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

YUKI

September 4th, 2009
12:47 pm

Most of you people defending Obama here only voted for him because he was black and you know it. You have no idea what he is doing to this country in terms of the economy and healthcare. You do not have a clue, all you know is that a “(half)black man finally got into the white house”. It was obvious in a large amount of behavior I witnessed during the election. If you had any clue about where this country was heading, you would realize those against this and all of his policies do not CARE what color his skin is. It’s about the job he is (and is not) doing.

Hall County Teacher

September 4th, 2009
12:47 pm

Jem – It’s called technology. It’s in all classrooms now. There is also a thing called planning period as well as early release. Come join us in 2009 JEM.

hatin' on the stupid

September 4th, 2009
12:48 pm

Hall County Teacher:
You are embarassing the profession. Go pass your gas elsewhere.

Ima Nidiot

September 4th, 2009
12:48 pm

This would be funny if it were not so serious. People who fear things they don’t understand are dangerous, period. Pop Quiz: Define Socialism. (anyone, anyone?) Socialism is an economic model where the government and/or workers own industry versus capitalism, where industry is privately owned. Period. Does it work? No. Is it a good idea, No. So, class, let’s all chew on this for a minute, is our scary president going to send the army to take over Apple Computer, WalMart, AT&T, or (insert company name here)? Ummmm, don’t hold your breath. Ohhhhh, you say, the ‘government owns GM’. Let’s think about this; did some government thugs drag you to the GM dealer and force you to buy a new Chevy? No? Why not? Because we live in a free country, that’s why, and we’re as close to Socialism as we are to perfecting time travel.

Ohhh, you meant to say Marxism? or Stalinism? Marxism basically says that the workers must unite and rise up, to take over. But wait, if the individual in charge is already a Marxist, then where does he go with that? Incite the workers, those who still have jobs, to take over the government??? Then who will do THEIR jobs, after they have taken over government? And how likely is it that these rebel-Marxist workers will decide that the whole ‘revolution’ thing is a good idea……

Reality

September 4th, 2009
12:48 pm

When Mr. Reagan traveled here to the metro and addressed school kids regarding his tax policies nothing was said. Mr. Senior Bush addressed school kids nothing said. Mr. Obama wants to give kids a pep talk regarding education, and people come unglued. What is wrong with this picture?

JEM

September 4th, 2009
12:49 pm

Mr. Axelfraud, you need to get a job and quit using your welfare $ to buy computers. Intelligent people do not need to profanity to express themselves.

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
12:49 pm

Don, since you don’t know one person on this blog, how would you know if they drink or smoke? I’m guessing you were a D student in some poor school system.

Chris Salzmann

September 4th, 2009
12:50 pm

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

Ellie September 4th, 2009 12:46 pm SAID:…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.”

Thank you! One of the best points made in all this discussion!

CHRIS SAYS: Excellent point. Most of the states that voted for Obama have a far test scores and graduation rates. You know the definition of REDNECK, right? “DON’T KNOW NOTHIN, DON’T WANNA KNOW NOTHIN”. This pretty much sums up most of the “Old” South with its sorry state of education. The only thing the South now excels in is IGNORANCE.

Dee

September 4th, 2009
12:51 pm

How sad to see the once patriotic value of repsecting the OFFICE of the Presidency regardless of whom you voted now applies only to those you agree with. What a terrible leeson to teach your children that it’s ok to hate, scorn ridicule the highest office in the land. We are becoming a nation of overly emotional, ignorant monsters, who are easily whipped into an uncontrollable rage at the whim of commentators and opinion parlayers who disguise themselves as news reporters and media personalities. I expect we’ll soon see what used to be debates turn into riots and physical attacks as the newly acquired mob mentality of conservative America travels further away from our history of intelligent, reasonable discourse and towards terrorism.

The very line of thought that promotes book burning is now encouraging children to ignore and even hide from a message by a person whose job they should all dream of holding one day. How very sad indeed.

