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

Nabil

September 4th, 2009
11:06 am

Jeff in Roswell

What sources do you give your kids on the subject of global warming? Have you done any research? Is it enough to believe what politicians and clergy say?

There is no hope. I think I will go back to Afghanistan. The Taliban is more enlightened!

YUKI

September 4th, 2009
11:06 am

ok, I’m laughing and I just had to respond to LADIBUZZ….”everytime our President have something to say”…..it’s HAS something to say. You want everyone who doesn’t bow down to him to leave the country. Please get an education and learn correct grammer before you try to go off. It’s laughable.

Greg

September 4th, 2009
11:07 am

I find it hilarious. You want to keep your children home from *public* school because they might hear something *socialist*?!? And the President wants to give a message about *staying in school*, yet you prefer to take your children *out of school* so they don’t hear it?!? Did Bush remove all the intelligence in his party when he was running things?

Outsider

September 4th, 2009
11:08 am

This shows you that the hatred goes beyond politics!!

Jeff in Roswell

September 4th, 2009
11:08 am

Brainwashing doesn’t happen from one, two or even three episodes – so give the brainwashing thing a rest. Parenting your child combats brainwashing. Try it sometime.

Steve

September 4th, 2009
11:08 am

So encouraging children to stay in school, study hard, and work to make the most of your God-given abilities is a socialist agenda??? That’s funny, because I’m a capitalist and that sounds like capitalism to me. You would think that Georgia, with one of the highest dropout rates in the nation, would welcome anyone who encourages students to stay in school. Georgia looks more and more like a two-bit, third world country every day. Shame, shame, shame.

Lynn

September 4th, 2009
11:08 am

I cant believe the racist,right wing ignorancee that is happening right now. First of all do you really think a president will talk to children about healthcare? Second do you think he is that ignorant to try and push his thoughts on healthcare through children. People use your heads. What will you say when in fact you find out he is just talking to kids about how important education is to their future? What will you be saying. This is retaliation from the right for not winning the WHite House but why should they. FOr the last 8 years we have kept the most ignorant illiterate person in office and supported him and even asked our kids to support the ignorance. For the comments about living in a communist country and brainwashing get a grip. Your television, mobile phones, internet and games have already done that. I am so tired of non-educated people having an ignorant opinion. Go back to school yourselves and get a real education!!!!

Ray B

September 4th, 2009
11:09 am

Here are two of the books students are supposed to read prior to the speech.
http://www.puma08.com/2009/09/02/sept-8th-here-are-two-of-the-books-on-obama-your-kids-are-expected-to-read/

No propaganda here!!! LOL, you ignorant masses.

A Parent that Cares of All Children

September 4th, 2009
11:10 am

Every president spoke to children, but this time this president is educated and black. You are scared of this educated black man, now PRESIDENT, showing your children, that everyone can have a good education if they work HARD and want something in life. Stop teaching your kids hate and jealousy. Teach them anything in life is possible, even respect for others and never judging a book by its color or creed.

Boodles

September 4th, 2009
11:10 am

YUKI – LADIBUZZ might just think of the president as a plural (you know, like the emperors of yore and the Pope) – after all, he is probably infallible in her eyes. But, you are probably right – she is likely just ignorant of the rules of grammer.

SeaAtl

September 4th, 2009
11:10 am

The real brainwashing occurs when you nuts are tuned in to Hannity, Limbaugh, and Coulter – the three ring leaders of this contrived “controversy”.

haha

September 4th, 2009
11:10 am

MALIKA U are the truth and nothing else needs to be said!

Virginia

September 4th, 2009
11:11 am

Tin Foil Hats For Everyone: I was catching up on the nastiness and tripped over your entry. Thanks for the image–President Obama by way of Deborah Harry!

MJG: My school groups and re-groups for differentiated teaching, why not for politics? I promise you that no one is getting extra recess out of this–for one thing, it’s still too darn hot outside.

