Do you care if your kids hear Obama’s speech at school?

I got a call on Thursday from a mom friend who was in full outrage. She’s making her plans to keep her kids out of school on Tuesday so they are not forced to listen to President Obama’s planned podcast to school children about education.

She was told by her school she could send in a letter stating that she didn’t want her kids to participate and they wouldn’t have to listen. But she’s afraid of reprisals within the school system. Also one of her children has an African-American teacher who she is afraid of offending.

So she’s planning to keep them home sick and no one will know exactly why.  Although she’s hoping one-half of public school children won’t show and that will send a message.

If you have no idea what my friend is talking about here’s the background on the story:

According to the Department of Education:

“At 12:00 p.m., Eastern Time (ET), September 8, 2009, President Barack Obama will deliver a national address to the students of America. (Please note that this is a change from the originally scheduled time.) During this special address, the president will speak directly to the nation’s children and youth about persisting and succeeding in school. The president will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning.”

“The U.S. Department of Education invites students of all ages, teachers, and administrators to participate in this historic moment by watching the president deliver the address, which will be broadcast live on the White House Web site (http://www.whitehouse.gov/live/) and on C-SPAN at 12:00 p.m., ET. We also encourage educators to use this moment to help students get focused and inspired to begin the new academic year. The Department of Education offers educators a menu of classroom activities-created by its teachers-in-residence, the Teaching Ambassador Fellows-to help engage students in the address and stimulate classroom discussions about the importance of education.”

I’m not sure why the Department of Education is calling it historic, when according to The Dallas Morning News President George H.W. Bush gave a speech to school children during one of his terms. (Maybe they mean the technology?)

But as Jay Bookman explained yesterday folks are upset about this:

But as the Christian Science Monitor points out, the right is all aflutter:

“Schools have used students as little lobbyists on everything from illegal immigration to gay marriage to anti-war activism, and most recently, [c]ensus collection,” (Michelle) Malkin wrote. “Will Obama be able to resist issuing a call to youth arms to marshal help in passing his legislative agenda?”

Meanwhile, the conservative radio host Dana Loesch has launched a campaign urging parents to keep their children home on the day of Obama’s speech. In an email urging against the “Socialist Indoctrination of Americas children,” [sic] Loesch explains that Americans must not “mind our Ps and Qs and blindly follow their directives”:

“That’s not the manner of governance upon which this country was founded – it is quite the opposite; even the hobbyist Constitutional aficionado appreciates this. So yes, keep your kids home on September 8th and teach them that the power of America rests in the hands of its people, no one else.”

My girlfriend hadn’t heard that cry to keep kids out of school. She thought she came up with it herself.

What do you think: Is there questionable intent by President Obama or just a pep talk at the beginning of the school year? Will you keep your kids out of school? Will you ask that your child not participate? Do you fear reprisals at that school or if that note is put in your child’s permanent record?

The speech will be shown on the link at Noon on Tuesday.

836 comments Add your comment

Cammi317

September 4th, 2009
1:08 pm

Like it or not, he is the President and it’s a speech about education. WTH is wrong with some of you people? Agree or disagree with his politics, why in the world would you not want your children to hear the President give a speech about the importance of education? This is all much to do about nothing. Change the channel from Fox News once in a while and give CNN a listen. Although both are good for entertainment purposes, MSNBC is too far left and Fox is too far right.

JB

September 4th, 2009
1:08 pm

That’s right, yes I am fine with everyone having their own opinion. We all have our own minds to come to our own conclusions, but for parents to keep their children out of school because they don’t want to hear our President speak is outrageous. Parents shouldn’t be afraid of their children forming their own opinions. That goes both ways, conservative and liberal. I think this address could provide a chance for open dialog between parents and children. Besides that this address is about the importance of education and staying focused and in school.,Wow, what a horrible agenda to have!

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
1:08 pm

Ilene, I bet Oprah can help you. Maybe you can go cry on her shoulder. Maybe she has a Burberry scarf for you to cry on.

Bob

September 4th, 2009
1:08 pm

I am sorry. You are right…Hitler wasn’t a Communist. He was a Totalitarian. The definition works for Obama just as well, now that we have that cleared up.

