangerous thing to say, I think it undermines all the rights and values of families”; “We would expect that teachers would do what’s in the best interests of children to make them the best versions of themselves. But that does not mean keeping secrets from parents, trying to pretend that they’re their own and instilling their own values on children, that is not acceptable”
For her part, Tiffany Justice of Moms for Liberty said the president’s claims are “false”; “We are willing to partner with our children’s schools, but we do not co-parent with the government. And every parent has the right to direct the upbringing of their children
Quisha King, senior director of Moms for America, said she is prepared to call the police if she learns that any teacher has attempted to assume her role as a mother in front of her children.
“Biden or any teacher for that matter, has some nerve to think that at any time of the day, I become irrelevant as a parent and that my child belongs to the state. This kind of thinking is exactly why some teachers and administrators believe they do not have to inform parents when there are issues going on with our children. We birth them, we clothe, feed and shelter them, we kiss knees when they get scraped and bruised. That’s just a small part of what parents do. If a teacher, administrator, or elected official does any of this to my child, I’m calling the police, I’m not offering praise!”
While some of the parents said they understood what the president meant, they were also very clear in setting a limit to the responsibilities a teacher should have in the absence of the parents.
“I think I understand the intent in what he was trying to say. I don’t think he’s the appropriate messenger to deliver that. I know that we’ve had fantastic relationships with our kids’ teachers, and I know that they [the teachers] have been very much a part of their lives in the time that they are there at school making sure that they are understanding the materials, and the resources in their development. And just their acclimation in their environment, even during COVID. What a crazy time. And so I can understand the intent of what he was trying to say, but I think in this politically charged time, it can be taken down many different rabbit holes.”
I have family members who are teachers, teacher supervisors, and they all talk about that there’s a bigger responsibility to a teacher than simply just the academic instruction,” local father Benjamin Orr told Fox News Digital. “I think we all understand that. The difference is, when you try to assert control over the parent-child relationship, when you become essentially instead of just a partner, but you try to replace the parent. That’s where we all have an issue.
And if there is ever a discrepancy, of course I believe parents come first