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

Al for ATL

September 4th, 2009
9:37 am

Reagan did it when I was in school, so did Bush I. Don’t the wingnuts remember that? Why was it OK then and revolting now?

pj

September 4th, 2009
9:38 am

Let’s call a spade a spade. Pardon the pun. But this is clearly an exercise of Blatant Racism. There was no hoopla give When George Bush gave his speech to High School Students in 1991. There was no hell raised or debate given when Ronald Regan gave his speech to the Student of Northside High School about his Tax Reform. So why is so much drama given to President Obama? An address to help the kids understand the importance of education is now being frowned on? Is this for real? I searched for meaning and understanding to this uproar and there was none – the only thing facing me was the elephant in the room. “Racism” The only thing this country is still not ready to address, even with an African American President. Let call it what it really is, no matter what press or redress will ever be able to be fully explain to me or help me to understand why the President of the United States should be treated with such disrespect.

ARC

September 4th, 2009
9:38 am

I wish people would READ! It has been stated that there are “suggested” questions to ask in regards to the President’s speech. No one is being FORCED. Also, to keep your child out of school for this, what does that say? I think that it starts a negative trend early on and kids will think, oh, well, I don’t want to take my math test today, so I am going to stay home sick…Oh, I don’t like the substitute teach coming in today, so I am going to stay home. Give me a break.

Allow the children an opportunity to attend school, listen to the speech and discuss it with them. Teach them how to be independent thinkers so that they can make logical decisions over the course of their lives.

You’re pissed because President Obama wants to ENCOURAGE children to stay in school? And because you THINK that he has a political agenda? Someone put up a question that is supposedly slated to be asked, “What is the President trying to say to me?” OK, those types of questions spark discussions so that the children will have the opportunity to express their own opinions. Parents sometimes have discussions with their own children and send them off with, “I want you to think about what I’m trying to say to you.” Put it all in perspective and use this to teach your children respect and help them to understand what is going on in our world today.

David S

September 4th, 2009
9:39 am

The government schools are now and have since their inception over 150 years ago, been a tool for the dissemination of government propaganda. One need only look at how the history of the united states is presented to see that the lies fly fast and heavy when the government is in control of the minds of your kids.

To actually shocked to to have ignored every other socialist aspect of the government schools so that you could benefit from the theft that is perpetrated on your behalf for cheap subsidized “education” of your children.

If you want your children to actually be free of government propaganda, then turn off the TV, pull them out of the government brainwashing factories, and homeschool them like responsible parents should.

Expecting anything else but the horrible from government is naive.

Jeff in Roswell

September 4th, 2009
9:39 am

*mjphilli* The majority of this newspaper is LIBERAL – regardless of who is subscribing to it.

Peadawg

September 4th, 2009
9:40 am

ZYX, color has nothing to do w/ this you id10t.

Peadawg

September 4th, 2009
9:40 am

pj, read my comment as well ^^^^^^^

nuke

September 4th, 2009
9:42 am

I’m just watchin to see if he flies in on a F-16 waving a Mission Accomplished banner

Rich

September 4th, 2009
9:43 am

The problem is not that he is giving a speech about staying in school and now that is important. The problem is that instructions to teachers do not support the message that they say will be presented. One of the questions that the students are suppose to answer is How can I support the President? That does not relate to staying in school. The supporters will say “staying in school is the right answer to that question”, but that will be a lame attempt to cover for the DOE.

ARC

September 4th, 2009
9:43 am

DM…That is totally inappropriate to request that parents call the school and ask the President’s children to deliver a message. The privacy he asked for his kids is to leave them out of controversial convos and topics during the debates and that is fair. Children are not running for an office and should not be punished or vvictimized because they have parents in the spotlight. It’s just like actors and actresses who ask that their kids be left alone. They know that they are in the spotlight but want their kids to live a normal life. What’s the difference? None. Children should be off limits.