And yes, the socialism and communism does apply still for Obama…including sharing the wealth, equal ownership, etc. That tends to create two classes – a wealthy upper and a poor lower. It obliterates a middle class, as has socialism and communism.

Thank you for the correction of my definition. You further proved my point.

Von Jennings

September 4th, 2009
1:08 pm

Does the name Hitler ring a bell. He started with his propaganda tools toward the “youth movement”. Just food for thought.

Ima Nidiot

September 4th, 2009
1:09 pm

To argue that government bailouts is Socialism is total unvarnished nonsense. These bailouts for GM and the Banks are not part of some evil plot for the government to take over. Think about it….if you were an evil government dictator, would you take over the WORST automaker and the WORST banks? I can just hear them now “oooooohhh man, we own GM now, we’re all set!” The worst products on the planet, a pension liability larger than the GDP of Europe, and they lost $1.1 Billion in the first quarter of 2009. Sorry, that just don’t flush. If our mean scary president were taking over the world, wouldn’t it make a teeny-weeenie bit of sense to take over Apple Computer or Exxon-Mobil? Exxon made $40 Billion in profit last year? Or to take over the drug maker Pfizer…$20 billion profits last year? Think about it.

toolate

September 4th, 2009
1:09 pm

Ilene, this is Georgia. I know you think its part of the USA in the 21st Century, but the majority of “people” (using that term pretty loosely) are stuck in the early 20th Century good old Jim Crow Days. I was born and raised here and thanks to good parents and a good education I managed to escape their mindset. Sometimes the battle isn’t worth fighting. This state is the dregs of society.

Anita

September 4th, 2009
1:10 pm

This is unbelievable that this is even happening. If this is not about race I don’t know what this is about. Here we have one of the most intelligent President ever in office and this is the appreciation that he gets. THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE!!!! All of us that are supporting the president need to get together and show that we will not tolerate this behavior. If you don’t like the president then go to another country. You Republicans will never get this country’s support after this!!!!!

Ilene

September 4th, 2009
1:10 pm

…and let’s take this McCain thing one step further. Do you think the Democrats and others who did not vote for McCain in this past election would all be getting together and thinking this is a conspiracy from the Republicans that McCain is looking for one more outlet to talk about his years as a prisoner of war. Come on now. Parents, you really need to think what this is about.

And who do you think is paying for your kids’ education right now — it’s the government. I would say, if they schools don’t want to show it, then I guess they don’t want the government funds for their schools either.

Dawn

September 4th, 2009
1:10 pm

You people are morons. For 8 years we were subjected to W’s rhetorical drivel and missteps and now you’re outraged when our articulate, duly elected president wants to make a speech to America’s schoolchildren encouraging them to make the most of their educational opportunities? When did our national priorities become so skewed that people become apoplectic when someone with whose policies they may not agree wants to send a positive message to children? This absurd reaction surely explains some of the children sitting blankfaced in front of me in my classroom each day. Please don’t come crying to me when Johnny can’t read; you reap what you sow.

ann

September 4th, 2009
1:10 pm

People, we need to wake up. First of all Barack Obama is a man he’s human and we should respect him. Second he is the leader of this country. We are in the year of 2009 and some of us still act ignorant. Wake up people we have a Leader thats trying to get our country back in shape. Since he’s the first African American President you dont want to listen to or have anything to do with what he’s trying to do to encourage the kids. So many young people are falling into crime, violence and proverty because we as people don’t want to listen to anyone. Ok now walk an African American shoes for years and years. When we only had to listen to White Presidents, our kids are not taught in the schools about their black hertiages but they are taught about what the white people did all these year. All kids need to learn from each President that runs our country, so please please don’t be ignorant about what the President has to say. Always be willing to listen and learn.

SDM

September 4th, 2009
1:10 pm

Ladies and gentlemen!! All I can say is WOW!! I am a United States Marine who enlisted to protect its citizens and my country. When I am not deployed, I volunteer my time all the time at various schools to advise ALL KIDS to stay in school and the importance of an education and the IMPORTANCE of RESPECT. Would you keep your kids out of school because a United States Marine or any other branch of service want to give the kids a pep talk about the importance of an education?? I encourage everyone to just sit back and take a deep breath before going off the deep end. Yes, its your right to keep your child out of school but ask yourself, is he or she learning anything by staying out of school that day?

