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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Parents fume over Biden’s remark students are teachers’ children: ‘We do not co-parent with the government’

Several parents agreed that President Biden’s controversial comment that students are like teachers’ children in the classroom last week was an unwanted undercutting of their unique roles as primary caregivers.

“You have heard me say it many times about our children, but it is true,” Biden said to a group of teachers gathered for the Teacher of the Year event at the White House last Wednesday. “They’re all our children. And the reason you are the teachers of the year is because you recognize that.”

He added, “They’re not somebody else’s children. They’re like yours when they’re in the classroom.”

President Biden delivers remarks during an event for the 2022 National and State Teachers of the Year in the White House on April 27, 2022, in Washington, D.C.

President Biden delivers remarks during an event for the 2022 National and State Teachers of the Year in the White House on April 27, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
(Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)


Biden’s remark came at a time when parents had already been fired up about the debate over how big a role they are entitled to have in their kids’ education, particularly as progressive curriculm have come to light all across the country. Many rejected the president’s narrative, arguing that teachers have no right to act as he described.

“That’s just false,” Moms for Liberty Tiffany Justice told Fox News Digital. “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.” 

“There is no way that my child, or children, are any other person’s child,” Army of Parents co-founder Elicia Brand similarly said in an interview with Fox News Digital. “They are mine and my husband’s. It is appalling what President Biden has said. 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,” she continued. 


Quisha King, Senior Director with Moms for America, shared their displeasure, saying she’d call the authorities if her children’s teachers tried to take her role. 

“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,” King told Fox News Digital. “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.”  

Quisha King, Florida mom, speaks out against critical race theory.

Quisha King, Florida mom, speaks out against critical race theory.
(Fox News)

“We birth them, we clothe, feed and shelter them, we kiss knees when they get scraped and bruised,” King added. “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!”


“In loco parentis” is a Latin term meaning “in [the] place of a parent” or “instead of a parent,” referring to the legal responsibility of a person or organization to perform some of the functions or responsibilities of a parent. Ashley Jacobs, executive director and co-founder of Parents Unite, felt it apt to reference the concept in her response to the president.

“Going back to the in loco parentis concept that we have, we would expect that teachers would do what’s in the best interests of children to make them the best versions of themselves,” Jacobs said. “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.” 

Jacobs was one of multiple education advocates to muse whether or not Biden “really meant” what he was saying at the Teacher of the Year event or if he was just on autopilot while reading the teleprompter.

Biden says students are like teachers' children when in classroom Video

A few local parents said they understood the sentiment Biden was perhaps trying to convey, but they knew where to draw the line. While they’ve had positive relationships with their kids’ educators, they were built upon the understanding that it was a partnership.

“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 comes first.”   

“I think I understand the intent in what he was trying to say,” Dawn Lang, a wife, mother of three, and business owner who said she is actively involved in her community of Fishers, Indiana, offered. “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 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. 


Ian Prior, executive director of Fight for Schools, called the president’s comment “absolutely appalling.” 

“It is absolutely appalling that the President of the United States would effectively claim that the constitutional rights of parents to raise their children ends at the schoolhouse door,” Fight for Schools Ian Prior told Fox News Digital. 

He continued, “It’s frightening that Joe Biden is taking his talking points from failed gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe and AFT President Randi Weingarten, but at least parents now know exactly where he stands – against them and their fundamental liberty right to makes decisions on the education and upbringing of their children.”

A teacher believes students should be taught that ovaries produces eggs, as opposed to women, to support transgender and non-binary students.

A teacher believes students should be taught that ovaries produces eggs, as opposed to women, to support transgender and non-binary students.
(Getty Images)


Nowhere had education become such a hot topic in 2021 than in Virginia’s gubernatorial election. Several voters said that former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe tanked his campaign when he downplayed parents’ role in education during his debate with Republican Glenn Youngkin.  

“I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” McAuliffe infamously declared. 

To voters who had already been fired up about local school boards’ progressive agendas, it was the exact wrong thing to say.

Cortney O’Brien is an Editor at Fox News. Twitter: @obrienc2

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