Rich

September 4th, 2009
9:44 am

The meadis and the left bashed Bush for it in 1991, what is different now?

Lee

September 4th, 2009
9:45 am

I don’t understand this country. What is wrong with the President telling kids to stay in school and stay focus for the forthcoming year. The left wing nuts are the ones that have some serious issues. President Obama and his wife, Michelle wants the best for our kids in this country. People wake up! We are last in education here. If he can reach 50 to 100 kids to make a difference, meaning stay in school and be positive, then his SPEECH was worth it.

The LEFT need to have a SOLUTION or SAY NOTHING!!!!! Be POSITIVE stop COMPLAINING do something to make a difference!!!!!!

SAR

September 4th, 2009
9:46 am

This is how the Third Reich started.

Anne

September 4th, 2009
9:46 am

Some of the comments made by those who do not believe that this is a big problem do not understand the circumstances. Obama is abusing his office to get what he wants and one way is getting the message through is through the children. Really if you think about it, isn’t this a similar tactic that Hitler used getting through the children to get to the parents? If I had children in school, I would certainly be afraid. Obama has a hidden agenda. That agenda is Health care and getting the thing passed. The kids are watching and listening to the President’s speech on television, in their own homes and with their parents in the same room with them which is appropriate. The President does not need to be giving speeches to school children and considering the age group, I seriously doubt they have an idea what is going on in the adult world. Boundaries are being crossed and I do not blame parents for being upset.

Rich

September 4th, 2009
9:47 am

Sorry: The media and the left bashed Bush for it in 1991, what is different now?

Boodles

September 4th, 2009
9:48 am

I say “no”. Adults can see throught the lies and indoctrination of this administration and make intelligent decisions about it – kids do not have that capacity yet until maybe they are in high school.

Sharon

September 4th, 2009
9:48 am

I think the kids should watch because receiving encouraging words from our President can only motivate those children that are not self-motivated or parental encouragement. To take your children out of school from a full day of learning for an event that will probably last 30 minutes, is, I believe, uncalled for. I would suggest that you ask your child’s principal to move your child to possibly the gym (where the telecast will most likely not be broadcast).

EW

September 4th, 2009
9:48 am

Yeah that’s right parents, don’t let your kids think for themselves. Shelter them from big bad BLACK OBAMA. I am far from a Democrat but these Right Wing Nut Job SAHM’s that watch Fox news and regurgitate this political nonsense make me sick to my stomach. So just bc OBAMA is giving a speech to kids for maybe 30 minutes out of the day you keep your kid home?? What about the rest of the day? Since when do these kids care about politics? Let them listen, maybe it will inspire them to be president, or maybe you can hide them from the real world forever…and they’ll grow up just like you; white, conservative, and afraid to hear any opinions that are different from your own.

Chris

September 4th, 2009
9:49 am

Paulding County is skirting the issue totally. This blogger has been asking them to follow their OWN policies and they won’t even do that! http://blogs.ajc.com/momania/2009/09/04/do-you-care-if-your-kids-hear-obamas-speech-at-school/

I don’t understand why they wouldn’t have a special School Board session or something. This is so unAmerican.

MomOf2Girls

September 4th, 2009
9:50 am

I don’t think the problem here is having our children listen to the President extol the virtues of education and responsibility. I think the problem is the ancillary message(s) that many are concerned he will deliver as well. The original postings by the Dept. of Ed. of materials that should accompany this speech included specific calls to serve the President (for those of you who don’t see a problems with this, keep in mind that the President (any U.S. president, not just Obama) is here to serve the People, not vice versa), as well as other items with concerning undertones.

My other issue with this speech is that, given past presentations of Obama’s, I have grave concerns as to whether he will stick with the apolitical message of education and responsibility, or if he will take this opportunity with a captive and impressionable audience to further his very left-wing agenda. Although we can discuss what has been said with our children later, the fact remains that most children are still easily swayed by the things people of authority say, and this will put many parents in the position of having to explain to their youngsters that the President’s ideas are not in sync with our beliefs. Yes, we can do that, but it will then diminish the authority of that office a bit in the eyes of our children.