ML

September 4th, 2009
1:10 pm

What are you parents so afraid of? That President Obama might encourage your children to stay in school, study hard, and attend Harvard, like he did? Please read his speech and the questions he is asking of the students. Then form an opinion.

Thoreau

September 4th, 2009
1:10 pm

The same parents (and right-wing pundits) who quickly decry America’s degradation into a “nanny state”, want those very government schools to cover the ears of their brood lest they should hear the elected Commander-in-Chief utter, perspective, wisdom, and direction. Boo-hoo, Boo-hoo!

That's Right!

September 4th, 2009
1:11 pm

JB,

So you call opinions to keep children out of school outrageous. To me, it makes good sense if the government is requiring its viewing. It still doesn’t seem like you have embraced that “openmindedness” you speak of.

The biggest downfall of liberalism is that everyone is allowed to have their own opinions, as long as it matches YOURS.

Ilene

September 4th, 2009
1:12 pm

To toolate. Thanks.
To David Axelfraud — your stupidness is showing. Shame on you. You have a problem with Oprah, too….hmmm. interesting.

Chris Salzmann

September 4th, 2009
1:13 pm

David Axelfraud September 4th, 2009 1:02 pm SAYS: Chris Salzmann, you’ve just had your a$$ handed to you pal. Have a nice day.

CHRIS SAYS: ROFLMAO. You think so? The song was written by conservative satirist Paul Shanklin. Ehrenstein wrote an opinion piece on Barack Obama, in which he used the archetype of the magical negro to describe Obama, who was then an Illinois senator and candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President. The title of the piece, “Obama the ‘Magic Negro’”, was later used in a musical parody called Barack the Magic Negro by conservative satirist Paul Shanklin. This piece of music caused some controversy in late December, 2008, when compact discs featuring the song were distributed by Tennessee political activist Chip Saltsman (a candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee) to various Republican Party activists as Christmas gifts. Part of Saltsman’s response to the controversy was that the song was actually a parody of Ehrenstein’s “irresponsible” column itself, rather than a parody of Obama. Ehrenstein responded to the controversy in a post on his blog in late December.Remember the Macaca moment in VA?

In fact, the author who you are referring to later wrote “If you read my original op-ed with a bit more care you’d not that it was not about Obama personally but rather about the then-growing perception of him in the popular imagination.”"

Here’s handing your A$$ back to you.

But I’m still waiting to hear your explanation why the Republican Party is doing such a poor job with diversity?

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
1:13 pm

Anita wrote: you Republicans will never get this country’s support after this!!!!!

Hmmmm, I just checked the polls and the republicans are leading in every single area. Obamas poll numbers are in the tank and playing the race card is going to sink you democrats even more.

HA!

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
1:14 pm

Ilene, you have a problem deciphering between fantasy and reality. Please, get back to taking your meds.

Ilene

September 4th, 2009
1:16 pm

To SDM. Thank you — thank you for stating that. It makes me feel a little better to see other people from the other side and who have some semblence of common sense coming out there to state their opinions, too. I truly believe this is the straw that broke the camel’s back. I have no hope whatsoever of these two sides EVER working together.

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
1:16 pm

Chris Salzmann, are you literally retarded? That article was written before Paul Shanklin, who is not a republican member of the house or senate, made the song. Ever heard of satire, comrade?

FACT: THE ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY A LIB. THE SONG WAS WRITTEN TO SHOW HOW STUPID DEMOCRATS REALLY ARE. HE ALSO USED AL SHARPTON AS A VOICE IN THE SONG TO SHOW HOW AL IS A RACE BAITING BIGOT.

