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 ( 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

Support the Constitution

September 6th, 2009
8:07 pm

The sheeple need to take off those blinders and see what is really happening. This speech is not about education, but about indoctrinating kids just like Hitler did. Psychologically, it’s much easier to influence a child than an adult. Get off your a$$’s and research how Hitler did it, and many other dictators through time. It’s a shame that so many of you have brains but are afraid to use them. Read the Bill of Rights, the U.S.Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and see if you think you still have those rights … use your head for something more than a hat rack, people.
“If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”
Samuel Adams

[...] kool-aid drinking moonbats, it will turn them into well rounded decision makers.” Other: Mommaina blog [...]


September 7th, 2009
1:30 pm

Get a grip, people. The text of the speech has been released, and it’s a very beautiful speech.

Here’s an excerpt -

“Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.
I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.
I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed. ”

oooooooh, scary!


September 7th, 2009
3:15 pm

It is truly unbelieveable how Barack Obama has literally frightened some people into thinking that no matter what he does….i.e., tell kids to stay in school, study hard, do their best, etc., that he has a Socialist agenda behind it. No one said a word about any other President speaking to the students about staying in school. What Obama has said has been said before by Bush, Reagan, etc., and no one was upset. Let this biracial, educated Democrat want to talk to students, and all Hell breaks loose! The parents who wrote letters stating they did not want their child to hear Obama’s speech, the fools who write to the editor about the “Possibility” of Obama going over the line and pushing his agenda, is downright stupid. It doesn’t make Obama look bad, it makes these “I’m pissed that this man is President” parents look bad. He is the President of the United States. Yes, he’s different from one’s we have had before, but my God, give the man some respect for having achieved the office of President. Some parents are teaching their children that it’s okay for minorities to achieve, but not to achieve too much! Bigotry is showing it’s ugly head, and it is not bigotry against so-called Socialism, it’s downright racial!! Your kids are watching you and taking notes. Some of them will follow your path, and other’s will be embarrassed and ashamed. I was not a follower of George Bush, but by God, if the man spoke at my child’s school and wanted to help keep my child on the straight and narrow, I would applaud his efforts. I would not disrespect him or his office. However, disrespecting the office of President today is the norm for some people and it’s shameful. Obama did not ask anyone’s child to promote his healthcare reform or any other political issue. Nor was there ever any evidence that he was going to. He just had the audacity to want to speak to the students and we know that the only thing worse than an audacious minority is an uppity one!!! God help us all!!


September 7th, 2009
4:13 pm

People are not afraid of Obama’s race, they are afraid of Obama’s policies and the fact that he is leading us into deep, deep debt that we may never recover from and that may turn this country toward socialism. Quit playing the race card every time and trying to use it to shut people up.

This speech is innocuous, however, the fear of him trying to convince children that they need to think like he thinks is what has driven this revolt. His policies are very frightening to many people, as they should be.


September 7th, 2009
5:43 pm

Terrorists–a radical group who employs terror as a political weapon; usually organizes with other terrorists in tea parties; often uses religion as a cover for their false agenda

Republicans–a radical group who employs terror as a political weapon; usually organizes with other terrorists in tea parties; often uses religion as a cover for their false agenda.


September 7th, 2009
6:24 pm

I had concerns when I started hearing about students writing a letter on how they can help the president. Now that this rhetoric has been removed, then I am all for him speaking to the students. Prior presidents have made the same type of speach and support the speech as long as it is not political.


September 7th, 2009
6:36 pm

JRH: If you are afraid of his policies,…….how are his policies being implemented by telling students to stay in school. He is not grouping the students together in a camp, and forcing them to repeat after him a particular mantra. He is simply telling them to stay in school, do your best, make good choices for yourself, etc. If Bush, Reagan and others can say it, how does it become indoctrination of the masses if Obama says the same thing. Help me here! It is racial, because it is racial. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck….nine times out of ten, you have yourself a duck! His speech is not threatening to anyone, except the ignorant and uninformed. Everytime the man makes a statement, you and others like you create a scenario that he is creating a new nation of robots, to think like him, act like him, etc. If it were anyone other President saying the exact same words in this speech, you wouldn’t have a problem. It is Obama, and you now have to protect your children! Bull! It’s racial, because there is no other logical reason for your stance. You just aren’t man enough to let the world know that this biracial man, despite his education, truly offends you and as long as he holds the office of President of these United States, you will continue to be offended until “the right choice” is in office. Then and only then will you respect the office and the office holder.


