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

Hypocrites Stand Down

September 4th, 2009
11:56 am

@Nabil Oh, Sorry, that was too much for you! Just thought I’d back up my statements with facts. I forgot, Crazy people need to hear short concise things, repeated often! Factual Content not necessary! I’ll dumb it down.
All American’s are Socialists! All Americans benefit from Socialist programs in the US, no matter who you are or what you do. If you don’t like Socialism, then you don’t like the American Way!!!!

There…. that better?

HB

September 4th, 2009
11:56 am

He is the President of our entire country, not just those who voted for him. I cannot understand why parents would be opposed to their children hearing the President give a speech that is promised to be nonpartisan and encourages kids to do things I think we all agree on — work hard, do well in school, etc. If the speech turns out to be a health care plug or a push for other policies, then as an Obama-supporting liberal, I encourage you to raise hell the day after and I will join in that protest, because I strongly believe that would be wrong, regardless of whether or not I agree with the policies being pushed. But it’s ridiculous to imply that children should not be exposed to ANYTHING our President has to say.

Anne

September 4th, 2009
11:56 am

Why can’t he just keep is A– behind his desk and do some work. That man is not happy unless he is in front of a camera or talking to a crowd. He has to have applause, hugs, etc. Look at me look at me. I wonder if his mama ever gave him any love. I don’t want my kids listening to him so it’s a nice long week-end for us.

senoiadawgs

September 4th, 2009
11:57 am

Really folks, so your children because they go to private school will never/ever see anything you do not approve of? Come on get real. I suppose you have a 24 hour loop of Barney and Friends on your TV or maybe you don’t watch TV and just maybe you have 24 hour loop Hannity or Rush playing on your radio with no commercials or heck maybe you just read and I am sure you do not drive either unless your kids have blindfolds on. Oh I know, private school teaches them everything and you do not have to worry about teaching your own children.

Wow some people are just flat nuts and yes that is from one conservative to another.

Tea

September 4th, 2009
11:57 am

WHAT is going ON HERE!?!?!?!?!?!? Lord knows I thought Geo W Bush was inept and intellectually deficient but he was still the President and I would have NO problem with my child hearing a speach from GWB about the merits of education. In what way can an Obama speach be honestly seen in a political light? Has anyone actually seen the text of the speech? This pushback seems so ridiculous to me, I honestly cannot wrap my mind around it. Have we devolved into such a politically divided nation that we can;t unite behind our own President on the positive aspects of education? We are in a bitterly bad sitatuation. Maybe we should just divid into red and blue states and have seperate nations…really!

Mary

September 4th, 2009
11:58 am

America is showing itself to be more ignorant than anybody in the world even imagined. All of this furor over a speech from the President of the United States, which such speeches have always been done by past presidents. This is again all about politics — some Republicans started this scare tactic to try to embarrass the President, and stupid people jumped on the bandwagon. I have no idea where such pervasive ignorance in a country can possibly lead, but I doubt if it’s in anyway good. America, we are doomed unless we begin to educate ourselves.

craig donahue

September 4th, 2009
11:59 am

they who opose obama are mainly racist.but when they die god will judge their hearts.hell is real!

Erin

September 4th, 2009
11:59 am

Perhaps I missed this, but are these pre-made “lesson plans” going to be VOLUNTARY or REQUIRED? Does it go by school or by district, if they’re voluntary? I think those are important distinctions … if they’re voluntary, then I don’t see much to argue with.

carly

September 4th, 2009
12:00 pm

The far right is out to get Obama on anything he does and to divide this Country.Time to shine a light on these extremists.There is a related post at http://iamsoannoyed.com/?page_id=588

Jeff in Roswell

September 4th, 2009
12:00 pm

Thank you Pastor Craig Donahue.

Angela

September 4th, 2009
12:01 pm

In response to Andrea:

IMHO, Telling kids to stay in school is quite a different story than indoctrinating them with tactics to teach them to go pro government. While Obama might use general terms and vague phrases in his speech, having his staff write assignments for the Department of Education to hand out to schools who depend on federal funding to stay alive smacks of Communism.

I don’t mind if a president addresses kids. It is cool for them. Talk about drug prevention, staying in school, respect those around you… General topics to make them better citizens. Obama took this a step too far by taking on a major issue and trying to turn children against their families by giving them a PrObamaCare school assignment.

Sherl

September 4th, 2009
12:03 pm

My daughter was 6 when Reagan addressed students and my son was 10. My daughter thinks she remembers something about jelly beans. My son said he does not remember it at all.