Phil

September 4th, 2009
9:50 am

This is why the education system in America is so poor and will remain so. It is a plot to keep Americans from being able to think rationally; basically, to keep them as stupid as possible. Racism is a form of stupidity. That must be the reason why the Right would embrace a man who made “D’s” through his college years, probably because he was drunk for the entire time, a man who IS a draft dodger, as opposed to a man who is highly educated and wants to encourage American children to value education as he and his family obviously do. All this flap about a speech to children, but not a peep about an obviously unintelligent man coming up with “No Child Left Behind,” a program that has been the worst thing in the history of education. Where is the logic or reasoning in this type of flawed thinking? Oh yea, I forgot, all these nay-sayers went through the American educational system so they are incapable of of thinking rationally, or at all.

EW

September 4th, 2009
9:50 am

ANNE- you are likening Obama’s tactic to HITLER????

Melinda

September 4th, 2009
9:50 am

It unfortunately all boils down to this… If Obama was white, this would not even be a discussion.

Peadawg

September 4th, 2009
9:51 am

“big bad BLACK OBAMA”

Don’t you mean big bad HALF-BLACK HALF-WHITE OBAMA? Or do you forget his white heritage?

Regina

September 4th, 2009
9:51 am

I wish we could stop saying that is isn’t about race, because it is. We should be ashamed, are we really the same country that fought to end racism in South Africa, but cannot do grasp the same values in our own country? Our president should be a role model, regardless of color.

EW

September 4th, 2009
9:53 am

Anne- I feel ashamed for you and the bubble of ignorance you float around in. Yes Obama wants to pass a healthcare bill and his master plan is to do it by convincing all the kids under voting age to take over congress and pass the bill for him.

Peadawg

September 4th, 2009
9:53 am

“If Obama was white, this would not even be a discussion.”

LOL!!! Finally some id10t came out and said this!

\t should read “If Obama was not trying pass his reform bills through our kids and REALLY use this time to encourage kids to stay in school, this would not even be a discussion”

FORMER Obama Supporter

September 4th, 2009
9:54 am

Should kids use cocaine, too?

[ EXPLETIVE Deleted ] NO, they should not be listening to this jive-talking, nationalist socialist !

Wing nuts have lost it

September 4th, 2009
9:54 am

They have lost control and now they are pissed. Obama mean them no harm at all. Never before has this happen when a president talked to the kids. most are southern states. Is this the way It going to be from now on when people don’t like the president. we did not like Bush but we gave him respect because he was the president of all. Now the wing nuts see the people in the majority voted President Obama in to office and now they have lost it because most america don’t think like the Taliban wing nut of the GOP.
New Flash get use to it!! Thirty states are solid blue so you do the math. Hate; they say he was not born in the usa(wrong) is a socialist (wrong) and on and on you lost and you will keep loseing as long as you hurt the people . The GOP is the party of nations killer just look at what they do. Ever thing is no, they really want president Obama to fail even when it hurt them.
This shows they are hateful and clueless. A lot of them say they are God’s people what bible are you reading.
Must be the bible of Rush and hannity. hate is a evil thing when it is in the hearts of man. They do right by there own eyes and their hearts is corrupt. How will God bless America when ther is so much hate. It is all about color bank on it no more no less!!!

EW

September 4th, 2009
9:54 am

I know his heritage PEA, but I am going with the standing rule in this country that ANY % black = BLACK. Not my rule but it’s what the country sees. Fair or not that’s the way it is.

toolate

September 4th, 2009
9:55 am

This country is doomed and these dingbats are the reason why. They’re afraid of their own shadow. America has become the trembling timid afraid losers they have always accused others of being. One attack by scum sucking terrorists has turned the US into a nation that condones torture, covert spying on its own citizens, and trashing of the constitution. So long USA it was good while it lasted (except for the poor Indians and that slavery/Jim Crow thing) but like the Roman empire we’re done for.