September 7th, 2009
8:22 pm

I really think people are being very prejudice about what the president is going to say. If we look at drop out school rate through our nations, parents should be more than glad that someone is finally showing interest in this generation and generation to come.
People did not make any complaints when the other presidents spoke to the kids, so why now?
Is it because he is Black.

disgusted parent and teacher

September 7th, 2009
9:28 pm

Politicians, sports and movie stars, or any other celebrity doesn’t have the influence of a parent. If parents are the people who should be encouraging their children to do their best in school and to work hard. As a teacher and a parent, I don’t see the children who don’t want to think and try suddenly change because Obama told them to get an education.

The outrage is not about the speech, but the lesson plans that the DOE came up with, that really are inappropriate. As a teacher, I have no right to put my political view points on my children. I am very neutral, however, I am not like all teachers and there are many teachers who would put their political view points on the children. This is not right, especially for elementary aged children. These kids do not have enough experience in understanding the points of view of others and making their own minds up. Many of these children can barely read or do math on their grade level. My objection to the speech is not that Obama is giving it, it is the lesson plans put out to go along with it.

If my son were school age, he would not be permitted to watch it in school, but we would watch it together as a family and discuss it in our own home.


September 7th, 2009
9:45 pm

This blog is just sad. How quickly we forget the motto “To respect the president no matter if you agree with him or not”. I had to be reminded of this quote for eight years of President Bush. While I do not agree with every decision made by President Obama, I will show the speech to my students and have them write their thoughts about it (I am not allowed to discuss the speech with them per my school). I cannot believe individuals disagree with the president so much that they are comparing him to Hitler and Stalin. That is SAD……


September 7th, 2009
10:27 pm

Why is everyone so up in arms about the suggested lesson plans? First of all, suggested means just that. No one has to use them, and I seriously doubt any teachers received direct instructions from their admins to use them. (I know I didn’t) Secondly, where are all the “millions” of teachers workbooks? I thought the lesson plans were strictly on line. No one delivered any workbooks to our school. Me thinks someone has been listening to a little too much Rush lately.


September 8th, 2009
1:55 am

Can we just nip this in the butt right now? Reagan gave speeches to our children with obvious political overtones, where are his detractors? But, all of the sudden when the current president of the United States says, “kids, do well in school” we have to have discussion about his motives? really? we compare this to 1984 and try to put him on a pedestal inhabited by Hitler and Saddam Hussein? over the fact that he is saying, kids do well in school, education isn’t a social or class specific problem, its an American Right and to criticize someone for encouraging kids to do well in school, is pure ignorance, and as for those who have a need to make comparisons to a socialist state, please read the definition of socialism, or better yet go to school with your children and listen to the speech and learn what socialism is….

Michael Gordon

September 8th, 2009
8:10 am

I wish like h… it wasn’t true. These children will be sneaking at night at their friend’s house to sneak a look at Obama’s speech instead of porn. What is this world coming to?


September 8th, 2009
8:10 am

Wow, I cannot believe the ignorance. If you want your children to go through life believing every thing their parents do and never have a mind of their own, well I just feel sorry for them. My children will learn to be independent thinkers and a benefit to this country.
For you who think the President is just trying to “brainwash” the children…please turn off the TV and get back into reality.
Come on people, please just think! Treat your children as real human beings who can make up their own minds and not like the mindless clones you want them to be.


September 8th, 2009
9:07 am

I am embarrassed to be counted as a “christian” sometimes. Better yet an “evagelical christian”… these people are absolutely clouded by self-righteous, mean-spirited, self-preserving (selfish) righteous indignation veiled with monarchical thinking and racial adulation.

He is the President of The United States!!! Get over it!!!