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
12:51 pm

Ima Nidiot writes: Socialism is an economic model where the government and/or workers own industry versus capitalism, where industry is privately owned. Period. Does it work?

Um, you should check out the American Auto Industry. The government owns it now. Also, check out the banking industry and health care industry. Obama is working on controlling that as well.

nurse&mother

September 4th, 2009
12:51 pm

I hate it when some unintelligent right wingers give those intelligent moderate rights a bad name. Some of you idiots need to shut up and quit making the rest of us look bad. (just like some liberals give the rest of you guys a bad name too)

FYI, not all republicans are racist. Contrary to popular belief.

BREE

September 4th, 2009
12:51 pm

We live in a country where people can make their own choices, but aren’t these choices a bit disturbing to you. I am over 50 and it was quite common when we were in school to hear and view speeches and address from the President of the United States. Let’s not forget President Obama is the President of the United States. It will be up to you to discuss with your children what thoughts or opinions that may result from his speech. I can tell you that is what our family discussions were around the table. I grew up during the fears over atomic bombs, the Conflict in Vietnam, First Man in Space, First Moon Walk, Watergate, and as you can imagine tragedies as well. So, it’s always up to the parents to make decisions for their children. Let’s teach them to live in a country where we sometimes disagree, but always believe all things are possible.

JEM

September 4th, 2009
12:52 pm

When I was a teacher, we signed a paper stating that the computer is used only for school business. This included planning time, early release or any other time. Be careful, your principal may be reading what you are writing, Ha

Chris Salzmann

September 4th, 2009
12:52 pm

Reality September 4th, 2009 12:48 pm: When Mr. Reagan traveled here to the metro and addressed school kids regarding his tax policies nothing was said. Mr. Senior Bush addressed school kids nothing said. Mr. Obama wants to give kids a pep talk regarding education, and people come unglued. What is wrong with this picture?

CHRIS SAYS: They also didn’t have a problem with Carter or Clinton doing the same. But all these folks were WHITE. Get it? I just love the way these fools dance around what their real problem is with Obama, don’t you?

Call it Like It Is

September 4th, 2009
12:52 pm

He has nothing worth listening to hear unless you want Socialism.

What a moron!

How about concentrating on creating those promised new jobs?

Enough Said!

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
12:53 pm

JEM, how would you know that I’m on welfare? Last time I checked, this was Labor Day weekend and I have a 3 day weekend coming up. I took the day off. I guess I can assume that you are a street hooker down on Ponce.

Jeff in Roswell

September 4th, 2009
12:54 pm

AxelFraud, first I’m not a Liberal. Second, you are giving conservatives a bad name with your radical behavior.

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
12:54 pm

nurse&mother, name one current republican that is a racist. I can name several democrats including one who was in the KU KLUX KLAN!

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
12:55 pm

Jeff in Roswell, what radical behavior is that? Please state one radical statement please.

RPMV

September 4th, 2009
12:55 pm

Chris: I’m sure you are so proud of yourself for being ignorant and arrogant. You think you are better because you are from the north or the west, well let me tell you something You Dont Know Anything. I completely respect others and their opinions but making fun of where they come from that is childish. The south is still apart of America, how about you go live in Cuba where you can converse with some of your Socialist ignorant kind.

Roger

September 4th, 2009
12:55 pm

I can’t believe how many ignorant people there are in Georgia. What is it about the south that makes people proud to be poor and ignorant?? Oh, BTW, I am a native Georgian, but am proud to be finally leaving for a state where we can elect U.S. Senators that are not lily-livered wmps like the ones GA has. They know that the “anti-health care reform” movement is financed by big insurance, but they are too scared of the GOP “leadership” (excuse the oxymoron) to admit that they are in the pocket of the insurance companies.

