Calvin Coolidge, a.k.a. “Silent Cal,” had a reputation for keeping his mouth shut.

“The things I don’t say,” he once said, “never get me into trouble.”

Yet when he did offer a word or perspective, many of the thoughts uttered were timeless – and worthy of repeating.

 Our Greatest Need

Writing on May 1, 1926 to Mrs. Margaretta Willis Reeve, president of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers (PTA), the nation’s 30th chief executive officer affirmed a basic truth lost on far too many:

 One of America’s great needs today is for fathers and mothers who can and will train their boys and girls properly and guide them successfully through the formative years.

Who was the National Congress of Parents and Teachers?

Founded in 1897 as the “National Congress of Mothers,” the PTA was soon expanded to include fathers, teachers, and other individuals who shared a commitment to the education of America’s children.

If you visit the PTA’s website today, you’d read that the organization’s mission “is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.”

The PTA’s Slide

To be sure, PTA’s across America are comprised of many well-intentioned individuals, including countless Christians, who work hard to contribute to the healthy development of boys and girls. Efforts to improve communication and encourage parental involvement are always ongoing, but beware the soft words that often hint at the harmful agenda.

Neither Calvin Coolidge nor Mrs. Reeve would recognize today’s PTA, an organization that heartily champions much of the sexual confusion propaganda being served up in public schools.

Rather than supporting or encouraging youth who might be experiencing unwanted same-sex attraction to seek counseling, the PTA characterizes such efforts as “ineffective” and claims they “pose critical health risks to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, provoking mental health conditions that lead to anxiety, depression and suicide.”

The exact opposite is true. Responsible counseling is the very best antidote to a person’s sexual confusion.

President Coolidge’s Main Point

Not only has the focus and direction of the PTA changed over the last century, but so has society’s general understanding of the relationship between parents and public educators.

Note that President Coolidge was making clear it’s mothers and fathers who bear the primary responsibility for training and raising their children – not schools.

Contrast that with the PTA, who claims their mission is to empower families. In reality, it’s the other way around. The parents don’t need the power – they should already have it. Mothers and fathers may choose to share and even unfortunately defer their control to public school bureaucrats, but authority always originates and ultimately rests with moms and dads.

Silent Cal’s Final Words to the PTA

 President Coolidge, who had been elected in his own right in 1924 after his ascent to the White House following President Harding’s death, concluded his remarks to the PTA this way:

It is encouraging to note the growth of interest in the business of being a parent. Your organization can do much to ensure fine citizenship for the future by exalting and preaching the duties of a consecrated parenthood.

 The country was fortunate to have a president who acknowledged and affirmed the sacredness of the world’s most important job. President Calvin Coolidge may have been a man of few words, but he seemed to take Solomon’s wisdom to heart:

He who restrains his words has knowledge, And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding. – Proverbs 17:27


Image credit: Library of Congress