Peadawg

September 4th, 2009
9:55 am

“I wish we could stop saying that is isn’t about race, because it is”

How can you call a white person racist for not supporting Obama, WHEN OBAMA IS HALF-WHITE. id10t

mjphilli

September 4th, 2009
9:56 am

I have no affiliation, friends, or family at this newspaper or any other. But I am just curious – before responding, please state if you have the newspaper delivered to your home or office and how often.

I am a 7 day subscriber.

Jeff in Roswell, you’re next.

Peadawg

September 4th, 2009
9:56 am

EW, who the heck’s rule is that? I’ve never heard that rule before.

Phil's A Fool

September 4th, 2009
9:57 am

Shut up, Phil – you are so misinformed it isn’t even funny – go ahead and spew all that left-wing rhetoric you get from the daily e-mail updates you receive from the DNC.

EW

September 4th, 2009
9:57 am

Well welcome back from the rock you’ve been living under! Nice to have you with us.

Regina

September 4th, 2009
9:59 am

I did not call a white person racist, is said that it is about race. A black person can be a racist. If our president was female – regardless of color, would we ban our children from watching? As women, I would hope not, but there will still be some anit-feminist that will say that she is just trying to brainwash our children. Be honest and say what it is!

MattH16

September 4th, 2009
10:00 am

I teach high school and think all of my studnets should hear and see this video from our great president. I plan on showing it whether my parents want me to or not.

JJ

September 4th, 2009
10:00 am

I’ll decide what my child is exposed to, not the president.

He’s trying to do what the churches do, and that’s suck in the little ones, before they have a chance to figure it out and then he will scare them into believe what he wants them to.

Again, I’ll decide what’s best for my child. And like Pam said, if he wants to talk to the kids about education, do it in the evenings, when we can sit down and listen to is as a family, then decide, as a family, what WE want to do.

But it’s up to me to keep my child in school.

And let’s quit playing the freaking race card. It’s getting so old!!!! White, black, mexican, I don’t care. Just keep your kids in school, off drugs and out of prison.

He’s basically trying to brain wash the little ones…..

nmac

September 4th, 2009
10:00 am

It’s amazing how you people hate on President Obama and loved up Bush who caused this mess we are in. I am so turned off by Georgia and how you treat Obama. But I’m not surprised. Saddened, but not surprised. You didn’t give him a chance, you never wanted him in the first place. So long USA … you’re right – I hope so long to what used to be the norm and hello to us embracing something new. It’s scary when the face of the white house doesn’t look like yours, isn’t it?

Phil

September 4th, 2009
10:01 am

Boodles, what makes you think these adults you speak of can raelly make intelligent decisions? Are these not the same adults who get all of their information from Fox News or Rush ‘the durg addict” Limbaugh? Are not these the same adults who probably don’t pick-up a newspaper to get information for themselves? And you and the rest of these so-called intelligent adults think it’s perfectly O.K. to keep kids out os school for an entire day because they don’t want their kids to hear a 30 minute speech? No wonder America is at the bottom of the educational ladder. We will never make it to the top of the ladder with this type of low thinking, completely devoid of critical thinking.

nmac

September 4th, 2009
10:01 am

I didn’t see anyone complaining when Bush Sr. or Reagan addressed children. Why is it such an issue that Obama wants to do the same thing?

EW

September 4th, 2009
10:03 am

JJ- Really? you think the president is brainwashing the children? What about the easter egg hunt at the white house? Are the eggs filled with liberal propoganda and mind control devices? Have some faith in yourself to raise kids that can think for themselves. You are doing more brainwashing than Obama could ever do. And the best and funniest part is…YOU DON’T EVEN REALIZE IT HAHAHAHA

SA

September 4th, 2009
10:04 am

I don’t recall anyone complaining when then VP Dan Quayle spoke at my high school. This whole argument is ridiculous.

