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

Ladybirdvee

September 4th, 2009
10:35 am

I think this is a real shame when someone is being positive and you want to deny your child or children to hear the President of the United States speaking on doing your best in school. Do you realize that the United States is not #1 in the world for education due to some many children not even finish High School. How are we going to compete in the global market? Our country is becoming so divided and if we do not come together we will fail. We need to listen and read before we start forming opinions. Our country is duming down and being ignorant is becoming the norm.

Ray B

September 4th, 2009
10:35 am

One thing to tell kids to focus on education; quite another to send pre-speach “teacher guides” requiring teachers to ask students how Obama’s policies will positively impact their lives. Like everything from this socialist administration, brainwashing youth is perfectly acceptable. However, should we be surprised when we have an adminitration composed of far left radicals; for example, special advisor to the president, Van Jones, is a self-described communist, believes 9-11 was conducted by the U.S. Government, states that American companies purposely polute minority neighborhoods, etc, etc. This is lunacy. Should there be any doubt about allowing ANYONE in this adminstration to talk to our children? I think not, and it is the very reason I will NEVER allow my kids to step foot in a government school.

Bosch

September 4th, 2009
10:36 am

nurse&mother,

Why would Obama talk to school children about health reform? What on Earth could possibly make you think he would?

Do you really think that these kids would hear this on TV, remember it and then relate it to their parents?

Kids don’t care about politics – they mimic what they hear their parents say. It’s a speech to encourage them to stay in school – that’s it!

Jeff in Roswell

September 4th, 2009
10:37 am

Edward – Please, two “wrongs” don’t make a “right”. What happened the last eight years? The same things go on when a Repub is in office – the only difference now is the tables are turned.

Jessica

September 4th, 2009
10:37 am

I think it’s absurd to assume that parents are opposed to Obama’s agenda because of race. I think the people who are saying that mostly fall into two categories.
The first group is the misguided people who really believe that there are millions of racists out there who will do anything to keep minorities from getting ahead. They are wrong. There are still isolated pockets of racists here and there (I’ve met a few), but most white Americans, even the conservative ones, believe in equal opportunity. This is 2009, not 1959. Slavery is gone, Jim Crow laws are gone and segregation is gone. Stop looking back and move forward.
The second group is those who throw out accusations of racism to avoid really THINKING about the issues at hand, or to prevent others from doing so. It’s very convenient to slap a “racist” label on people who disagree with you and not consider their point of view.

Nabil

September 4th, 2009
10:38 am

Edward
You got it wrong Ed. These are simple minded, god fearing people. They are easily manipulated. This cast exists in every country. Every politician knows how to manipulate them. How do wars start? The last war was universally supported, except for the very few congresspeople. And what was that based on? Smoke and mirrors. Most Democrats supported it also. It is easy to manipulate.

leigh

September 4th, 2009
10:38 am

the problem i have with the whole thing is that there’s a real good chance he’s going to deviate from what’s been provided as his intended speech. how many times has he had to take back or re-state comments. luckily for me i have high school kids who will thankfully tune him out. They get enough encouragement from me to make good grades, stay in school, go to college etc. i don’t need the president to help me with my parenting.

Gwen

September 4th, 2009
10:39 am

I think it is wonderful that the President of the United States of America wants to speak to our children. It is absolutely ridiculous for parents to take their kids out of school because they do not want the President to speak to their kids. I wonder how many would take their kids out if George Bush was speaking? Probably none because the majority that want to take them out are angry, miserable, Rebublicans. He is the President people … stop being so unpatriotic.

Phil

September 4th, 2009
10:40 am

But Boodles, whom ever you were speaking of, it appears that these same folks, probably unlike yourself, are not able to sift through the Republican nonsense. If only you could learn to think clearly and havea rational discussion without all of the negativity and hatefulness. Remember Bush 1, “kinder & gentler.” Even Bush 1 recognized the need for civility.