President Obama is the President of the United States, people. Get over it. He IS a U.S. Citizen, he WAS duly-elected. his administration nor congress HAS NOT proposed euthanizing anybody. He is articulate, intelligent and thoughtful. I know this takes some getting used to, but I would advise you to stop looking for “666″ tattooed to his scalp and just get over it. We lived through Reagan and W., you will probably live through 8 years of Obama. Of course kids in publicschool should watch the President’ s address. If you don’t like it, move to Alabama and send your kids to a private school in one of those sad metal buildings with unqualified teachers. Then they can grow up to be as ignorant as you are.

Call it Like It Is

September 4th, 2009
12:56 pm

Corey

September 4th, 2009
12:56 pm

Do you realize how close we came to repeating the Great Depression? Unusual times call for unusual measures. If Mr. Bush, Mr. Geitner, Mr. Obama and Mr. Bernanke had not acted aggressively to asuage the situation could you imagine where this economy would be about now? If you don’t like Mr. Obama that’s just fine, but stop and consider where we would be today if the gentlemen mentioned above took a hands off approach and let the market fix itself.

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
12:56 pm

Jeff in Roswell, I think you suffer from selective memory. Maybe you’ve read something that I wrote in response to another bloggers comment to me.

nurse&mother

September 4th, 2009
12:57 pm

I have no problem teaching my children to respect adults and those in authority. Do I teach them to accept all that they say for face value, ABSOLUTELY NOT. I want my children to think for themselves. Otherwise we will have a society of sheep following orders without thinking (like McDonald’s).

Not drawing a parrell between Hitler and Obama (just making a point about accepting authority), but if the Germany had questioned authority, history might look a lot different.

And for those who ask, my daughter will be hearing the Presiden’t speech.

Chris Salzmann

September 4th, 2009
12:58 pm

David Axelfraud September 4th, 2009 12:54 pm SAYS: nurse&mother, name one current republican that is a racist. I can name several democrats including one who was in the KU KLUX KLAN!

CHRIS SAYS: You mean Bryd??? Good God! That guy renounced his KKK leanings over 30 years ago. Racist Republicans? Just listen to the air waves. Remember the song that they played about “Barack the Magic Negro”??? Yeah, Republicans are doing a great job attracting diversity, right? I guess people must know something you don’t?

JB

September 4th, 2009
12:58 pm

It is very frightening how many close minded parents are out there. Certainly makes me fearful of what these children are learning at home; to disrepect our authority figures and block out anyone that has an opposing view. What great lessons you are passing on, you all should be so proud of yourself.

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
12:58 pm

Roger, please, tell us what state in the union is better than Georgia. California? Michigan? NY? All those states are going bankrupt. Georgias unemployment stems from Obamas economic policies which have failed.

THE STIMULUS FAILED. UNEMPLOYMENT IS AT 9.7%. HIGHEST IN 30 YEARS.

Call it Like It Is

September 4th, 2009
12:59 pm

UHGGGG, Roger,

Stop smoking CRACK and that LIBERAL KOOL AID!

Trust me, there will not be another 8 years of the Racist Socialist!

By the way, what has this guy or adminstration done for any American?

Time is up, NOTHING!

Enough Said

Jeff in Roswell

September 4th, 2009
1:00 pm

You are completely veering away from the subject at hand to let everyone know your hatred for the Presbo – we get it already. I’m not trying to change your views on the guy – I share many of the same views. What I can’t understand is why you wouldn’t let the POTUS encourage the American children to do their best in school? If you don’t want them to see it – you still have that choice. You are so blinded by your hatred that you can’t see the forest for the trees.

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
1:00 pm

Chris Salzmann, what republican said the words Barack the Magic Negro?

FACT: THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, A LIBERAL REPORTER, WROTE A PIECE CALLED BARRACK THE MAGIC NEGRO. LOOK IT UP MORON.

Again, name one republican who has said racists things about black people.