September 8th, 2009
9:16 am

come on this is crazy…please stop dancing around what effect this is going to have on our children..THE ONLY EFFECT IS THE PARENTS….Once you admit that most of you don’t want a black president…EXPLORE why you don’t want one…WHY BECAUSE HE IS BLACK..No other reason…period.
America has become a big joke to our alias..we have shown the world we have no respect for our President. Get real look at all of yourselfs in the mirror. Is this the type of msg that you want to send to the world…let alone our children. He is our President right, wrong or indifferent. My God..can we give him a chance, he took office at the worst time time of our economy. I believe it’s going to take more than just 9 mos to turn things around. Yes our President is black…so what..he is a man for all people. America please stop protraying a back woods mentality…AMERICANS are better than that.

Jon Cushman

September 8th, 2009
9:28 am

I find it ironic that I grew up laughing at the looney left and now it’s been replaced with the wacko right. The posters on here are so paranoid that they have officially gone into another stratosphere of dementia. I’ve always wondered how this country was able to convince people to participate in events like the Salem Witch Trials, but this type brainwashing is alive and well.

Matt Norris

September 8th, 2009
9:30 am

If you think your child shouldn’t hear this, you are ignorant, and I pity your children.

A realistic parent

September 8th, 2009
9:55 am

I have never ever made a comment on a blog before, but in this case I just had to. I just read the script for President Obama’s speech to the children and I have to say I feel it is very inspirational. What is wrong with the President of the United States (even if you did not vote for him) encouraging children to do well and stay in school? What is wrong with parents? Let’s do a reality check and try to decide what is really appropriate? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I hope that all parents want their children to do well and stay in school.

Zorya Dromont

September 8th, 2009
10:00 am

I think if the right-wingers who are so frieghtened of President Obama’s agenda, other than the facts that he is telling kids to stay in school and how important an education is – perhaps should listen to Reagan’s speech to kids. He was constantly afraid of leftest, liberals. And oh yes, Communism!

If you pull your kids out of school because our President wants to address them you’re just plain ignorant of the facts or perhaps just ignorant!

Zorya Dromont

September 8th, 2009
10:03 am

I think if the right-wingers who are so frightened of President Obama’s agenda, other than the facts that he is telling kids to stay in school and how important an education is – perhaps should listen to Reagan’s speech to kids. He was constantly afraid of leftest, liberals. And oh yes, Communism!

If you pull your kids out of school because our President wants to address them you’re just plain ignorant of the facts or perhaps just ignorant!


September 8th, 2009
10:16 am

You are all a bunch of racist people, American’s have not grown up yet.

You all are haters for the simple fact that you all are not understanding the health care plan and this is what it has come to.

Outraged Georgia Mom

September 8th, 2009
10:28 am

Wow…I’m shocked that some people believe their children are so stupid and vulnerable as to be ruined and brainwashed by a pep-talk from the Prez about staying in school and taking personal responsibility.

Perhaps it’s your own feelings of inadequacy and gullibility that you are imposing on your children rather than having some faith in your parenting skills and in your children’s abilities to think for themselves.

I mean seriously…please do keep the rugrats at home if you aren’t concerned that they actually grow up to be responsible adults and contributing citizens of this country. It’s probably best that you keep them away from my children who have learned to form their own opinions rather than be led around by the nose. My children would call most of the people going on and on about this silly anyway…and rightly so.


September 8th, 2009
11:08 am

Do you really want to live in a country where your afraid to let your child hear the president speak? The speach has been out for days so maybe everyone should read it before they rant and rave. I did not agree to all the the past president said, but I raised my children to honor the office of the president.

Cera Lawrenceville, Ga

September 8th, 2009
11:37 am

This entire conversation borders the ridiculous! Why is it so disturbing for a president to speak to students with the goal of offering encouragement to stay in school and make good grades? Who are you that are saying you can not take a short pause in your curriculum for one hour to hear the leader of our country with an address for our students? When president Kennedy was assassinated, my entire school stopped for the day. Why does it take a tragedy before we find it necessary to take pause? I just listened to George Bush Senior talking to students that was televised from a classroom of students and his conversation addressed social issues well beyond the four walls of the school, so why raise the flag now? Is it because Barack Obama is a Black president and this is just a camouflage to cover your true racist motives to attack him any way you can? Just asking, because inquiring minds wants to know. What is the motive behind your anti-Obama speech to students? Is it the fear of the unknown? Will he get our kids to push for healthcare reform? Are you that naive or have you been sucked up into the negative train that seems to grab hold to those that are less informed and fall prey to any negative fear message that comes your way?