Warrior Woman

September 4th, 2009
10:41 am

The speech is not historic. It’s been done before and will be done again. The likely content will include things that my family does not support. That’s OK, because we’ll discuss it together and decide what’s good and bad about it. The real problem was with the suggested assignments to go with the speech. They included finding ways to support the president’s agenda, which assumes all students do and should support his agenda. The president’s speech should be limited to encouragement to stay in school, work hard, and perform to the best of your abilities.

ee

September 4th, 2009
10:41 am

the man understands education, and the ‘teacher guides’ were not policy driven and have been rewritten to help address some of the concerns people had raised. the teaching materials are meant to give the teacher talking points for discussion. even before they were rewritten no policy issues were included.

curious

September 4th, 2009
10:42 am

Bottom line: There was no controversy when President Bush gave speeches to schoolchildren nationwide (twice). But now that the President is a Democrat, yup, it’s a controversy. That, kids, is the definition of “hypocrisy.” A great vocabulary word for Tuesday.

Claudia Castro

September 4th, 2009
10:42 am

Below, please find my communication to the Forsyth County School System regarding their decision not to show President Obama’s Live Education Address to our students:

I am writing to you this morning after reading in the AJC that Forsyth County will not be showing President Obama’s Back-to-School address on Tuesday. 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.

Forsyth County stands out in the metro area as one of the few, if not the only one, not showing it. What could possibly be wrong with a young, vibrant President using current-day technology, to individually challenge our students to do the right things when it comes to their education?

Please know that I will be allowing my 2 honor students to watch this address on Tuesday evening, teaching them not only about the importance of a good education, but also the importance of civility, honor and respect for the office of the Presidency, the highest public servant in our country.

Sign me “Disappointed mom”.

Claudia Castro

Ray B

September 4th, 2009
10:43 am

People, look at the composition of this administration; the radical 60’s leftists are now in control. All their smoke and mirrors cannot hide the fact that they are patently anti-American, believe the government should be the sole provider of all services, and that individual freedom is a bad thing (with the acception of abortion, of course). Oblama says we can keep our private health care? Right. Private healthcare will no longer exist once it is driven out by the government subsidized public option. Single payer system for all within 5 years. Complete solcialism within ten. What happened to the American spirit where government was distrusted and individuals solved their own problems? When did we become a nation full of whining children sitting with our hands out waiting for big-daddy government to solve our every need? Twenty trillion dollar deficit, economy owned by China, mortgaging the future, brainwashing our children to bcome Obamatrons; where does it end?

Phil

September 4th, 2009
10:44 am

And for you folks who talk about how you encourage your own kids and you don’t need the president to do that for you, NEWS FLASH, you do not live in this country or world alone. Any child can benefit from encouragement, even if they get encourage from home. Stop being so selfish and think about someone elses child for a change. Thinking about someone other than yourself won’t cost you a dime if that’s what you’re concerned about.

Dawn

September 4th, 2009
10:44 am

If our president wasn’t still campaigning and hadn’t given 111 speeches to date (in less than 7 months), we might be comfortable with the speech. However, he has not read the healthcare bill and keeps insisting that things that are not in the bill when, according to most analysts including those considered “liberal,” such things are in the bill as losing your current insurance after one year (it must be purchased from the exchange according to HR3200, the exchange plans being dictated by the government) and tax rate increases for EVERYONE (but tax rebates for those making under 40K).
Understanding this, and researching the people he is choosing to advise him–Holdren, who wrote a book about his beliefs that we should put sterilants in food and drinking water because there are too many people on the planet, Van Jones who is a self-avowed ex-con and communist who is seeking out reparations (his words), and Ezekiel Emanuel, helping to WRITE the healthcare bill saying that those between the ages of 15 and 40 are the most productive in society so we should reserve the best healthcare for them and we shouldn’t treat those with diseases such as alzheimer’s because they won’t get better…can you see why the general public is wary of what message the president will try and send our children?
The lesson plans do ask “what you can do for your president” NOT what you can do for your FELLOW MAN or your country. It is another indicator of the propaganda and the elevated status the president has been given and posturing for. That is why the commercial by ashton kutcher and demi moore is so horrifying when they say, “I pledge to be a servant to my president” (exact words).
The president is OUR employee, we are not his servants.

So in light of the president’s first 6+ months in office:
1. pushing through a stimulus package we cannot afford and yet the unemployment rate still goes up
2. cars for clunkers which still has not been paid out to the dealerships
3. cap and trade (which has failed in the European Nation, increased emissions by 5% and bankrupting companies, sending jobs to China) which passed the house because Obama made some deals with some of the representatives by calling them directly and putting pressure on them and offering pork
4. his incessant push to pass a healthcare bill he has not read but keeps stressing what IS or IS NOT in it
5.Organizing For America, which started out as a campaign site, now being used to organize people to pass his agenda using massive DNC dollars to out-campaign “normal” folks

***6. His statement that he would create a civilian army stronger than even our military****
Obama’s words: “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”
How do you create such an army? Start with the children. Ask Mao or Hitler. If you’re offended by the references to ruthless dictators, then do your history research and tell me how this is untrue.