Here is your a$$ on a platter.

nurse&mother

September 4th, 2009
1:16 pm

I had rather have Bill Cosby give the speach. He has a lot more credibility. He is a truly eloquent speaker and does not need a teleprompter. Race has nothing to do with it folks. STOP using this to label those who do not support him. (it makes you look ignorant)

Just because I don’t happen to agree with giving all our money away to those who have less than me does not make me a racist. I guarantee the same folks who disagree with the president’s agenda would still disagree with him if his skin color were white.

Carrie

September 4th, 2009
1:17 pm

Has anyone seen the TV ads with hollywood pledging they will serve Obama? And you want to make this about race? Please, everyone knows this guy hates our country – just look at who his past influences have been and that is why any normal god fearing american won’t tolerate his trash being dumped on us with out parental knowledge! Stay away from my children and me!

My rights

September 4th, 2009
1:17 pm

Why can’t you just let me have a right to disagree with the President? He doesn’t stand for anything I believe in, and I do not like his polical policies. Instead of calling me stupid for not agreeing with you, why don’t you act all liberated and let me have an opinion without calling me a racist or an idiot?

This is why we are in the mess that we are in. People were forbidden to say that they had an opinion against Obama for fear of being treated like a racist. And now we are stuck with a big mess in the government, and my children and grandchildren will be paying for this for many years to come. That’s not a racial issue. That is an economic issue. You can’t argue against the numbers, and race doesn’t play into the numbers.

Atlanta Native

September 4th, 2009
1:17 pm

I neither like nor trust President Obama. I neither liked nor trusted Bush. I liked, but did not trust Clinton. They all have one thing in common though: They are/were the President.

Children should respect the office of President of the United States. If he is going to give an uplifting speech to schoolchildren, I say bring it on! If he can get black children to believe that doing well in school is not selling out to the white man, I say bring it on! If he can convince poor children they can achieve, I say bring it on.

If he uses the opportunity to push an agenda, explain to you kids what he did wrong and never let him do it again. If he does what he says he will, it will be the first thing he did I completely agree with. I ask my fellow conservatives and libertarians not to “hate it forward.” As President, he deserves one bite at the apple.

JD

September 4th, 2009
1:17 pm

It is truly amazing to me that when the puppet idiot of Cheney and Rumsfeld was sitting around watching this country fall apart, not a soul from the (we know everything) republican party had a darn word to say. Knowone stood up and said Cheney & Rumsfeld please release the puppet so that we can stop the madness. Even after all the lies about Iraq were exposed, knowone from the red side had a word to say. Now all of sudden “Big government gets to get in there”(from our trusted and faithful repub wonder woman, S.P.) You all have stood by two complete utterly not the brightest of people that has does nothing but create their own press conference whatever language and leave all of us thinking “how dumb was that statement”. Fact of the matter is that there are still a huge percentage of people in this country that doesn’t care how smart, how community oriented, how family oriented, and how culturely or race unbiased a black man or woman is, they do not want this man as the president. The party of “NO” should’ve started saying no about five or six years ago. What are we teaching our kids. Other countries are just laughing and smirking at us. Everyone of us needs to wake up. Is there anyone out there other than me that’s wants to see what senators and/congressmen(women) that have or is receiving lobbying monies from the healthcare industry. Why are was arguing and fussing. all you have to do is find out where the money goes and you’ll know why they don’t want a public option. I’ll say it again “wake up people”.

Becky

September 4th, 2009
1:18 pm

CJ@11:23–LMAO at your last line about English..
Tina@12:28–Please lay off of the crack pipe.It’s bad for you, don’t you know?

David Axelfraud–loving everything that you have to say..

ATLcitizen

September 4th, 2009
1:18 pm

The whole idea that far right parents are up in arms because the President of the United States want to speak to their children to deliver a message of the importance of education is OUTRAGEOUS. Now I know these people have lost their marbles–ya’ll are nuts! He is the President of the United States–he is YOUR President and your children’s President. Get used to it and give him the respect that he deserves. Take a chill pill and learn some decency and respectful behavior.

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
1:19 pm

Chris Salzmann wrote: But I’m still waiting to hear your explanation why the Republican Party is doing such a poor job with diversity?

Ok here are some facts for you, nimrod:

1: Ronald Reagan made MLK a national holiday.

