Erin Hershey, a soap actress famous for "General Hospital," didn't want her kids tuning into Joe Biden's inauguration ... telling a teacher she'd never let them "watch a criminal."
Erin's got a daughter in elementary school in California, and after the little girl's teacher sent an email to parents Wednesday inviting kids to skip class to watch Inauguration Day, she replied with some nasty comments about the new Prez.
According to the email chain, obtained by TMZ, Erin blasted this out to the teacher and her fellow parents ... "Why watch a criminal on television? I’d never do that to my children. But thank you."
Another parent then rushed to the teacher's defense in the email chain, thanking her for considering the families who wanted to watch the historical moment and drawing Erin's ire by writing, "no matter the person taking office, we are lucky to be able to watch moments like this."
Erin quickly responded with another reply all, saying ... "I don't think we are lucky at all to watch a flat out joke."
The soap actress tells TMZ ... she stands by her emails and doesn't regret sending them. That said ... fact is, Joe Biden is NOT a criminal. And, it's her choice whether she wants her kids to see the inauguration. Too bad ... the kids may have been inspired by lots of people who were front and center, including Amanda Gorman.