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Samantha Putterman
By Samantha Putterman April 28, 2022

RNC tweets distortion of what Biden said to teachers about kids in their classrooms

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  • The claim makes it sound like Biden was saying that kids belong to teachers and that teachers can ignore parents' wishes. But that misrepresents Biden’s comments by omitting words and context. 

  • The full quote includes him telling teachers students are "like" their children. His surrounding comments show that Biden was talking about the successful education of American children.

At a White House Teacher of the Year event, President Joe Biden praised educators for their work throughout the pandemic and condemned efforts that make them "culture war targets."

His comments come amid controversy over new laws prohibiting lessons on gender identity and claims that critical race theory is being taught in schools.

Several conservative organizations quickly jumped on his comments.

The Republican National Committee's official Twitter account offered this caption

"Biden to teachers: ‘They're not somebody else's children. They're yours when you're in the classroom.’"

Other organizations like the Daily Wire, for example, published an article with the headline: "Biden Tells Teachers: Children Are ‘Yours When They’re In The Classroom.’"

Both misrepresent what Biden said.

The RNC tweet includes the video that shows Biden saying "like" before "yours," which changes the meaning of the sentence. It also snips out what he said before and after.

The RNC’s caption makes it sound like Biden said kids belong to the teachers and that teachers can ignore the wishes of parents and do whatever they want. That's not what he was saying. 

PolitiFact reached out to the RNC for comment but did not hear back.

Here's Biden’s full comment (emphasis added):

"We always talk about 'these children.' They're not someone else's children. They're our children. And they are the kite strings that literally lift our national ambitions aloft in a literal sense. 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? You'd want, I would say, literally, have the best-educated public in the world. Have our students gain confidence enough to know what they can do, to reach in. We have an obligation. We have an obligation to help them teach and reach their potential.

"You've heard me say it many times about our children, but it's true: They're all our children. And 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. You represent a profession that helps them gain the confidence — a confidence they believe they can do anything."

Biden was saying that the nation's future depends on the successful education of American children — not that children belong to their teachers. 

Our ruling

The RNC tweeted, "Biden to teachers: ‘They're not somebody else's children. They're yours when you're in the classroom.’"

In his speech to teachers, Biden was talking about educators’ responsibility to their students and urged them to treat kids in the classroom with care, as if they were their own children. He told teachers students were "like" their own.

By omitting that key word and dismissing his full comments, the RNC’s tweet misrepresents Biden’s statement and changes the meaning of his message to provoke emotion. 

We rate it False.

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RNC tweets distortion of what Biden said to teachers about kids in their classrooms

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