Wisdom of the ages: Children ought to listen to the president urge them to greatness

I received this e-mail about President Obama’s speech today from a woman who is a parent, grandparent and great-grandparent. I thought it was worth sharing:

In viewing the 5 p.m. news today on Channel 2 that reported parents in Duluth being upset over the president of the United States offering advice to school students, I was disappointed tremendously.  Schools are designed for students to learn positive information from teachers, counselors and other significant personnel.  Mr. Obama is the leader of this country and he should be respected in his position in caring enough about the future welfare of our children today.

Any parent who wishes to “opt-out” of their children listening, learning and being encouraged to strive toward a great education is missing the message. Nor do they understand the need for our nation’s leader and other leaders  to encourage them.

It seems to me that some of these negative parents need an education about how children need to excel in their lives.  Do they not understand that we are living in perilous times now?  What type of education do they want for their kids?  To become the president is the highest honor anyone could achieve.

What is wrong with these parents?  Would they rather have a rapper lecture their kids or encourage them to go out in society and commit crimes or drop out of school?  Children all over the world admire the president and the children should be encouraged to hear the most positive information that is offered.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

66 comments Add your comment

Lynn

September 28th, 2011
10:58 pm

If it is nothing more than respect for the office of the President, students need to hear the President speak. This will most likely be an encouraging message. As a country we need to quit making every situation a political statement. This is not one. Respect your children enough to teach them to respect and listen to the President no matter who is in office.

Mikey D

September 28th, 2011
11:07 pm

Sign of the times. My goodness, how low have we sunk as a society when a bunch of radical idealogues are trying to say that a positive message for children to study hard and strive for excellence from the President of the United States is somehow a bad thing. These losers need to get over themselves and get out and find a life…

William Casey

September 29th, 2011
12:30 am

Those parents subscribe to the “W” cable channel. LOL

buck@gon

September 29th, 2011
1:14 am

Perhaps Maureen, the Duluth parents are upset not because of the message, but because of the persistent prevarications that come from the source, and because, perhaps upon contact with our alternately smooth and hot-headed President, our children will be frightened for the sake of the country, the economy and world affairs.

37% approval is not a story for bedtime, especially if your parents are a Democrat. That’s an adult tragedy that should be taught in high school, along with MacBeth, Hamlet and The Iliad, accompanied at bedtime by Tums or Prevacid.

“the need for our nation’s leader to encourage them”??

If there is a need, then I guess my childhood was ruined because Richard Nixon never spoke to me in person or on TV. (Or perhaps it was ruined because I heard about the lust in Jimmy Carter’s heart!) And I thought my buying a sports car or having a mistress would fill that yearning in me. Oh, what a wretch we all are!!!

Mr. President, speak to ME!!!

d

September 29th, 2011
6:10 am

@buck…. There’s an old story that after the Constitutional Convention in 1787, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what form of government the delegates had given us. Franklin’s response was “A republic, if you can keep it.” The children are the future of this republic, and as a teacher myself, I often fear for the future of our nation. I look at the special interests that have taken over. I see the extremism in partisan politics with each party telling the other no compromise – and wonder if they had forgotten that the republic was founded on compromise. I see a group of children coming up with such entitlement mentality that it scares me to think that many won’t know what it means to earn something through hard work. If the President of the United States wants to remind children of this, I think it is the duty of every patriotic American to have their children watch it and to discuss it with them. Many people may not like the current holder of the office for whatever reason. I did not vote for him, and as a NEA delegate this summer, I personally voted against the early endorsement and stand by those votes.

My students sometimes ask me what I think of the current president – and I tell them my opinion is about the same as the previous president. I hope that (but know in the bottom of my heart it probably won’t happen) in 2012 the candidates try to reach for the middle, reach for that compromise, make our system work the way it was designed. Unfortunately, compromise doesn’t tend to get people elected anymore.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

September 29th, 2011
6:22 am

For SURE there is nothing children need to hear from “rappers” or the current President of the USA. Barack Obama is a simple idealogue who’s philosophies run deep thru to the 60’s and further to a diluted version of Karl Marx views on society. Plain and simple, Obama has a socialist agenda and if possible he would come out and tell you so.

Children need instruction from their parents not the President, rappers, rockers or whomever. Seems many parents will allow their children exposure to anything as long as they are able to avoid parental responsibility.

Waste of time...............