Get a grip people! The man is trying to encourage your children! If you feel you give them all the encouragement they need, then be glad he is there delivering it to all the others that doesn’t have you in their lives! Our president is just that, our president! I will hopefully see the day when this type of planned event can be viewed by all parties as a positive thing as intended and not be dragged down the gutter by ill-informed anti-Obama types where as in this case, their motivation does not come from a concern for the students, but only to try to make president Obama look bad by attacking him wherever and whenever they can


September 8th, 2009
12:04 pm

D*** if he does, D**** if he doesn’t!!!!! President Obama can’t win for losing. If he wasn’t doing anything and keeping low profile, the SAME people criticizing him would be griping and wining about “he’s not doing anything”. Give the man a break.


September 8th, 2009
12:37 pm

I cannot understand why some adults are in such an uproar about OUR President, President Barack Obama, giving a speech to encourage our kids to stay in school (check out the dropout rate), to become all they can be (many have no direction)and to reiterate (what most parents tell their children, anyway) the importance of school and the civic responsibilities that they have as citizens of the United States of America.

While I truly hate to pull the race card…no one but God, Himself, could tell me this senseless controversy isn’t anything but “others” hating President Obama, simply, because of the color of his skin. Afterall, he is simply attempting (with his background, experiences, accolades, world travels and ability to relate to the common man)to reach our children because it is evident that so many of our children are walking, aimlessly, as they go about their ways.

Let’s face it… other countries are kicking our behinds when it comes to education, technology, science, medicine and those things that will better promote the country in the next century. Let’s support our President!


September 8th, 2009
2:38 pm

The people who were against their children were all white and teaching their children hate. The funny part is, their kid will see their actions for what they are worth. So the real joke is on them.


September 8th, 2009
2:45 pm

digusted parent and teacher: at what school do you teach? I want to know so that my child never even gets near it. Obviously, your school has a lot of self-righteous, mean-spirited, self-preserving (selfish) righteous indignation veiled with monarchical thinking and racial adulation.


September 8th, 2009
5:50 pm

Nope, I did NOT want my daughter to attend school today. Not because I wanted to shield her from the speech, but as a statement against Obama and how little I trust him in ANY way, including with my kids. I don’t believe for one second that the speech he gave today was the speech he originally intended to give. We as parents are the ones who are responsible for teaching our children the values that will drive them to excel academically, and if we haven’t done that, nothing he says is going to fix what parents have failed to do. Anyway, no, I didn’t want her to go but she didn’t want to miss class, so I left it up to her and she went to school. In Civics, she opted out of watching the speech.

Mr White Man

September 9th, 2009
1:58 pm

I don’t know whats wroung with some of you folk, you will let your kids watch MTV Mad TV Family Guy. But won’t let the watch the President of the USA give a speech to stay in school and do the best you can. (Hypocrite) People will complain about anything.


September 14th, 2009
12:53 pm

I just don’t Understand!!!!!!! America finally gets a President that seems to truly care,and all we do is complain.Where was all this haha concern when BUSH was in office? His FIRST OR SECOND TERM? Bush ran us into the ground, Obama seems to want something different.Why not give the man a chance.I’m sure he want be able to clean up 8 years of A BULL OVERNIGHT! AMERICA GET REAL.What every american should be doing is PRAYING to GOD for OBAMA’S Strength and WISDOM


September 15th, 2009
9:36 am

The AJC (MOMania link) should hold onto this avalanche of a forum
for no other reason than to provide an archive that reveals the mindset
(or lack thereof) of the posters. If you don’t support President Obama
or his policies, you have a right to your opinion; however, a few of
these posters need to be watched.

[...] Do you care if your kids hear Obama's speech at school? [...]


October 4th, 2009
7:52 pm

When a person like 0bama has a history of communism and racism. I read his books.
And a wife who hates our Country and is ashamed of it and says so publicly.
And you support these people and are suppose to be American.
How do you dare talk about respect.
I only give the respect someone earns.
They have earned my deep seated disrespect.
Also his speech in school was wrong. This is America. No President should do that.