Jeff in Roswell

September 4th, 2009
11:11 am

Nabil, no it is not enough to believe what politicians and clergy say. As parents, you can’t give all the definitive answers to your children, but you can discuss the differing views and when more information comes at a later date, you revisit the subject.

haha

September 4th, 2009
11:13 am

Enter your comments here

Tony

September 4th, 2009
11:13 am

Wow the right wing, get crazier every time Obama does something, Reagan Talked to schoold kids to sell tax cut to the rich, Obama want just to tell the kids stay in school, then there is outrage, get a life!

Joe Douglas

September 4th, 2009
11:14 am

I think we should place huge posters of our president in all public areas and government schools – kinda like those Sadam Hussan had in Iraq and those in Syria, Oh – and those in China.

Reality

September 4th, 2009
11:15 am

I am very sad to hear of the reactions to this. What parent in their right mind would ever prevent their child from listening to the President of the US? You don’t have to agree with that particular President’s policies, with their religon, with their race, or whatever. The simple fact is that a President is the President, period, and you are denying your child a learning opportunity.

Isolation is never a good thing. Staying informed about all things from all sides is a good thing.

In the end, you must trust that a citizen is informed enough to make the right decision.

Trey

September 4th, 2009
11:15 am

O.k., how many Treys are posting? Check out the writing to distinguish.

knoxgrad

September 4th, 2009
11:16 am

Oh for Pete’s sake. The conspiracy theories are completely out of control. Whether you approve of everything Obama does or not, he is the president and worthy of some respect. (I believe that Bush supporters said EXACTLY this to Bush’s critics during his term.) A president speaking about school to school children is not an outrageous action. Quit assuming that exposing your children to different points of view will poison them. Perhaps it will educate them and teach people to listen to every side of an issue!

leigh

September 4th, 2009
11:16 am

funny, the “first” kids have never attended public school, maybe they should go to hear daddy speak, might expose them to real america. on second thought probably not a good idea.

Ken Hilton

September 4th, 2009
11:17 am

I am shocked that this is a problem. Imagine that, the leader of the country caring about it’s young peoples future. Shame on him! WRONG. For all of you complaining, you need to stop and think and then read about the current dropout rate of our young people. For all of you complaining, do you spend time encouraging your children to stay in school? For all of you complaining do you spend time with your children helping them study or doing homework with them? I guess you think it’s okay for your child to be influenced by video games like Grand Theft Auto, or spend their time listening to offensive lyrics in music. No that audio visual is not brainwashing our kids. But a President encouraging our children to turn off the television and open up a book is. Wow!!!! with leadership like yours (those who are complaining) we will quickly become a third world nation.

Ray B

September 4th, 2009
11:18 am

Reality…if it were simply “listening to the president” I don’t think anyone would have a problem. It’s the propaganda that goes along with it that is problamatic…teacher talking points on how students can help the president….books that must be read beforehand glorifying Obama (see link in my last post). THAT is the problem.

Nabil

September 4th, 2009
11:19 am

Jeff in Roswell
Thanks for sharing your educational background. I skimmed thro your URL and I was not offended by the quotes on Obama they listed. However, lets assume I can understand that it does offend you. Given that this is a blog that has an axe to grind, do you think it is sufficient source of information?
Your offspring might benefit from some sources that are peer reviewed. Specially when it comes to global warming. Assuming that is, if this does not conflict with your religion.

Elaine

September 4th, 2009
11:20 am

This is such a ridiculous controversy. The parents who are so upset over the President telling kids to stay in school are the ones who are brainwashed. They don’t think for themselves but believe every wingnut talk show host and viral email they have ever seen. Like them, I fear for my country’s future but MY fear is based on the idiocy of the American public these days.

Leslie

September 4th, 2009
11:20 am

Good lord, people. He’s the President of the United States, not the bogeyman. Has anyone noticed that presidents often give this kind of speech, and no one to date has gotten very upset about it, even when Reagan talked to kids about the line item veto and George W. Bush asked them to support the war. I think those of you who are objecting so vehemently should ask yourselves what’s really making you so irrational and angry. You might not be very proud of the answer.