Tea

September 4th, 2009
12:04 pm

Mary: “I have no idea where such pervasive ignorance in a country can possibly lead”

…it leads to a 35-50% HS drop out rate. We are literally becomming a nation of idiots with the State of Georgia leading the way.

Bob

September 4th, 2009
12:04 pm

Truman, Nixon, and Reagan never viewed themselves in a “Savior-like” manner, like Obama. Their intentions never came into question when they talked to anyone. As it stands now, everything Obama has said and don thus far has been calculated and comes with an ulterior motive. That’s what parents know and want to keep their children sheltered from.

Steve

September 4th, 2009
12:06 pm

People are so pathetic. No wonder Georgia is at the bottom of the rung when it comes to education. This “mom” must have no more than a third grade education. What parent would not want their child to hear a speech from the president of the united states. If the president were some idiot like john macain or even worse george w bush i bet this idiot mom would not be keeping her brats at home.

PJ

September 4th, 2009
12:06 pm

If I want my child to watch the President talk I will do so in my own home where I can give my point of view not the teachers. Doing this during the day when a lot of parents have no choice but to send their kids to school is like being held hostage. I am a registered Democrate, but this has gotten way out of hand that I can no longer trust the government with the well being of my child. Someone needs to tell the people what to do who don’t agree with this and don’t say contact your congressmen because they are just as bad. People of the US stand up for what our forefathers wanted for our country.

This is so silly

September 4th, 2009
12:08 pm

This whole debate is so freaking silly! If you haven’t noticed, we’re no longer the intellectual powerhouse of the world that we used to be. We are laughable at best in internationally rankings in Science and Math – subjects that spur technology and innovation. ANYONE that wants to encourage children to do better in school and place a premium on education should be greeted with open arms. The fact that there are so many detractors given that the President is trying to encourage our children to do better in school absolutely baffles me. Oh, I forgot, he’s going to speak in code and use mind tricks to brainwash our kids and make them into government loving socialists.

The fact that people are tossing around “socialism” and “socialist” truly reveals how ignorant they are. The USA is not a totally capitalist society. We have several socialist aspects and programs aimed and helping and aiding the citizens of the US, ie Social Security, Medicaid/Medicare, Unemployment Benefits, and the list goes on and on. So, let’s stop with this political posturing.

PrinciPAL

September 4th, 2009
12:08 pm

Anne – I never of it that way before but you are so right. He’s always got to be “on stage” – he can’t just do his job behind the scenes. And, and hey, Mother Against Peanut Butter – I got a big ol’ Reese’s cup back at the house just waiting for ya!

christineb

September 4th, 2009
12:08 pm

Angela-
Where does it say he intends to turn children against their families? Where did it say he was talking major issues with them? If you are going to write something- please have your facts straight and from a reliable source.

PrinciPAL

September 4th, 2009
12:09 pm

Caught my own typo – meant to say “I never thought of it that way before”

Sarah

September 4th, 2009
12:10 pm

This is ridiculous. First of all, Obama is not a socialist. I get really tired of people using that accusation as an excuse to deprive their children of listened to Obama. I am sure that it is a pep talk and it want brainwash your children people!!!! Get over yourselves!!!

Kev

September 4th, 2009
12:11 pm

Paul,

Do you know what he will speak about? Have you seen his speech? Just because you do not agree with his policies, (some or all) does not mean that his speech will negatively affect children. As for color, the color of the man’s skin does not influence my decision to support or reject his position.
My position on policy is based on my own critical thought and values. So do not think that all people of color drink from the Obama cup just because of his skin color. Once you get your mind around that simple truth, perhaps we can start to tear down the other mental impediments that hinder your thought processes.

Bob

September 4th, 2009
12:12 pm

Hey, if Hitler or Marx wanted to speak to my children, I wouldn’t want them to hear their messages either. And they were both white, not black. Get over your racial selves and understand that it is all about belief systems, not race.

ncgreybr

September 4th, 2009
12:12 pm

Rick: “All any President ever needs to do is the following:

“I believe in PUBLIC EDUCATION!! So much so that I’ll be sending MY CHILDREN to the PUBLIC SCHOOLS”

If Obama put his kids in public school and there was an attempt on their lives or an attempt to kidnap them, YOU would be screaming about how Obama put everyone else’s kids in jeopardy. “It’s all his fault!”

The reson they are in private school is that the Secret Service can control the surrounding of a private school better than a public one….but you know that, don’t you?

