An email went out to the parents of our school district the other day in regards to President Obama’s Speech. Here…it’s short. Read it. Then, let’s discuss, shall we?
District Response to President Obama’s September 8th Speech
F Public Schools was notified by the U.S. Department of Education that President Obama would be speaking to students via a web-based address on September 8, 2009 at noon.
The first day of school is generally a very full day for teachers and students, and many students will be either at lunch or in a classroom with previously planned activities taking place at that time. At all levels, elementary and secondary, it will be up to the teacher’s discretion if and how they will incorporate the speech into their classroom lessons. We trust the expertise of our teachers.
We have received a few calls from parents who are concerned about the District showing the President’s speech in the classrooms. Therefore, out of respect for all viewpoints, parents will be allowed to follow the established procedures if they would like to take their child(ren) out of school during this time.
It is our understanding that the President’s message is not a policy speech and that the intent is for students to work hard, set high educational goals and take responsibility for their learning.
Yeah. That’s the letter. In it’s entirety. Impressive, eh? Makes you wonder what kind of education my kids are getting.
I read and reread that email.
Because I don’t get it! Then again, it IS me we’re talking about. But pulling your kids from school? Why? To get an extra 15-20 minutes for lunch?
I read it aloud to my husband. He, an educator himself, did not quite get it. He sneered and said that no child should be excused from this. It’s our President, regardless of how anyone feels about him, who is speaking. About something as important as our children and their education. If you are going to watch it during school as part of the introduction to the school year, it can be used as a very positive tool.
What are parents so afraid of that they would come and take their kids from the classrooms while our President is speaking to them? I read something ridiculous about worries of brainwashing. Give. Me. A. BREAK!!!
Silly me. The first thing I thought of is, maybe the President will say something that will hit home to some who don’t think school should be a priority, like my son. Maybe, because I can’t get through to him, President Obama might actually be able to. A man. A minority. The President of the United States, who overcame so many odds and ended up where he is. Because of his drive and determination. And…his desire to learn. His EDUCATION. Despite anyone who may have a negative opinion regarding how well he is doing as our countries leader, it’s still impressive and respectable that he got where he is.
There are so many kids out there who don’t value their education. Who float through, overlooked and slipping through cracks. Not because they aren’t capable. But because they don’t care. They shrug it off. Despite parents who try and work with them and are met with vacant stares or temper tantrums, and yes, I’m speaking from experience.
My son. Who, for some reason, gave up last year and barely passed his classes. My heartache.
So I’m really hoping that our President, during his speech on my childrens’ first day back to school, says something that hits home and opens the eyes of children around the country who, like my son, have given up or who have never cared. Something that makes them realize that their education is as important as their health.
I went and read this article that essentially states the reason for this speech. Setting goals. Working hard. Stay in school.
Why in the heck would you want to pull your kids out of school for something that may be so beneficial?
Can someone explain what could possibly be negative about this? Because I really don’t understand.
It is,unfortunately, a reaction to the speaker rather than the content of the speech. And I’m with you on how ridiculous this reaction is. If I could sit through a Bush speech or two, I think our children will survive this one by Obama.
Maria @BOREDmommy says
I agree in that I think it is absolutely ridiculous that parents would not want their kids to hear this speech, and would pull their kids from the class to do so. Hearing about “brainwashing” is so beyond disturbing to me that I just don’t get it.
the brainwashing thing is so beyond ridiculous. i am taking history right now and i love how the instructor says that people never research and or investigate everything themselves and rely on the words of others who don’t either. it’s been going on for centuries in regards to people & the government. then when these people get all the misinformation, it causes a ‘scare’. it’s enough to drive you crazy.
i will just go on record to say that my girls will be in school during that time. my girls need to hear/see what goes in the world and form their own opinions and not have any inflicted on them by other people especially those who are usually severely misinformed.
Tara R. says
I don’t get it either some parents in our school district have actually said why do kids need to hear this message from the President. Who better to tell them they should put some effort into their education? I just don’t understand.
I’ve seen the “Our Kids don’t need to hear this from the president, they should hear it from parents/teachers/religious reps/etc” argument. Well, guess what, they may NOT be hearing it from these adults and besides, what would it hurt for them to hear the message AGAIN, and from the President? Even if you didn’t vote for him, even if you don’t like his policies… Guess what, this is a good message and it can’t hurt for kids to hear it repeated again. Heck, they may even be listening this time 🙂
Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] says
I’m a hardcore liberal so I’d support Obama anyway (probably) but these iiiidiots are making me more mental than usual.
As a parent, if ANY President of the United States is giving my child an encouraging lecture for education, they will sit and listen. This includes former President Bush, whom I loathed as a leader. It’s a speech. About working hard. SO MANY kids in this nation need that. From their President (like it or not, if you live here, he’s your President too), from their Governors, their Mayors, their neighbors and anyone else willing to show children a need to strive for excellence.
Even Mitt Romney is welcome to tell my children to work hard. And I really, really dislike Mitt Romney.
People are crazy. Pulling kids out of school over a few minute speech is ridiculous. Think of the example they are setting for their children.
What worries me is that that letter implies that a lot of the children may not get to see it because they will be too busy eating their lunch or something.
