President Joe Biden delivered a number of questionable remarks to teachers gathered at the White House this week – including assuring teachers that students belong them when they are in their classroom.
The president spoke at a Teacher of the Year event where he urged teachers to help students “gain confidence enough to know what they can do.”
“They’re not someone else’s children, they’re our children,” he said. “And they are the kite strings that literally lift our national ambitions aloft. … Think about it. If you got to do one thing to make sure the nation succeeded in the next two generations, what would you do? I would say, literally, have the best-educated public in the world.”
Biden emphasized that “we have an obligation to help them … reach their potential.”
“You have heard me say it many times about our children, but it is true, they’re all our children. And the reason you are the teachers of the year is because you recognize that,” he said. “They’re not somebody else’s children. They’re like yours when they’re in the classroom.”
The president’s remarks are made even more controversial given the fact that state governments have been fighting back against teachings of gender identity and Critical Race Theory to young, impressionable students.
These concepts have prompted a parental rebellion against school boards across the nation.
Former Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe sparked massive backlash when he said on the campaign trail that he didn’t think “parents should be telling schools what they should teach” — a remark which likely cost him the election.
“No, Joe, they are not ‘somebody else’s children,’” the American Principles Project fired back at the president in a tweet. “They are OUR children.”
Biden, then suggested that conservative parents and politicians need to stay out of the classroom and simply let these liberals brainwash students.
“Teaching is one of the hardest jobs in this country,” Biden said. “Today, there are too many politicians trying to score political points trying to ban books — even math books. I mean, did you ever think … that when you’d be teaching you’d be worrying about book burnings and banning books? All because it doesn’t fit somebody’s political agenda.”
“American teachers have dedicated their lives to teaching our children and lifting them up,” he continued. “We ought to stop making them a target of the culture wars. That’s where this is going.”
During the Teacher of the Year event, Biden honored 2022 National Teacher of the Year Kurt Russell, who works at Ohio’s Oberlin High School and was named the teacher of the year by the nonprofit Council of Chief State School Officers, according to CNN.
The publication reported that Russell teaches African American history, race, gender, and oppression courses, coaches varsity basketball, and serves as the faculty adviser for the school’s Black Student Union.
He has previously pushed back against the suggestion that he teaches Critical Race Theory — which holds that America is fundamentally racist and teaches adherents to view every person and interaction through the lens of race — saying that he wants his courses to be viewed as “normalized and not different.”
“Students must see themselves in the classroom and the curriculum in order to empower and engage,” Russell said in statements.
“That’s why I created courses that allow students to feel value. Courses that deal with women’s rights, gay rights and also a survey of Black history. It’s important that my students see themselves as I see them — with unlimited potential and full of gifts.”
He added: “I am truly blessed to be a part of a profession that transforms and legitimizes student voices and plants the groundwork for a more culturally responsive education.”