ROBERT BYRD WAS A MEMBER OF THE KKK. NOT ONE CURRENT REPUBLICAN IS OR EVER WAS PART OF THE KKK.

justnikki

September 4th, 2009
1:00 pm

our government is set up so that NO ONE MAN can rule over the population (take a political science class idiots). since when did our president become “the government”. what happened to congress? the house? just because their face isn’t on the news, doesn’t mean their hands are clean.

toolate

September 4th, 2009
1:01 pm

Hall County Teacher? If you truly are it really explains a lot about that area. No, that’s not a compliment. Stupid is as stupid does, Gump was right.

Chris Salzmann

September 4th, 2009
1:01 pm

David Axelfraud September 4th, 2009 12:58 pm SAID:
Roger, please, tell us what state in the union is better than Georgia. California? Michigan? NY? All those states are going bankrupt. Georgias unemployment stems from Obamas economic policies which have failed.

THE STIMULUS FAILED. UNEMPLOYMENT IS AT 9.7%. HIGHEST IN 30 YEARS.

CHRIS SAYS: You obviously don’t know anything do you? The recession started in December 2007. It takes a lot longer to climb back up than it takes for an economy to go downhill. Ask any economist. Also, the stimulus is succeeding. As any economist will tell you, if it weren’t for the stimulus, we’d be in an economic DEPRESSION like the 1930’s versus a normal recession.

ANY MORE GEMS OF IGNORANCE YOU WANT TO SHARE????

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
1:01 pm

Obama the ‘Magic Negro’

The Illinois senator lends himself to white America’s idealized, less-than-real black man.

By David Ehrenstein L.A.-based DAVID EHRENSTEIN writes about Hollywood and politics.

AS EVERY CARBON-BASED life form on this planet surely knows, Barack Obama, the junior Democratic senator from Illinois, is running for president. Since making his announcement, there has been no end of commentary about him in all quarters — musing over his charisma and the prospect he offers of being the first African American to be elected to the White House.

But it’s clear that Obama also is running for an equally important unelected office, in the province of the popular imagination — the “Magic Negro.”

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-ehrenstein19mar19,0,3391015.story

That's right

September 4th, 2009
1:01 pm

You call conservatives “closeminded,” JB. So what does that make you? I believe the answer you need to be looking for is “closeminded,” because we don’t agree with your view. You can’t have it both ways, where the opposite of closeminded is openminded. Because openminded is saying that you are fine with me having my opinion.

beanball

September 4th, 2009
1:02 pm

I really feel sorry for these kids. Their parents are too stupid, and are probably not qualified to raise children. They’re racist, extremist whos decisions are based completely on hate. Not a good environment for a child.

S

September 4th, 2009
1:02 pm

I don’t have a problem with it. Nobody would say a word if Obama decided to broadcast a message directly to inner city youths about drugs and gang violence and the importance of education. In fact he’d be praised as a credit to his race. So what’s the problem in bringing such a message to a broader audience? When your state is at the bottom of the education ladder, when your country has fallen behind the rest of the world in academics-or so you say-then you need a pep talk from someone, because obviously at the local level it ain’t happening. Social consciousness and awareness generally come from the young and with that comes change. Is that what the critics are afraid of-a young mind stimulated into action-a change form the status quo? Hmm…

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
1:02 pm

Chris Salzmann, you’ve just had your a$$ handed to you pal. Have a nice day.

BOB, get yer werd definitions right

September 4th, 2009
1:03 pm

Dear Bob,

Hitler was not a Socialist nor was he a Communist. Marx extolled the virtues of Socialism as an economic system and believed that Communism, a classless, stateless, egalitarian society was best. Therefore, you must believe that BO wants to dismantle the US as a state and have us all own the means of production equally.

terry

September 4th, 2009
1:03 pm

Saheed is right. I also know people who left countries with dictatorship and they are scared. This is how a controlled run government starts. It starts off very slowly. All of us Americans are not familiar with this so we are just sitting back and thinking we will all be benifiting from our country taking care of us and capitalism be slowly be gone. Look at the people he surrounds himself with.

