Friday, September 4, 2009

Obama school speech

Barack Obama has been accused of attempting to indoctrinate America's children with "socialist ideology". His plan for a televised address to be shown in classrooms when children return to school next week provoked sparked complaints from parents and fuelled the growing conservative backlash against his leadership. Critics alleged that the address planned for Tuesday was another example of state interference and so-called "big government" by the Democrat president following his record financial stimulus spending and plans for health care reforms. Officials across the country fielded irate calls from parents after it was revealed that the federal education department had encouraged schools to make children watch the 15-minute address. Districts in states including Texas, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia and Illinois have declined to show the speech, which the White House said would be about no more than the need to work hard and finish education. (link via telegraph.co.uk) It sounds like parents are afraid to let their children listen to a speech by the president. Why?? Am I missing something? What is wrong with listening to President Obama extoll the virtues of education? Why is this controversial?

8 comments:

  1. Send the kids or don’t send them…either way, they will find out what was said…with the media and people talking, it will get out…

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  2. You're right - the kids are bound to hear the president's message anyway but I still don't understand why parents are so against their children hearing it while at school.

    It really baffles me that parents are worried about their children hearing such a positive message - the need to work hard and finish education.

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  3. Because slightly less than 50% of our countrymen are jackasses.

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  4. Yeah - that's one way of putting it. And, unfortunately, I think you're right.

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  5. I saw a lot of people worried about the associated lesson plan materials someone distributed - all about the kids "helping the President", which seems far too close to expecting them to support someone their parents probably don't agree with. (The last polls on his health reform had a majority opposed, for example, with sub-50% approval.) Would you have been happy if his predecessor had done this, with your kids being asked to write essays about how they can help President Bush as he sent troops to Iraq? I doubt it.

    I have a feeling this would actually have been illegal in the UK (there are all sorts of statutory prohibitions in schools) - and I'd certainly have expected a LOT of opposition if pupils had been assigned tasks of writing about "how they can help Gordon Brown".

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  6. Yes, I read that an initial version of the plan recommended that students write letters to themselves about "what they can do to help the president" and I can see where that might have caused concern. But the new version of the lesson plan encouraged students to write letters about how they can "achieve their short-term and long-term education goals." I don't see anything wrong with that.

    President Obama's speech was about urging students to work hard and stay in school. That seems like excellent advice to me!

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  7. Going to school and working hard is one thing. However, if you have teachers and other educators shoving "songs" about Obama and interwining "political" ideology, this is not what our freedom is based on. You would never see George Bush puting something like this in our schools. Better stand back and take a long look people!

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  8. I wasn't aware of any "songs" about Obama being promoted in schools.

    I think President Obama's speech was meant to be inspirational and if it encourages children to stay in school, that's a good thing. I especially liked this part of his speech:

    "And no matter what you want to do with your life - I guarantee that you'll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You're going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can't drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You've got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.

    And this isn't just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country."

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