President Joe Biden stirred controversy last month when he suggested that society as a whole, not parents, should have the final say when it comes to raising children.
“There’s no such thing as someone else’s child,” he declared. “Our nation’s children are all our children.”
The remark sparked immediate backlash from conservatives who have been pushing back in recent years against the growing ideology that bureaucrats and school board members should have more influence in a child’s life than his or her parents.
The parental-rights advocacy group Moms for Liberty shot back: “We do not co-parent with the government.”
Instead of backing away from the divisive rhetoric, however, the Biden administration has reiterated the same belief on multiple occasions in recent days.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre took some all-too-familiar shots at GOP-led states with laws meant to protect children from viewing explicitly adult-themed material and undergoing irreversible surgery billed by supporters as “gender-affirming care.”
“I’ve met a lot of parents of trans kids in the past couple of months who have told me these devastating stories, whether they’re in Texas or Oklahoma or wherever they are, saying how they now have to seriously consider leaving their state to protect their child,” she claimed.
Jean-Pierre went on to echo Biden’s collectivist opinion on parenting, asserting: “These are our kids. They belong to all of us.”
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona chimed in with a similar take, tweeting: “Teachers know what is best for their kids because they are with them every day. We must trust teachers.”
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was among the many public figures and ordinary Americans who denounced Cardona’s viewpoint.
Parents know what is best for THEIR kids.
They are THE most important voice in their child's education — period. https://t.co/wY5LUoZGJC
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 20, 2023
The belief that teachers should have an outsized impact on childhood development is not limited to the federal government, though. One fifth-grade teacher in Florida recently came under fire for showing her class a film featuring LGBT themes and bristled when she received backlash from local parents and politicians.
When one mother spoke up at a school board meeting to declare that it is “not a teacher’s job to impose beliefs” on students, Jenna Barbee called her “ignorant” and added: “What she’s missing and what these parents are missing is that they’re not in the school system. These conversations, these doors that she’s talking about, telling me that I’m stripping her rights as a parent — those rights are gone when your child is in the public school system because there are students talking about these things.”