Heather Ratliff

September 4th, 2009
1:04 pm

I cannot believe all the crazy things that people believe this one man is capable of. He, as President of the United States, is pushing kids to stay in school and succeed to their utmost potential. Isn’t that the message that all of our children need?

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
1:04 pm

Chris Salzmann, everything belongs to Obama now. He can’t blame Bush because his economic plan has been activated. The democrats got us in this mess. Notice how you bring up 2007. Hmmmmm, the democrats controlled both the house and the senate. Bush was a lame duck by then and could not get anything accomplished. The banking and housing crisis was caused by Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. Geez, did you just crawl out of Jay Bookmans butt hole?

Karen Paul-Reed

September 4th, 2009
1:05 pm

WHAT NERVE. I mean who the heck is he to use his personal example to push our children to raise their own bar Will someone please explain to me what the debate is about. Here is a person of meager beginnings who thru education is now the President of the United States. this being the start of a new school year, he wants to talk to the youth and tell them to stay in school because educations is the one thing that you can have that cannot be taken away from you.

As a single parent, I have had the privilege of raising two educated children. My mantra to them is that they must do better than me, each generation should do better than the next.

I think the NAY SAYERS need to take a step back, take a reallllll good look @ our children and decide who you would prefer them to listen to, the President with a positive message or the voices of the rappers, ballers, etc.

We have a generation of lost children, the prisons are full, the schools are empty. If this continues, we will not hope to be #3 as far as an International Powerhouse.

Ilene

September 4th, 2009
1:05 pm

I want to cry — I just want to raise my hands up and give up. I cannot believe how stupid, ignorant, and uncaring some of these people are. This ALL ABOUT RACE AND NOTHING MORE.

Republicans are trying every angle to beat down this president and all of his ideas. For example, I’ve never in my life heard of such backlash over a school speech to kids before. Wonder if these people would still be critical if it was a President McCain instead of a President Obama. Wonder if they would be so critical if it was about their conservative ideals.

In the AJC, here is a quote to show that this is not the first time. And not only that Bush DID CRITICIZE DEMOCRATS in his speech — where was the outrage then.

Anyway, here is the quote, “Obama’s speech won’t mark the first time a president has spoken directly to students. In October 1991, President George H.W. Bush urged students to hit the books harder in a speech televised on CNN. In June 1985, President Ronald Reagan told students at the former Northside High School in Atlanta about his tax reform plan.”

What are you teaching your kids exactly? Why are your kids in public schools? Are they not funded by taxes? Why you support your libraries and police and fire people? Are you going to turn down your Social Security payments when it is your turn? And on and on and on. This is not about a speech Obama is making — this is about everything our country stands for. The Conservatives are the most close-minded people I’ve ever seen in my life…aaarrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
1:05 pm

Chris Salzmann, just for you comrade.

I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side… Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds. ”

— Robert C. Byrd, in a letter to Sen. Theodore Bilbo (D-MS), 1944

MacAtlanta

September 4th, 2009
1:06 pm

George H Bush gave a similar speech when he was in office so what is all the fuss about? All you so called “Patriots” …..Where is your RESPECT for the Office of the President of the UNITED States of America? This is a great opportunity for dialogue – why don’t you use it wisely instead oftrying to be the loudedst bully on the playground.

Labor Day is Socialist!!!

September 4th, 2009
1:06 pm

LABOR DAY IS A SOCIALIST IDEA!!!!

David Axelfraud

September 4th, 2009
1:07 pm

Ilene, poor baby. Do you want some cheese with that whine? Grow up.

nurse&mother

September 4th, 2009
1:07 pm

Chris you may want to blame the economy on Bush, but he actually tried to take away some of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s lending abilities because he foresaw some of the major contributors to the current economic condition. But you wouldn’t know anything about that now would you? Talk about ignorance…..

I’m not saying that Bush was the best or the most intelligent (because he certainly was NOT). But let’s give credit where credit is due (unless you can’t see past your prejudices)