So, yes, we are not happy with the address. The curriculum that accompanies it offensive, as if we should drop everything and make pledges to our president. Read the book 1984, it’s eery. I firmly believe we should support our children in education. But most of our education is broken. Public schools were started to create “good citizens” out of our youth. In the words of my old high school, printed on the walls presently, their mission is to make “productive world citizens.”

Some parents, like myself, have higher aspirations to help make our children into leaders capable of critical thinking based on the facts, not on emotions. Children are very impressionable and have a desire to please. Teachers bring their own opinions to the table. If you don’t believe there is pressure in school to agree with the president, or global warming, or reparations, or redistribution, you are wrong, evidenced in the cases around the country of bullying of children during the presidential race who believed a different candidate was better than Obama but being harrassed by a teacher because of it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDEAYgm0Dv8

But I digress. I could go on. Many of us do not trust the President, do not like the content of his character or the character of the people who advise him, and are wary of the president’s OWN WORDS about his agenda and thus, we don’t want it in the schools.

PS I didn’t like Bush either. Though he kept us safe for 8 years, I didn’t like his policies.

christineb

September 4th, 2009
10:44 am

There is this redundant focus on the “suggested” teacher guides. What is the complaint? Oh no, it ENCOURAGES students to think for themselves and ask questions. It encourages civic duty. God forbid.

Sarah Palin 2012

September 4th, 2009
10:46 am

1) 9/11
2) The Holocaust
3) Unemployment
4) Michael Jackson’s death
5) Slavery
6) Transformers 2
7)The mortgage meltdown
8) Abortions at Highschools
9) Complete government control of Healthcare
10) Gas prices

These are all things that can be blamed on Obama, and you want this monster talking to your kids?

Ray B

September 4th, 2009
10:46 am

Claudia Castro…you have every right to show your children, in the evening, whatever propaganda you choose. However, you (nor the “president”) have any right to force said propaganda upon my children. Forsyth County should be appluaded for supporting freedom and rejecting indoctrination.

just say no

September 4th, 2009
10:47 am

I can gaurantee you my children will not watch one minute of this garbage.

Ray B

September 4th, 2009
10:47 am

christineb…the “teacher guides” do much more then that:
1. How can you, as a student, help the president?
2. How will the president’s policies positively impact your lives?

ETC. What is the complaint? Open your eyes dear.

Trey

September 4th, 2009
10:48 am

I guess Forsyth County has already thrown out all of the books that seem to worldly for them. No Harry Potter for the kids in Forsyth.

Jeff in Roswell

September 4th, 2009
10:49 am

Ray B – Telling children to work hard in school and be the best that they can be is propaganda?

Lay off the weed, dude.

Jeff in Roswell

September 4th, 2009
10:50 am

Ray, it’s called discussion.

SeaAtl

September 4th, 2009
10:50 am

Every President does this. Each hypocrite threatening to keep their ignorant child out of school sat through a televised speech by a President while he or she was in school. George W, Clinton, George HW, Reagan, Carter….all of them did this. The phony “outcry” has been caused by zealots such as Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter, etc. and their sheep are following. Sad state of affairs in this country that I spent six years defending – you all should be ashamed of yourselves, but are to ignorant to know so.

Wayne

September 4th, 2009
10:50 am

Reagan did a similar speech to school childrenin which he spoke about his political agenda of cutting taxes, both Bushes gave speeches to the nation’s school children. You rightwing nutcases just can’t accept that the majority of American voters elected a liberal black man as president and booted many conservatives out of Congress last year. Get over it and accept your losses like an adult.

Trey

September 4th, 2009
10:52 am

What is this propaganda you people keep talking about? Have any of you actually read and know what the president is going to say? Or are you all mind-readers.

