Colorado Moms Voice Their Opinions About President Obama’s Speech to Schoolchildren
In case you have been living under a rock, President Obama will address the nation’s children at noon today from Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va. I first heard about the the debate that is swirling around his speech as I listened to NPR’s riveting social commentary in the car.
OK, so it was a call-in session on alternative rock station Alice 105.9. Don’t let that impact my street cred.
My first thought was that these opposing people were crazy. I incredulously posted on Facebook about how could anyone object to THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES trying to encourage our children to stay in school?
And then the plot thickened because I heard back from so many of you:
Gretchen White of LifeNut said:
I have no problem at all with the president giving a pep talk to kids about doing well in school. Other presidents have made similar addresses to students, and I think it’s harmless and important for kids to feel all levels of our elected representatives are friendly and accessible.
It is the after-speech curriculum/teaching plans that made the needle skip off my record.
I don’t understand why they must return to their classrooms to hear books read about Obama, brainstorm how they must help Obama, recall Obama’s historic moments and speeches, and think about what Obama should say in his next speech to them (interrupting an-already planned school day, again?) If Bush had done this? Uproar, and everyone knows it.
Jenna of Mom in Progress asserts:
For our children to be privileged to see their president on live television speaking to them in a personal way seems like something any parent should be glad for. Doing it in the evening is going to miss so many students, and perhaps the ones who would benefit most from hearing such a message. When did we become so cynical to think that the main reason for our president to address school-aged students is to bolster his own political agenda? Are we so jaded as to think that he would have no good intentions for the future of the country that he loves enough to serve in the highest position?
Chris of MaMa Bird’s Blog said:
The government’s only role in the educational system should be to make sure that every child has access to the best education possible. Just as we accept that there is separation of church and state, it is also accepted that there should be separation of classroom and state. So when parents were able to see some of the lesson plans that the Department of Education had prepared for school children that included asking the children “what they can do to help the president,” and “how might he inspire them?” as well as a brief history about President Obama, there became cause for concern that a line was being crossed.
These questions may seem rather innocuous, designed merely to get the students involved and excited about being addressed by the president and what he has to say to them, but, for parents who don’t support the president (read agenda) and openly discuss these issues at home with their children, might their kids be confused by the conflicting messages? The school seems to support the president and be saying that I should too, but my parents don’t. Please don’t confuse respect for the office with supporting the president. All Americans should respect the office, but support is a matter of free will, and should never be compelled.
And then there was Suzanne of Crunchy Green Mom:
Are we SOOO afraid that he is going to “sway” our children in the hour he is going to talk to them in a way that we can’t correct? What harm is it going to do?
“Support your country, each other and the president” – Yep… I checked.. so far I don’t have anything bad to think about that one.
“Study hard, you ARE our future” – Yes… also very true statements, so what would I complain?
He is going to talk to them! The president of the UNITED STATES cares enough about my football playing son, my artist daughter, my prima donna senior to speak with them. He is speaking to my second grader, my kindergartner and two toddlers. He is speaking to all of us and all of them. He is speaking to the teacher standing before those students, giving those children hopes that they can one day change the world.
Change a world that is showing hardships all around. I work in the school district and get phone calls from parents saying, “My kids and I are living in our car, how can the bus come pick them up in the morning?”
We need help…. help from our kids, help from each other and help from our president. Someone cares enough to talk to my kids and give them hope… LET THEM SHOUT! I want my kids to see that the president cares.
I will watch today with my oldest daughter who just started kindergarten. Of course, I’m sure much of the message will be lost on her.
“Hadley, the President of the United States is going to talk to YOU and all the children about the importance of staying in school!”
“Why wouldn’t we want to go to school? Recess and snacks and word games are fun!”
There’s your solution, Mr. President.
What is your opinion on President Obama speaking to the children? Will you let your children watch it? Post-mortem: let us know what you thought of his speech. To read a copy of it, go here.