September 29th, 2011
6:23 am

What a waste of time! Regardless of who is President…do you think this really motivates students? This is a colossal waste of time. Teachers should teach not find another excuse for “motivation speeches.” If students want to see the President, turn on the TV when you get home.

Michelle

September 29th, 2011
6:26 am

For the first time in my life, I am proud of my country.

Cobb Teacher

September 29th, 2011
6:41 am

I guarantee you the only ones who won’t let their children listen will be the white parents. Plain and simple. The truth hurts.

catlady

September 29th, 2011
6:56 am

Some folks are so determined to screw Obama, they would find his announcing the weather and time to be “socialist.”

Unlike President Bush, who used signing statements to attempt to nulify the place of Congress and the Judicial system.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

September 29th, 2011
7:02 am

“I guarantee you the only ones who won’t let their children listen will be the white parents. Plain and simple. The truth hurts”

LOL…Surely you can do better, cant you? Really…or is your tank really that empty?

PS…And dont ever call me Surely.

Jack

September 29th, 2011
7:18 am

I have respect for the office of president. I don’t have respect for the imposter now claiming the title.

Bella

September 29th, 2011
7:40 am

“I guarantee you the only ones who won’t let their children listen will be the white parents. Plain and simple. The truth hurts.”

Why don’t you use your typical labels: racists, bigots, xenophobes? Look Gwinnett is now a majority-minority county, and I don’t see the uproar coming from those who want to see his speech. Where is the outcry from well diverse GCPS parents? Well, it is not there!

Obama’s policies have hurt minorities more than they have helped. He has essentially screwed the very people that voted him into office. Oh yeah, I am one of those minorites!

catlady

September 29th, 2011
7:53 am

Obama has restored our economy with his use of stimulus funds. We should encourage students to listen to him.

Bella

September 29th, 2011
7:58 am

Gotta love it when posts get caught in the liberal filter here on the AJC!

Inman Park Boy

September 29th, 2011
8:01 am

How happy would the Left have been had we given Bush a yearly political TV platform IN our schools? Do I need ask?

Liberal Mantra

September 29th, 2011
8:05 am

This is still Bush’s fault!

philosopher

September 29th, 2011
8:09 am

The leaders have no business choosing to disallow students to listen to the President of the United States. Students have listened to Presidential speeches since communication was made available to them (whether the parents liked the president or not) and to be so arrogant as to use your hatred of this one in this manner is childish and irresponsible, at best! You are teaching your children to be disrepectful and hate-filled. My folks taught me to question authority and to disagree when I felt the President was wrong….but always to respect the office and my fellow Americans who voted that President into office. Gross hatred as you folks spew here is what is destroying America. School officials who perpetuate this disrespect and cater to the arrogance and hatred of parents are treasonous and should be held accountable.

philosopher

September 29th, 2011
8:13 am

@Inman Park Boy: Bush would have spoken more if he’d been capable of it. My kids had to listen to Bush, and I would NEVER have stopped that (always a good laugh, too.) remember him reading to the kindergarteners???- and NO ONE questioned his right to be heard. Good try, though.

Good Cop

September 29th, 2011
8:19 am

Yeah, Alvin Wibanks who encourages the entire World to invade our schools is now dictating that we can’t watch the President just because he is black. Do you libs realize just how stupid you sound? Just waiting for one of you to proclaim, yet again, that this is Bush’s fault. Or have the white people taken over the minds of the nation and turned the majority into haters.

You are not concerned about education here, you just want to turn your students into future Democratic voters. You are what is wrong with Education!

mystery poster

September 29th, 2011
8:20 am

I see immense parallels between this story and the recent controversy on the story of the Islamic women.

Have we become such pansies that we do not allow ANY viewpoints with which we may not agree to be heard. From that, a dialogue should take place. This is shameful.

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

September 29th, 2011
8:25 am

“a dialogue should take place.” Have you dialogue but remember, talk is cheap.

Parents, since we all know public school teachings are always leaning towards the left, the slacker side of life, please be sure to give your children a daily de-brainwashing.

Libby Reagan

September 29th, 2011
8:25 am

I am all for my child watching any President, especially this one. Kids need to see what a liar looks like so they won’t be so scared in the future. I really don’t want my children to forget him and his horrible presidency. Where do I opt in to all future (about a years worth) of Obama’s hysterical and tragic routine speeches?