2: George Bush Sr. named the first African-American to the Supreme Court.

3: George Bush Jr. named Colin Powel and Condi Rice to the highest jobs in government in the history of the presidency.

4: Republicans outvoted Democrats on the Civil Rights Act.

5: The head of the GOP is African-American.

Suck on that for a while HACK!

Conservative Republican

September 4th, 2009
1:19 pm

It’s moron’s like David Axelfraud who give the rest of us a bad name….what a bigotted & ignorant buffoon. Thank God intelligent people don;lt take radicals like him to seriously – he’s a total crack pot people!

hey you

September 4th, 2009
1:20 pm

JD: go back to sleep. You are not right.

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
1:21 pm

Chris Salzmann didn’t graduate high school. Chris Salzmann is a hack who can’t get decipher fact from fiction. Chris Salzmann is a pu$$y lib who probably got a lot of beatings in high school.

Chris Salzmann lives in his moms basement.

dw

September 4th, 2009
1:21 pm

To JATL
September 4th, 2009
8:26 am

JATL, you are correct that not all black people voted for BHO, it was only 90-95%. In other prior elections about 65-75% of blacks voted Democrat. Nothing jumps out there??? Personally, I could care less what race/nationality the President is, but I do care about the policies of said President and disagree with many of them. It is nice to currently be able to disagree, because in a lib world, cons would be outlawed. Also to think that BHO, as well as any politician, is above the politics of propaganda is naive. Lastly, in keeping with liberal openminded thinking, we have never had a President with a Polish name, so I think that would be a good barrier to break the next time around.

Steve

September 4th, 2009
1:21 pm

Can we really blame a segment of the population for objecting to the President addressing our nation’s school children? Who knows what he might say.

PRESIDENT REAGAN: Well, thank you very much. Please, be seated. You know, this is a real treat for me, having you here, and to have in a little while the chance to answer some of your questions. Let me also offer a special hello to those of you who are watching on C-Span, or the Instructional Television Network. Thank you for inviting us into your home or your school today …

And that is a vision that goes beyond economics and politics, it’s also a moral vision, grounded in the reverence and faith of those who believe that with God’s help, they could create a free and democratic nation …

Because you see, the taxes can be such a penalty on people that there’s no incentive for them to prosper and to earn more and so forth because they have to give so much to the government …

There was talk about having a gun ban in California. It didn’t go through. But I got a letter from a man in San Quentin Prison. And from the prison he wrote me the letter to tell me he was in there for burglary, he was a burglar. And he said, “I just want you to know that if that law goes through, here in San Quentin there will be celebrating throughout the day and night by all the burglars who are in prison.”

Why, he may express political views that are not our own. And God knows, we wouldn’t want that to happen in our schools.

hey you

September 4th, 2009
1:21 pm

Nope – not my President. I proudly DIDN’T vote for him.

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
1:22 pm

Conservative Republican, name ONE thing that I have said that is bigoted? Oh, and I damn well guarantee you that you are not a conservative. And you also can’t spell. Idiot.

Wait, I got it, you are an Olympia Snowe conservative. Geez, what a moron.

Labor Day is Socialist!!!

September 4th, 2009
1:23 pm

Labor Day is a Socialist Holiday. Damn you Obama!

Sue Ann Floyd

September 4th, 2009
1:23 pm

There is only one reason that people would be up in arms over our President addressing children to encourage them regarding education–that reason has to be racism. Why else would people get upset over something as good as the President of the United States letting children understand how important they are and how important their education is? I can’t think of another logical reason–not that racism is logical–it certainly is far from that.

Steve

September 4th, 2009
1:23 pm

Really? We’re in this current mess because of OBAMA? The recession started after 8 years of GOP rule you fools. WTF???!!!

scott

September 4th, 2009
1:23 pm

I remember in 1st grade President Ford gave a speech we had to watch IN THE CLASSROOM (my word, what is this country coming to, the school children watching the President of the U.S. for 20 minutes in school) The people who oppose this speech really are showing their true colors. Not one of them can defend the right for for former presidents Ford, Reagan, and Bush 1 DOING THE SAME THING, but with a straight face say our current President Barack H. Obama(whether you can say it or not, he is still OUR president of ALL the US) can not do it.

justnikki

September 4th, 2009
1:23 pm

hey you,
you live in the u.s., he’s still your president. sorry.