Tia

September 4th, 2009
11:22 am

Let’s be honest. Most kids aren’t going want to hear or care what the President (regardless of who it is). And if it is a lunch interruption (as pointed out on the East Coast), knowing my kids and their friends he really might as well be talking to a wall.

Nabil

September 4th, 2009
11:22 am

Leslie
You are in the twilight zone lady!
Welcome.

Paul

September 4th, 2009
11:22 am

As a teacher and a parent I have mixed feelings. I have nothing against my students or children hearing from the POTUS. It is a position that deserves respect regardless of your political feelings. Any person in such a position who can speak to children about the importance of doing the right thing, staying in school, making wise choices should be listened to. However, the lesson plans that were developed to coincide with the speech have political slants to them. Instead of asking students to reflect on a “stay in school” speech and comment on how it affects their lives, students are being asked to reflect on how they can “help President Obama”. That is just a little bothersome and smells of a little indoctrination. I undedrstand why some are a little leary of it.

As for me, I will watch it and consider whether it’s not such a big deal or if it crosses the line. I hope it is a good speech that simply encourages all kids to reach their potential, etc. There’s no harm in that!!

Star

September 4th, 2009
11:23 am

My children would never listen to the propaganda that Obama has to tell. All he is going to do is try to convince kids to tell their parents that the health care package is the greatest thing. The school should ban together and say no to the “talk”.

wolverine fan

September 4th, 2009
11:23 am

No problem if he just talks about doing well in school. But I am sure his agenda will be more than that…………..

keno

September 4th, 2009
11:23 am

I truly pity all you extremist out there who who see fault in everything the current president attempts to do, yet because of your extreme views you allowed this country to be run into the ground and remained silent. Your biggest fear is that President Obama will have a successful presidency filled with many accomplishments, well you better get ready for just that. This man was placed here to do a job, and he is going to get it done with or with out your approval. If you don’t want your child to hear these words of wisdom from the leader of this country and the free world take them out of school and home school them. Because I am sure President Obama is going to come up with many more ways to interact with America’s youth, because he such a great role model.

CJ

September 4th, 2009
11:23 am

Amen MJ. This is about the stupidest thing I have heard of , parents keeping their kids of of school. Now it is becoming more apparent of why American education is ranked so low in comparison to other nations. It’s the parents fault and we want to know why we have so many brats around. It doesn’t matter if you voted for Obama or not, this is the president of the United Sates, a highly educated, intelligent man. Show some respect people. Besides, English is not his second language so the children will be able to understand what he is saying.

Ray B

September 4th, 2009
11:23 am

Leslie..since I consistently stand against government control, left-wing propaganda, manipulation of children, and socialist agendas, I am quite proud of my objections to this president’s policies.

Not a big deal

September 4th, 2009
11:24 am

I’m not an Obama supporter, but man this is stupid. Let your
child hear the speech, read or listen to the speech yourself, then have
a conversation with your child about it. Don’t treat it as a negative
thing before you even listen to what is said.It probably will be just
a pep talk for students anyway.

Jeff in Roswell

September 4th, 2009
11:25 am

Nabil, ??? I had no URL and I think you are confusing me with someone else.

GATL

September 4th, 2009
11:25 am

stupid is as stupid breeds… keep your kids out of school… there’s the solution our country needs. You people who don’t want your kids to be exposed to the President of the United States of America sicken me!!

Ray B

September 4th, 2009
11:25 am

Keno….ROTFLMFAO

Roxy

September 4th, 2009
11:25 am

My issue with this speech has absolutely nothing to do with what party is currently in power. I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I am neither for the President nor against him.

I am a mother. And a mother that is involved in my 1st grade child’s education and the influences in his life. With all aspects of his education, I read through materials and make the effort to know what he is going to be learning. This way I can speak to his teachers if I am uncomfortable with something – this has yet to happen – or feel that he is not being challenged enough or too much. To me, this is my job as a parent.