RJ

September 29th, 2011
8:25 am

@Cobb Teacher, I hear you about the white parents, but honestly, he didn’t become president with just black votes. Many whites supported him. Frankly, I’ve always felt that the fact that he is bi-racial has always helped him. I’ve heard some whites, even on this blog, question why only black folks get to claim him. Or, why does he only identify with being black? But, that’s another story for another day. Having a bi-racial mom, I know all too well why he is considered black. Well, heck, we all do!

I am amazed by the ignorance and disrespect that some people have toward our president. I do believe that much of it has to do with race. It’s perfectly fine to disagree with his politics, but we should all respect his position. Refusing to allow a student to listen to our leader on the importance of getting an education just shows how looney these people are. I’m neither Democrat or Republican, and I don’t agree with everything our president does or says, but I expect my kids to watch and listen to our leader speak.

carlosgvv

September 29th, 2011
8:32 am

Most parents who would “opt-out” their children hearing the President urge them to strive for a good education are ignorant far-right Republicans who are very gullible and will do anything their Republican politicians tell them, including believing Obama is a Socialist racist Muslim who wants to ruin America. Cry for the children.

sloboffthestreet

September 29th, 2011
8:42 am

I wonder how it feels today whether your white, black, hispanic or an Oprah supporter of any race, sex, or nationality to perhaps realize that every reason you were given, that convinced you that Barrack Obama was going to be Americas next great leader, along with a super majority congress of the same party, was all a big fat lie?

Now sing along with little billie casey, ya’ll know the words,,,

Blame it on Bush,

Blame it on Cheney,

Blame it on the E,E,EE,E-CON-O-MY

Thank you billie. That was very good. You can go back to your seat now!

And to think some have been again brainwashed by this very group that has taught you to respond to any challange against them by screaming the word “RACIST” or “It’s Bushes Fault. “What a group of Higher Level Thinkers we have here! It must be true that Georgia Public Schools do produce some of the best minds in the country. Afterall, with 159% of Georgia seniors taking the SAT, well,,, I guess that is to be expected. Keep up the good work?

Reality

September 29th, 2011
8:42 am

The Obama haters will be there even if he were to ‘walk on water.’ For those folks, there is nothing he can do or say to change their mind.

I just feel bad for their kids. Learning hate at such a young age….

philosopher

September 29th, 2011
8:48 am

Each of us will strongly dislike certain presidents, especially if we were strongly opposed to that person before he/she was elected. The point is that WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ADULT about it and continue to teach our children to be respectful of the office, the other Americans who voted him/her into office and how to behave when things don’t go as we would like. That can’t happen if we behave childishly and our our children see us behave disrespectfully and act like spoiled brats.

Reality

September 29th, 2011
8:57 am

@Philosopher….

That was the old way…. the proper way. Today, the republicans have re-written the rules – no holes barred. Forget about respect. Forget about protocal. Forget about compromise. Win your position at all cost no matter the consequences.

Liberals, by definition, are more willing to listen to opposing views and negoitate. Conservatives, by definition, only want their way and refuse to consider options.

Look at the way the republicans in Congress behave. Their behavior speaks volumes.

philosopher

September 29th, 2011
9:07 am

@Reality- absolutely agree…and I’ll keep fighting it …and the best I can do is to raise children who can think for themselves while still being respectful of the president and of the American process that allows for all of us to have the President of our choice some of the time, but not all of the time…it’s called fairness. That same process has strong checks and balances in place, as well, that stops any serious mischief from taking place during a presidency. I am more fearful of the people using hatred to get their way and tearing this country down, than I am of a few years of having a president I am in disagreement with.

Jethro

September 29th, 2011
9:10 am

Oh, no! A local news program reports someone not being properly respectful of the President? Call the PC Police!

First, let us stipulate that there is no such thing as “news” on local TV anymore. It is nothing more than lowest-common-denominator infotainment fluff and culture-corroding voyeurism into the tragedies in the lives of other people. Local TV news long ago traded any journalistic integrity for ad dollars. The business model is (regrettably) understandable, but you could almost feel brain cells dying if you were ever to actually watch one of those banality bazaars. So, “Go, Go, AJC!” and on to our poor, beleaguered – and ignored – President.

The schoolchildren everywhere will survive this. It is only this president himself, and not the Office of the Presidency, that people are choosing to tune out. The office itself accorded him the attention and respect of America at the outset, but even for a President, respect is something that must be earned. The “plain and simple” truth is that many, many Americans can no longer support this man or his message and tactics as President. It seems fairly clear that Americans still feel favorable toward the man himself, but have lost respect for his message and his stewardship just the same. So they tune him out. Fine. It’s still a free country, sort of.