This is so silly

September 4th, 2009
12:15 pm

@Ray B – that link is a fraud…stop perpetuating ignorance!

Stephanie

September 4th, 2009
12:15 pm

what also saddens me, is you are showing your children that they HAVE to follow whatever you follow, and 9 out 10 times the children who are staying home and the children who are allowed to see the speech are being seperated and i am sure children on both sides will bully others for “being the one mommy and daddy cant let see the speech” or “being the child who’s parents are stupid because they like obama” seriously, parents GROW UP! your poor kids are never going to learn what THEY like.

RPMV

September 4th, 2009
12:16 pm

I’m a highschool student and though I have my opinions about Obama (which entail that I dont agree with him at ALL!) I still don’t see the big deal about him making a speech. I think he should show it only to those of Highschool age because seriously what is a 8 year old going to get from a speech? I think all schools should have the option to allow parents to keep their kids from school. I also would say to those of you have ’sterotyped’ and ‘generalized’ both ways whether you said that republicans are racist or that all blacks voted for Obama that you are WRONG!!!! I dont agree with Obama, im Republican, I’m conservative, and I’m not Racist…imagine that. Also I have a very good friend who is African American who doesnt agree with Obama at all. hmm? are we seeing a pattern here that we cannot generalize people because you know they are individuals. Just like I dont think its wrong for HS students to hear what their president has to say. In fact I think they should hear his opinions and then have a discussion about it. I cant tell you how obnoxious people sound when they generalize others. Let us be people, let us make our own decisions, STOP putting people into categories! Im just saying…

This is so silly

September 4th, 2009
12:17 pm

@Bob – “Hey, if Hitler or Marx wanted to speak to my children, I wouldn’t want them to hear their messages either”

now it makes sense since you put it that way…really? Comparing our President to a person that committed one of the most horrible violation of humans in history speaks volume to your intelligence level.

T

September 4th, 2009
12:17 pm

You know this country will never be ready for anything. If it was George Bush jr. (who was a elementary school during Sept11th) no problem. I am not a fan of none of the president that have taken office since my birth. But, we need to come together and help our country become a better place. Obama just started and you are having a hard time already. We must ask ourselves and be very honest. Is it because of his race (bi-racial, half white and half black) or is it really his policies. He doesn’t make policies on his own. Just like Bush, he didn’t make all of the decision for our country on his own.

Lesa

September 4th, 2009
12:18 pm

I can’t believe people are even questioning whether the President of this country should be able to address our children. Like it or not, he is the leader of this country, freely elected by a majority of our population. You may not respect the man, but as Americans you should respect the office. I believe that President Obama has a sincere desire to unite our country and return to a time when differences of opinion could be discussed with civility. After reading the inflammatory comments from both sides here, I am very doubtful that he will have any success in that area.

Bob

September 4th, 2009
12:18 pm

Stephanie,

That’s a part of a parent’s job – to train up a child in the way that he or she will go. It’s called molding a child. And to be honest with you, I don’t want my child to believe that Obama is right in his thinking, so why should I let him be the one molding my child?

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
12:21 pm

Depends on what he’s telling them. Back in 89, people were upset because Bush Sr. was going to talk to school kids.

Bob

September 4th, 2009
12:21 pm

@This is so silly,

I didn’t say Obama was an evil human being like Hitler, but his viewpoints are just as socialistic or communist as Hitler or Marx. He has said it himself (i.e. “spread the wealth around” comments). That was the point I was making, and yes, that requires a higher level of intelligence to get, which evidently you neglected to do.

Ni

September 4th, 2009
12:22 pm

@ Peadawg… You said…
No it’s that most of us DO have health care and DON”T WANT TO PAY FOR YOURS AS WELL!!!
NEWSFLASH- You are paying the cost for others anyway. Who do you think pays for all that ridiculously expensive ER care that the uninsured uses when their problems could have been taken care of far more economically… I.E seeing a family doctor? I have insurance and I’ve watched the premiums jump while the “included” services declined. Wake up and see that special intrests groups are most likely adding fuel to the fire by stoking your irrational fears so that we can be at each others throats while they continue to take advantage of the American public, which by the way, includes you too.

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
12:23 pm

ncgreybr, sorry pal but Obama is sending his kids to private school. Most elite politicians do. It’s called liberal hypocrisy. Do as I say not as I do.

Mark Morrison

September 4th, 2009
12:24 pm

We have a freedom of choice and I don’t want my kids to listen to socialist points of view. If you don’t like that then step out back and we can talk about this the old fashion way – they way we earned our freedom.