If the White House provided the text of the speech a week of so ahead of time – not just one day – and I had time to digest and discuss it with my husband, child and educators then I would at least be able to make an educated informed decision to have my child watch it or not. That is not an option that the White House provided.

The argument that the President is the leader of this country and just wants to talk to our children about education is a weak one. Have you seen the text for the speech? Do you know that is EXACTLY what he is going to speak about? You don’t. And neither do I. And because of that, none of us can say for certain that is what the speech will be about. Just b/c the White House says so doesn’t mean it is so. (I can go back in history and document all the times the White House has lied about something if you really need me to.)

All I was wanting was a text of the speech and time to read it, digest it and discuss it before making the decision to have my child watch it or not. If you want to call me a Right Wing Nut or whatever other names you are spewing – go right ahead. At least I care enough to get involved in my child’s life instead of throwing up my hands and giving that responsibility to someone else!

tgirl

September 4th, 2009
11:25 am

It’s really unbelievable to me that anyone would contemplate keepking their child home from school just to avoid hearing a speech by the President of the United States. Its an embarrassment to Georgia that we’re even having this discussion.

PrinciPAL

September 4th, 2009
11:25 am

If I was the principal of a school, I would put out a big tub of PEANUT BUTTER and loaf of white bread in front of the TV so that the little indoctrinees-to-be wouldn’t wander off to the playground during lunchtime and miss the big obamevent.

A Parent that Cares of All Children

September 4th, 2009
11:26 am

Ken Hilton, Hate can blind a person with 20/20. The people screaming hate know the statistics and know their children are failing. Also, most of these people are also childless, they do not care about someone elses children. Most of them are just chiming along with RUSH and the other haters.

Trey

September 4th, 2009
11:26 am

Why should this man have to release his transcripts to prove how intelligent he is? Any fool should be able to figure out that President Obama is intelligent. He can put a sentence together and actually pronounce the words. We have not had any made-up words like “strategery” yet. Of course the man is intelligent and shouldn’t have to prove it. Has any other president before him had to prove their intelligence?

Beth

September 4th, 2009
11:26 am

It is parents like this one in the blog who will continue the paranoid partisan society for generations to come. The president isn’t going to say anything negative to children. Education in the US is horrible. The drop out rate is high. We lag behind much of the world. It is about time people take our children’s future seriously. All Presidents of the United States should address children as very important future leaders of our country. Children should listen to what the President has to say as often as possible. The political party shouldn’t matter. I feel sorry for this woman’s children being raised by such a narrow minded mother.

Nabil

September 4th, 2009
11:26 am

Ooops
RAY B’s URL.

Jeff in Roswell

September 4th, 2009
11:27 am

http://www.ed.gov/teachers/how/lessons/prek-6.pdf

This is from the White House page. It mentions nothing of the books that Ray B. is talking of.

scotty

September 4th, 2009
11:28 am

if he were white it would be alright, period

ncgreybr

September 4th, 2009
11:29 am

So many other people have said it better than me but…this has really brought the crazies out! The President wants children to work hard and stay in school and parent are offended? You people are wacko! THE SCAREY THING IS THAT YOUR VOTE COUNTS THE SAME AS MINE AND YOU PEOPLE REPRODUCE!

firstborn40

September 4th, 2009
11:30 am

wow…hate is rampant and it is unnecessary…i’m a person without a job, without healthcare, and with an elementary school daughter…i don’t president obama was in office when this started, he is trying to clean it up…and yes, i voted for him…and for those that don’t see what he has done, it’s because he hasn’t been in office long enough!

where were you when bush declared war based on a lie…did you scream this loud! my daughter’s school should have it blasting in the halls…but it is a message not only students should hear, but parent’s too…this is the president of the united states and if education is important to him…then what is your problem!?

a lot of us cannot pay for private school for our children as the former presidents did and could, so excuse us if president obama gives a damn about main stream america…after all it’s on our backs that the rich lie.

Ray B

September 4th, 2009
11:31 am

PrinciPAL….LOL