Last week, our own U.S. Secretary of State and a great many other international dignitaries walked out during a U.N. speech by Iranian President Ahmadinejad, and nobody complained on TV about a lack of respect in that case. That is not to suggest that the two men are in any way comparable, but they are both Presidents. It turns out after all that we CAN all agree on the personal freedom to tune out a bad message in spite of the presidential tag. Unless, of course, someone thinks this President needs or deserves special treatment?

Shanique

September 29th, 2011
9:15 am

I’ve already taught my children about corrupt politicians so I don’t mind if they listen, but if they really want to learn something than I’d prefer a speech from the likes of a Bill Gates or someone who is actually successful and not someone you weaseled there way into power.

philosopher

September 29th, 2011
9:18 am

“It’s just this president…” Right…well, that’s how I felt about President Cheney…but as an adult, I still taught my children to speak and act respectfully and give him the respect of his office. Did you teach your children to be respectful to only the teachers they liked?????

Reality

September 29th, 2011
9:18 am

@Shanique – FYI…. few have done more damage to education than Bill Gates. It was his millions that went to Atlanta Public School System that changed them to “small learning communities” that eventually lead to the cheating scandal.

November 6, 2012

September 29th, 2011
9:20 am

Herman Cain said it best…….”The President Lied and if the president doesn’t want to be called a liar, then he should quit lying”. Why would you want your children to listen to someone who lies to them?

philosopher

September 29th, 2011
9:23 am

One can rationalize all he/she wants…but WRONG is WRONG and childish is childish under any guise. If we as adults cannot be respectful of the office of President of the United States just because our guy didn’t win, our children will not be fooled….they willl be disrespectful in other areas of their lives and you will be so shocked when it shows up …especially whenever they don’t get their way, now won’t you??

philosopher

September 29th, 2011
9:25 am

Every president ever has been accused of lying. Is that the BEST you can do?

sloboffthestreet

September 29th, 2011
9:38 am

After seeing the First Lady on Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Sunday, we can only hope her husband finds the time to fit in a season of “Survivor” before next years election.

sloboffthestreet

September 29th, 2011
9:44 am

philosopher

September 29th, 2011
9:25 am
Every president ever has been accused of lying. Is that the BEST you can do?

Now philosopher, read what you wrote above and please think about how “Childish” it sounds!

Dr NO / Mr Sunshine

September 29th, 2011
9:48 am

“First, let us stipulate that there is no such thing as “news” on local TV anymore.”

Then there is Natl news with Diane *Puke* Sawyer and Katy “The miserable little troll” Couric.

philosopher

September 29th, 2011
9:53 am

@sloboffthestreet
“After seeing the First Lady on Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Sunday, we can only hope her
husband finds the time to fit in a season of “Survivor” before next years election.” If this is how you think about a preisdent or how you teach children, we have nothing left to talk about. Done.

MannyT

September 29th, 2011
11:07 am

The better we educate the least of us, the better we prepare all of us for the future.
Schools used to have assemblies on occassion to inspire and encourage students. A speech by a US President to encourage learning is a good thing. This is true for any of the 43 people that have been US President.

The small number of people that get to be US President get millions of Americans to leave their homes, stand in lines, and vote for them. It is a harder job to get than superstar athlete, world renown entertainer, or millionaire. If that person wants to speak with students, it is usually a good thing. Presidents do it. It is a very useful part of our social studies education regardless of who holds the office. If people choose to opt out of learning because of politics, the parents can keep the kids away. It should not be the role of the schools to go through excess efforts to avoid significant educational experiences because the adults are stuck on politics and non educational agendas. The schools should have sent the note and let the parents know when the speech would be shown. If the parents don’t want the kids to particpate, keep them at home, or take them out of school early that day.

Politicians kiss babies and say positive educational things to children. That’s true regardless of political affiliation. Adults with agendas need to stop being jerks that impede the basic educational development of kids. If you don’t like the message, have a conversation at home about it. That’s better for their development than hiding them from views that are generally non offensive, but different from your own.

(Pre-emptive note for the cannibloggers – Cleveland counted twice in list but is only one person. Thus Obama is 44th President, but only 43 people have held the office.)

catlady

September 29th, 2011
11:12 am

reality: No holds barred. From the fighting terminology.

Don’t appreciate my name being ‘jacked.