Ray B

September 4th, 2009
10:53 am

Jeff in Roswell…much like the healthcare bill that few supporters have read, take a look at the “teacher guides”….the questions being asked ARE propaganda….much like asking a student “what can you do to help the polar bears suffering from global warming.” Doesn’t sound bad on the surface, but the question presumes that everyone agrees that there is aproblem with global warming and puts students in a position to support “green” causes without question. Obama’s poll numbers are down, his health care takeover is on life support, and he is desperate…what better place to go to round up support; impressionable children.

ee

September 4th, 2009
10:53 am

of course republicans don’t want their kids to hear a speech about the importance of education… the might learn some critical thinking skills and challenge their parents’ political beliefs. the people opposed to this will look ridiculous when the speech takes place. fox-news and the right-wing media will drop the subject because the proof will be in the pudding. BO ain’t dumb, he’s got a better education than most most of us. I doubt the final product will contain anything remotely political. then the liberal media gets their turn to rub it in the faces of the people that are over-reacting about this.

ladibuzz

September 4th, 2009
10:53 am

Get a grip, what is wrong with you people. Our President would like to talk to our kids about education, and you simply a@@ have something to say about that. You would have a problem with anything he does. Why don’t you just leave, leave the United States, dumb a@@. I’m so sick of every time our President have something to say, there is always some one with something negative to say about it. LEAVE, LEAVE…..

Ray B

September 4th, 2009
10:53 am

Trey….read the teacher guides…nuff said.

Doc Al

September 4th, 2009
10:54 am

Look, a puppy!

Ray B

September 4th, 2009
10:54 am

ladibuss….oh, and the Dems never had anything bad to say about President Bush. Oh right, I forgot, the left thinks that we have no right to question ANYTHING from this president.

Nabil

September 4th, 2009
10:55 am

Ray B

Why did you put the quotation marks on the word president?
Do you doubt Obama is President?
Ok, at least now I understand what planet you live on.

Ray B

September 4th, 2009
10:56 am

Wayne…remember to remind yourself that when all the socialist Dems are voted out next year….with the way their poll numbers are dropping, it is inevitable.

Ray B

September 4th, 2009
10:56 am

Nabil…paranoid?

Trey

September 4th, 2009
10:56 am

I’m all for Van Jones errr, Jeremiah Wright no that’s not it..Barack Obama that’s it…
I’m all for them, I mean him, speaking.
We can decide what’s good for our children.
You knucklehead politicians don’t change, regardless of how many three to four syllable phrases you get the masses to repeat.
Tax the rich, hope and change..
Just get out of the way and let people do.

[...] Speech Do you care if your kids hear Obama’s speech at school? | A Blog for Busy Moms – MOMania Anyone hear if schools in Nebraska are showing [...]

Rob

September 4th, 2009
10:57 am

So, Bush or any other president in history has spoken with kids before. But NEVER has there been a debate as to if a president speaking to kids was a good idea. Closet RACISTS… And the person who wrote this article is a RACIST or a Steppin’ Fetchit…. Capable of “coonery and buffoonery”

Nabil

September 4th, 2009
10:57 am

Yes.
Reading the objections by republicans to the Obama speech has made me exceedingly so.

MaureenN

September 4th, 2009
11:00 am

If you keep your kids home on September 8th, you are not teaching them that the power of America rests in the hands of its people, no one else – you are teaching them that they have no power, that ignorance is bliss, that they have no voice, that their opinions don’t count, that they should hide from their responsibility to listen, learn, engage in dialog & be a part of the process that is our American government.

If your family values & beliefs don’t agree with those of the president, then teach your children to respectfully disagree & work towards the change that you want for the country. And, you can’t respectfully disagree with something that you don’t take the time to understand, listen to, learn about.

A Parent that Cares of All Children

September 4th, 2009
11:01 am

There are children not getting education, dropping out of school, bulling students, and can’t read or write. The PRESIDENT of United States with a Harvard eduction is taking the time to ASK your children to work hard in school and to embrace education so they can get ahead, and all you parents can see is a socialist. Stupid, ignorant parents, you will take you students out of school because of a word of wisdom. What will stay in school and work hard in school do to your children? Oh because a black man with the highest job in the world is going to explain it to them. Most you parents have not given a care in the world what you children do, as long as you made the almighty buck, and never spent a time of day of even knowing your children’s teachers. United States is filled with ignorant, and closed minded parents that everyday create United States MONSTERS. Wake up and grow up at least someone is taking to time to speak to our future children that are ditching school.