Hall County Teacher

September 4th, 2009
12:25 pm

Two words: Hitler Youth

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
12:25 pm

What it really boils down to is the fact that parents should be able to make the decision on whether or not their kids will hear him speak or not. It’s not up to the government to decide.

Charlie

September 4th, 2009
12:26 pm

I have no interest in my kid listening the Obama, would you blacks sent their kids to school to listen to Bush? Obama and his crew are as much of thieves as all politicitians who preceeded him. The fact that you can see that is scary.

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
12:27 pm

Right now unemployment is at 9.7% and the stimulus plan failed. Cash for Clunkers failed because the government didn’t give dealerships the money. Health care is failing because he doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing.

Bottom line: President Obama needs to fix his broken policies before we do hit another Great Depression or even worse, a nuclear holocaust via NK, Iran or China.

mamaj

September 4th, 2009
12:27 pm

Some of you people have arrived at levels of stupidity that amazes even me, at my age. If all it takes to influence your children, and overthrow all of your good anti- Democrat “teaching, is a 30 minute speech from the President, you haven’t done that great a job yourself, informing them. My wisdom tells me that other motives are in operation and it is truly so sad. Fortunately kids grow up and in so many instances, they don’t always hold on to the same views as their parents.

Hall County Teacher

September 4th, 2009
12:28 pm

Bob – Obama is not evil like Hitler. He will make Hitler look like Mickey Mouse if he gets what he wants and is, God forbid, in office more than 4 years. Barack Obama is the beginning of the end for the USA.

Billy

September 4th, 2009
12:28 pm

There is one simple explanation for all of the commotion. The white segregationists don’t want their lily white children exposed to an African-American president. These people would even bellyache if Obama had announced that he was going to read My Pet Goat to the children. Now I am waiting to see if the Republicans in Georgia start working on another constitutional amendment.

Tina

September 4th, 2009
12:28 pm

When will the racism stop? We finally get a black president and he’s doing a great job and all some of you can think of is trying to belittle and berate him. You say he lacks experience, well your beloved George W. lacked common sense! The man choked on a PRETZEL!!!

All the president is trying to do is encourage kids to stay in school. But you can’t see this act for its beauty because you’re full or negativity, racism and hate! God judge you all!

God Bless You All

September 4th, 2009
12:28 pm

I was all set to see posts upon posts of ignorance and hate. I am happy to see that there are still many Americans (Atlantans) who won’t allow themselves to be bamboozled by mainstream media and radio shock jocks with agendas. Thankfully, you will likely have raised your children to be the free thinking individuals that you are, who will listen and then form opinions. It baffles me that these kind of people (the intelligent) are so few and far in between these days. But eh, if we had an era of McCarthyism nothing should really shock me. God Bless the child who’s got (a mind of) his own.

Charlie

September 4th, 2009
12:28 pm

I guess people feel so passionate about Obama talking to their kids is because they cannot motivate, and set values at home. My parents did not expect the government to instill the values and work ethic, and neither do I. The only reason parents are excited about this is because they lack parenting skills. Since 75% of blacks children don’t have a father living in the house, that is not suprising.

Carrancanclan

September 4th, 2009
12:29 pm

My responsability as a parent is to protect my child and to teach them good morals ,so if somebody that has lied and is promoting abortion wants to give my children advise, i do not think so!!!

Maya

September 4th, 2009
12:29 pm

Bush did it and no one got up in arms. (The kids heard him in schools throughout the metro-ATL area). So did Reagan (I had to sit through that one in my grade-school days, myself). If you’re afraid or opposed to your child listening to a speech by the POTUS, you’re not raising your child to be a listener, a thinker, or one who questions what they hear. That’s a failure on your part.
My husband and I raising my child to listen to what our elected leaders say, even if we don’t agree with the message or the person. YOUR child will be left behind, while mine will be up on current events and get used to listening to orations. On second thought, keep your child from school on that day. And the day after, just to be on the safe side, so you can effectively decontaminate them from hearing a presidential speech. (guffaw)

Charlie

September 4th, 2009
12:30 pm

Tina,

Do you not criticize Bush? Do you do it bacause he is white? Is that why you are so insecure to assume all criticism of Obama is bacause of racism? Look in the mirror.

Hall County Teacher

September 4th, 2009
12:30 pm

MamaJ- I just wanted to let you know that not only will the students in my classroom not watch Obama, but, over 80% of our school won’t watch YOUR president either. Enjoy the next 3 1/2 years.