Becky

September 4th, 2009
1:24 pm

SDM, thank you and every other military person that is out there fighting for my rights..Thank you, thank you, thank you..

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
1:24 pm

Conservative Republican, I bet you think Mccain, Snowe, Specter and Grassley are all conservative. I also bet that you think Obama is a moderate. Again, name ONE bigoted, and its bigoted and not biggoted like you so poorly spelled it, that I have written. Buffoon.

who cares

September 4th, 2009
1:24 pm

Obama-claims to be black and denounces the White side of his family. He refuses to show proof obirth-he is a muslim Kenyan and is trying to string this out unti lthe repubs can gain control in 2010 and ofrcr him to show proof or they impeach him and send him, REED and Pelosi to prison for crimes against America and Fraud. Obama would not have been elected if he was white as he would have really been portrayed as a Muslim! And he would have had to show proof of citizenship. Obama IS the Black Hitler! Everything Rush and Hannity has been saying has come true-yet YOU the BLACK voters and Obama supporters refuse to accept the truth. For YEARS Atlanta has been plagued by Black Mayoral leadership, yet what do the Blacks want-more black mayors to do the same things that you whine and complain about. yes-Bush was an idiot, but would you have preferred AL GORE who thinks global warming is coming jsut like the ice age? We had no third party to choose from with a viable alternative/leader. So we chose the lesser of two evils. History is repeating itself. When Ford ran for re election, the stupid voters, in an act of revenge for pardoning Nixon voted for a loser of a Gov.-Jimmy. And our people were taken hostage, inflation went up to double digits and interest rates were 20%+. Elections have consequences and this one shows that people don’t think with their heads-they react. A man sits in a Racist church for 20 yrs and you wonder why he labels his granny a “typical White Woman?” he is a Black mulsim who comes from an anti american family. Look at the friends and company he keeps. this is one Black Panther who will not change color, no matter how many bottles of clorox you poor on him or his Big chip on shoulder Wife! BTW-Oprah’s viewers are deserting her-they’ve figured out what Oprah is too.
“And that’s the bottom line..’Cause Stone Cold Said So!”

nurse&mother

September 4th, 2009
1:24 pm

Done with the discussion. I don’t like having a battle of the wits with an unarmed person.

I will agree to disagree with some of you guys.

BTW, i will be letting my daughter watch the speach. I do NOT agree with his political agendas. Nothing wrong with a speech about the importance of getting an education and being an upstanding citizen (and staying away from a life of crime), though.

Excuse ME

September 4th, 2009
1:24 pm

It’s ONLY a pep talk folks. RELAX! If you are worried he will veer off topic then listen to it your self and actually act like a good parent and discuss it with your child if you disagree. I think this sets a great example for our kids. I wish ALL the presidents had done this at least once a year. Heck even our Governor’s should have been doing this.

EC

September 4th, 2009
1:24 pm

LOL, it’s hilarious that this is even an issue. It’s great our president wants to speak to children, he is our leader and we all need to respect him.

Ilene

September 4th, 2009
1:25 pm

David Axelfraud , you are the one who cannot decipher between reality and fantasy. The Republicans are still living in the 18th century (Mr. McConnell of Virgina); I am living in this 21st century. And I suppose you think Governor Sanford should also stay in his job, after stealing from the people of South Carolina and lying to them, too. Axelfraud, go back to the farm and tend to your chickens (or your sheeple).

Conservative Republican

September 4th, 2009
1:25 pm

“Hey you” …. you did not have to vote for Obama for him to be “YOUR” President – Grow up – he IS YOUR President, be a true American and support the Office of the President as we expect Democrats to when Republican’s are in power and for who they did not vote…we are supposed to live in a democratic society and what’s good for one is good for the othe – play fair and be a true Patriot!

who cares

September 4th, 2009
1:25 pm

OBAMA is NOT our President! He won’t show proof of citizenship!