Bella

September 29th, 2011
11:14 am

“philosopher” is more hateful than any Republican/Conservative I have seen or heard. These blogs are made up mostly of liberals posting on both sides of the hate.

Did you folks learn anything from the disaster of a PR campaign regarding Troy Davis? Liberals are failing miserably at convincing mainstream America that anything white and or Republican is racist and that “they” are out to destroy minorities. Keep up the good fight and the hate labels – you are making yourselves look like absolute fools. Better yet, keep it up and learn the hard way. You are your own worst enemy!

Liberals and the internet keep racism alive. Good luck with your quest.

sloboffthestreet

September 29th, 2011
11:18 am

AAWWWW, philosopher

I’m sorry if I hurt your itty bitty feelings! It’s obvious you’re a very deep thinker with a message for the ages. I’ve learned a great deal from you and your friend Reality. Did you two get a room yet. The only point I was trying to make is that our president has a love affair with the television camera even when he has nothing to say, which is quite often. If he appears on Survivor we can then see what kind of skills he really has. It turned out Michelle lacks any skillset to help on the Makeover Show. It should be obvious to even a brilliant person such as yourself that we were never privy to his political experience or skills before his election only because he had none. Any doubt at this time has been removed. Hillary Clinton,,,,Barack Obama??? Hillary Clinton,,,,Barack Obama??? How did this happen?

We can also look back at this countries financial problems and point a finger at two Jewish gentlemen. Alan Greenspan, remember him, the guy who always preached, “The markets will regulate themselves,” does that sound familiar? And now the great Ben Shalom Bernanke. Funny how we haven’t seen his handsome face on the tube in a while. Ever wonder why? And they changed out that honest, forthcoming, nice southern man Robert Gibbs for the new and improved White House communicator, the honest of the honest, Jay Carney. I do like his new glasses though. He can now fill in on the Price is Right when Drew Carey is not feeling well.

As for how I feel about a president, I’m certain you are refering to Obama, I’m not only very dissipointed in his performance but even more so in his constant inflammatory rhetoric and absence of anything that could resemble leadership. That’s how I feel about this president. He had every opportunity to go down in history as one of the greatest. What a shame.

I find you to be even more disingenuous asking about what I teach my children to think about a president. The two in elementary school come home with very interesting questions about this subject along with a host of others and guess where these opinions come from? Let me help you. Their teachers!!! Religious indoctrination also comes from the very same “Educators.” I am always amazed that an educator that has been given the privilidge to be trusted with our childrens education feels they have the right to express and impress their personal, political, and religious beliefs to and on them. It’s nice they know your cat or dogs name. Beyond that, how about sticking to what you were hired to do. Educate not indoctrinate!

I know you say we have nothing left to talk about and you are “Done”, but please philo, is it OK if I call you philo? I’m just here to help. I can’t quit you man/woman,,, I’ll never be Done! NNNNOOOOOOOOOOO,,,, Sorry, I have to go, I’m getting all emotional,,,,,you know, like at the end of the Titanic movie.

November 6, 2012

September 29th, 2011
11:29 am

@philosopher

September 29th, 2011
9:25 am

Every president ever has been accused of lying. Is that the BEST you can do?

Sooooooo, am I to take it that you approve of “your anti-american president” lying to the American Public?

Jessica

September 29th, 2011
11:31 am

I don’t feel that it’s necessarily inappropriate for school children to hear an address from the President, as long as it’s not political in nature, but I can’t say that I’m thrilled to have my kids listening to him. I want them to hear from positive role models, not a man who runs up the debt, encourages individual dependence on government, insults our allies in the world, and appeases our enemies. He’s good at giving pretty speeches, but look a little closer; the man has nothing but contempt for our nation and the values that made us great.

HRH The First Lady Michelle Obama

September 29th, 2011
11:53 am

I am only proud of those that continue to worship Barack. The rest of you are racist for not bowing to everything we have to say.

philosopher

September 29th, 2011
12:04 pm

@Jessica: What you are really saying is that you want them to hear from the president as long as his/her politics matches yours and his values are the same as yours. Did you TELL your kids that he has nothing but contempt for this nation and the values that made us great??? Wow! That’s responsible….did you provide any data to support that hideous allegation?? Or are you teaching that any statement you want to throw out there should be accepted as fact?

William Casey

September 29th, 2011
12:30 pm

Ahhh… SLOBBO, I see that you are still playing “Online Anonymous Tough Guy.” I’m glad that I didn’t take it to heart.