Parental authority and rights – cornerstones of the American family fabric – came under heavy fire this past week as left-leaning voices tried to assert collective ownership over our nation’s children. Liberals nationwide, from the executive branch to a Florida teacher, voiced views that clashed with the deeply rooted principle of parental authority.
At the top, we had White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who stirred controversy last weekend. Her comments were centered around her belief that children, specifically those identifying as trans, belong to us all. “These are kids. These are our kids. They belong to all of us,” she declared at the GLAAD Media Awards. The administration’s insistence that American children collectively belong to the nation seems to sidestep parents’ primary role in their children’s lives.
No – no they don't. https://t.co/3tpBVZB8uP
— Ruth Peterson (@RuthAPeterson) May 17, 2023
Following Jean-Pierre’s lead, the Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, took to Twitter, stating, “Teachers know what is best for their kids because they are with them every day. We must trust teachers.” However, Cardona’s assertion overlooks that teachers are not parents, no matter how dedicated. They lack the deep personal investment, the intimate knowledge of a child’s needs, strengths, and weaknesses, and the vested interest in the child’s long-term well-being that parents possess.
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
In response to this claim, Texas Governor Greg Abbott rightly said, “Parents know what is best for THEIR kids. They are THE most important voice in their child’s education — period.”
Then came a shot against parental rights from a Florida-based fifth-grade teacher, Jenna Barbee, who seemed to overstep her role. After showing a film with LGBTQ themes, contradicting Florida’s parental rights law, she suggested that parental rights end when children enter the public school system. Unfortunately, this view dangerously undermines parents’ critical role in their children’s education and their rights in guiding their child’s learning.
The undermining of parental authority is not an isolated occurrence. This past week’s incidents highlight a concerning pattern. From the executive branch to local educators, there is a growing sentiment that parents should be sidelined in favor of collective, state-led child rearing and education.
It’s crucial to remember that children are not state property. They are individuals with parents who are primarily responsible for their welfare, upbringing, and education. Parents, not the government, are best equipped to make decisions for their children. The state’s role should be supportive, not prescriptive or intrusive.