MJ

September 4th, 2009
10:04 am

People, are you kidding me? Aren’t you the same group that would readily and vehemently call your fellow Americans unpatriotic and disrespectful if parents had done this during the Bush administration? What a double standard. Our culture is seriously screwed up if you can’t even see the benefit of the leader of our country reaching out to children encouraging them to take advantage of every educational opportunity in front of them in the upcoming year. Seriously, what is wrong with listening to anyone who encourages children to stay in school and do well? What this comes down to is, you don’t like the president, so you don’t think your kids should either. Wow, that’s a mature example you’re setting.

Sadly it seems we’ve become a culture of closed-minded, hand-wringers and if this continues it will certainly suffocate our progress as a society. President Obama wouldn’t be so stupid as to talk about anything other than the importance of education, but that being said, so what if he tried to explain what’s going on with THEIR government? Maybe kids would like to know a point of view other than the likely misinformed one they’re hearing at home? Why has it become so difficult to even consider listening to different points of view, let alone the TRUTH and maybe forming your OWN opinions or even changing your minds about important issues? Maybe you should listen to your kids and think about THEIR future. Their willingness to listen to opposing points of view and to change their position on a political issue or otherwise is a strength, not a weakness. Kids are smarter than you give them credit for. Your unwillingness to do the same or even LISTEN to the message as delivered from your leader (whether you voted for him or not) is YOUR weakness and is really, really sad, not to mention ignorant and self-defeating. You could and should, as parents, be the leaders in your own household and set the example that being informed, listening to all points of view, and then making a decision on where you stand after careful deliberation is the right thing to do.

WHAT?

September 4th, 2009
10:04 am

No Melinda. If Obama were not a socialist who surrounds himself with tax evading racist socialist punks this would not be a discussion. It makes no difference that he is mixed race what matters is his socialist agenda and people are starting to see him for what he is. What country is this?

Jeff in Roswell

September 4th, 2009
10:05 am

*mjphilli* NO I AM NOT A SUBSCRIBER TO THE AJC. I once was, but no longer. We occasionaly pick up a paper at Publix, usually the Sunday Edition. Having the paper delivered to us everyday was a waste of money and paper. Most of the time it was thrown out unread. We found that we got what we needed from the net. SO WHAT IS YOUR POINT?

Pity

September 4th, 2009
10:06 am

Yes, my kids will be listening to Obama’s speech. They need to know that the president of our country takes education seriously, and he is not just signing laws (i.e. No Child Left Behind)that reduces their education to knowing how to fill in bubble sheets.

It really boggles my mind that President Obama has been met with so much opposition in his presidency–he hasn’t even completed a year yet. However, George W. Bush has had 8 years to show just how inexperienced, unintelligent, and uncaring he was. He rode on his father’s coat-tail and made about as much sense as a bag of chicken lips. He made himself look like a fool (and us) so many times that I’ve lost count.

Peadawg, if you can’t see that this racism, then you’re blinder than Stevie Wonder. George Bush could’ve said speeches everyday at 9:00 a.m, and nothing would’ve been said. In fact, Bush never touted education as a priority. He just signed a ridiculous law that will continue the deterioation of our children’s education.

EW

September 4th, 2009
10:07 am

MJ, well said.

JATL

September 4th, 2009
10:07 am

Pam -your comments speak VOLUMES.

Jeff in Roswell -right on with your first comment. See people, if more of us on opposing sides would at least consider the other’s view point once in awhile and encourage our children to do so, maybe we wouldn’t have so many Pam’s and Anne’s floating around!

Anne -was Ronald Reagan like Hitler too? He addressed school children as did many other presidents. Like those presidents, Obama is simply going to address staying in school, being prepared for school, and trying your best to get a good education and make something out of yourself. See, it’s ok. Take another pill and go stick your head back in the sand.