Kirsty @ Gone Bananas says
Silly really isn’t it! Shame ome teachers probably will not show it because of their political stance. My thoughts on it are much like Jill’s, I would allow any president, senator, etc.. to give my child a speech on how important education is regardless of their political sway. It’s not like he’s going to chat with them about Roe vs. Wade. We need to teach our children respect and allow them to form their own opinions. Why not embrace it and use it as a way to talk with your child about how important education is, instead of teaching them hate.
This is frustrating for two main reasons.
(1) It teaches our children that they don’t have to have respect for a leader if they disagree with that leader’s views. That’s unfortunate. First, it bleeds to other areas — if you don’t like your teacher, you don’t have to respect him/her; if you don’t like your boss, you don’t have to respect him/her either. Second, it blurs the line between respectful disagreement — which requires listening so that you can rebut a point — and disrespectful disagreement, which requires nothing more than losing yourself off to all viewpoints you believe you won’t agree with. If we’re talking about elementary school and middle school students here, these lessons aren’t going to be taken with a grain of salt or thoughtful analysis — it will just be how the world works. Not cool.
(2) If you don’t follow comedian Paula Poundstone (@paulapoundstone) on Twitter, you might want to check out her tweets from 9.5.09. She reminds us that we let sketchy guys come to school assemblies to convince students to sell cookie dough, wrapping paper, Germack nuts, whatever in the hopes of getting an iPod or a game system. And parents don’t complain. Rob Lowe was required to speak to students as a condition of a conviction, and the nation didn’t complain. Surely our President should get the same respect as the Germack nuts guy?
I agree with what Jill said.
I believe the President holds a title and a position that we should RESPECT. I didn’t like GWB, but still, had this come up when he was in office (and I don’t know if it ever did – my oldest is in 2nd grade – so… y’know, we haven’t been in the school system THAT long), I’d have let my kids participate KNOWING FULL WELL that he wasn’t going to be preaching his politics – because that isn’t the venue for it.
I don’t believe he’s going to “brainwash” kids. I don’t believe he’s going to tell ’em to go have abortions. Or talk to ’em about healthcare.
And when the guy who runs our country tells the kids to study hard, I think they should listen…. With respect. Regardless of political affiliation.
Didn’t we all watch the president on TV in school? He isn’t going to pump our children with liberal propoganda.
Thanks for writing this post. I agree with the comment made earlier, some just dislike the President and therefore don’t wish to hear the message. It doesn’t matter what the messge is. It’s so sad.
Hugs and Mocha,
At least your schools are showing it. Ours aren’t. 🙁
Your favorite father says
A person who does not know something but who is willing to learn is worth salvaging, and worth investing effort to teach.
A person who does not know and is unwilling to learn is something else entirely.
Children do not know anything are a special category. But adults, supposed grown ups, supposed scientient beings who make children and take up space in the world, when these people fail and refuse to learn something— the are beyond redemption.
President Obama has made education one of his priorities. He recognizes that our most important asset is our children. They will inherit a world which we have almost destroyed and they will have to fix it. I am not talking politics– I voted for Obama because I could not intellectually deal with McCain and whats-her-name. The thought that a good looking idiot might end up running the country scared the beejabbers out of me. I am merely saying that Obama won; he was and is supported by many very bright and apparenly honorable people. If we do not give him a chance, it is not the Democrats who will suffer, it is not the Republicans who will suffer– it is the AMERICANS who will suffer.
Someone has to try to reach these “lost” kids. They are our future. They must be ready to deal with the 21st century in a world that is falling apart. Pulling kids out of school for any reason other than illness is short-sighted, and proves to me that the parents should not have been allowed to procreate. That is too solemn a ritual to be sanctioned for anyone who has not demonstrated the maturity to carry it out to completion.
Thanks for addressing this in your blog. You rock!
I am disheartened that things have gotten to this point in our country, where paranoia is so widespread that the President of the United States cannot speak to all children of America.
I had hoped that Obama could rally our nation together, to realize that we can work toward a common goal to better all of our lives. But it seems some people want to expend all their energy instilling fear and making everything worse than doing good works for their brothers and sisters.I am ready to unfriend some people on Facebook because I am sick to death of their 20 posts a day about our president.
She who knows says
I have asked several mothers in other districts here. No-one has received a note like that. What about the minorities in your district, which are many? Aren’t they going to feel awful about this? I hope you get hold of someone. They have the choice of just not airing it without making a deal about it. Nothing had to be said.
Kami Lewis Levin says
We’re having a similar issue in the district I teach in. It’s effed up. As far as I’m concerned, if you live in this country, you should have a little respect for it. Don’t burn the flag and for christ sake, don’t turn off the president. You may not see eye to eye with him, but he is the leader of the free world. Save this bullshit for Jerry Falwell.
LizzB (@hereslizz) says
Your readers are the awesomest. I’ll just not comment and say “ditto what they said”.
I think it is a great thing that the President is giving this sort of speech to children. I think this will do nothing but motivate the children and make them feel special. LIke you said, setting goals, working hard and staying in school are pretty darn important!!! Who on earth would actually pull their child from this speech? I’d question that parent! There is no harm done here.
If it was McCain, it would’ve been “all good.” And any nay sayers would have been slane and bashed. I don’t get it, but I guess it’s just me.