SeaAtl

September 4th, 2009
11:02 am

It is relevant whether or not you all like or agree with our current President – that is a completely separate issue. Hannity, Limbaugh, and Coulter have got you sheep confusing the issues. The President is addressing school children on a non-political topic, just has his predecessors have and his successors will. Too many of you are blinded by emotion rather than using reason (which, for those of you silly people coming out of the woodwork to quote Ayn Rand when you likely never heard of her before now, is what Ms Rand was most passionate about – the use of REASON).

stop black racism

September 4th, 2009
11:03 am

So much for the blatant lie about Obama being the first “post racial” president. Ever since the vile racist rants of Rev J Wright surfaced Hussein Obama has been the willing poster boy supporting and enabling black racists. Anyone who legitimately opposes Obama is robotically called a “racist”. Obama never ever tells his (congressional), and not always black liberal minions to stop doing this. Obama sullenly said not ONE WORD about Wright’s virulent racism for **TWENTY YEARS** , not until the media highlighted the kind of place he chose to attend and pay tithes to. Van Jones, Obama’s self confessed commie, anti-capitalist (not at all a joke) “green jobs Czar” glibly talks about “white polluters sending poison to black communities”. NOTHING from Obama about this appalling appointment that he deliberately circumvented senate vetting on. Obama instantly and aggressively “sides” with a black racist at Harvard who abuses a perfectly polite and diligent police officer who was simply trying to make sure his property was safe late at night. NO Apology from Obama. Thuggish Black Panthers caught on camera threatening voters with a weapon and racially abusing whites at a polling station in PA suddenly have their slam dunk prosecution dropped. Obama is an appalling “role model” for kids. His anti-white track record is despicable. The rest of his extremist policies are now being systematically exposed. Which is why his Zogby approval is already down to just 42%. Keep him away from the kids. This creepy, left wing fascist propaganda is outrageous.

Nabil

September 4th, 2009
11:03 am

A Parent that Cares of All Children

No, No, No!!!
They see a BLACK socialist!

Jeff in Roswell

September 4th, 2009
11:03 am

Ray – Yes, if my child comes home and tells me the polar bear is dying because of global warming – I will politely tell him that just because Barack Obama and his teacher say it’s so, doesn’t neccesarily mean it’s true. Then we discuss the differing views and move on from there. That’s what parenting is. Children MUST be exposed to differing views.

Maturin

September 4th, 2009
11:03 am

All this controversy is doing is giving our children an early introduction to partisan political thinking. SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN, PLEASE!

malika

September 4th, 2009
11:03 am

i grew up during the 1980’s and although my parents didn’t care too much for reagan, they certainly wouldn’t have kept me and my sisters out of school to avoid listening to a pep talk about education.
i wish you hicks would just own up to the fact that you don’t like that a Black man is in office and that’s all this boils down to. its not about socialism, its not about healthcare, and its not about unemployment. ever since he was running, racist morons have clung to whatever ignorant rumor they heard to reaffirm how evil the big Black guy was. i even heard one white woman tell a reporter that she was afraid that Obama was going to enslave all of the white people if elected.
you idiots allowed george bush 8 long years to destroy the nation, yet within 100 days you were poopooing EVERYTHING Obama does and says. some of you morons even had the nerve to look for stupid things to say, like complaining about a first lady wearing sleeveless shirt or wearing shorts on vacation in arizona in the summer!
until you people are man and woman enough to own up to your racist fears, we as a nation will continue to suffer.

It's really pretty simple.....

September 4th, 2009
11:04 am

…to all you who keep bringing up “but Reagan and Bush did it, too” – what does something that was done 18 – 23 years ago have to do with today, but I digress.

Both Reagan and Bush were espousing “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, which just happen to be the American way and the principles upon which the U.S. of A. were founded. Obama is espousing doctrine most closely associated with Marxism, principles upon which this country is diametrically oppposed – but which, with his continued ideologies, are being pushed upon us even though we, as a nation, have continued to push back against as a matter of principle – see, healthcare reform attempt as exhibit A.

That is why we are fearful of our children hearing and being brainwashed as the beginning of what others have pointed out as the Mao and Stalin way to political incapacitation!

Don't_Be_Stupid

September 4th, 2009
11:05 am

Angry about Obama’s planned speech about striving for academic success? Fine, yank your kids out of school for the day, and let them continue to wallow in ignorance and mediocrity. Thiry or 40 years from now, when you look back on that day, if you’ve gotten any smarts by then, you’ll wag you head in shame at the remembrance.