Did reading Obama’s speech change your mind?

The White House released the text to President Obama’s speech for today to the school children. Now that you’ve read the speech, are you feeling less stressed about the whole thing?

Michael had a friend send him a note saying, well now that I’ve read it, I’m fine with it. Meanwhile, I think my friend was just thrilled the speech was moved to noon because her children could be counted as present and then she could check her children out before the speech.

According to another AJC.com story Gwinnett is supposed to be showing the speech but we got a note from a principal saying they didn’t have the technology to show it to all the classrooms. Hmm, now sure what’s up with that.

Are you feeling less stressed? Did you keep your kids out of school? Will you check them out? Are you OK with them listening now?

124 comments Add your comment

Lee

September 8th, 2009
11:04 am

Call it like it is – learn to spell, then come back and see us.

Sir Magpie de Crow

September 8th, 2009
11:13 am

This is for message for Call it like is: Well you have incorrectly spelled racist as “raciest” (twice) and you also have incorrectly spelled speech as “speach”. Also I think you meant “… it should not be forced on any of our students!” instead of “… it should be forced on any of our students!”. I guess George W. Bush really was your president.

Sir Magpie de Crow

September 8th, 2009
11:15 am

corrected response:

This message is for Call it like is: Well you have incorrectly spelled racist as “raciest” (twice) and you also have incorrectly spelled speech as “speach”. Also I think you meant “… it should not be forced on any of our students!” instead of “… it should be forced on any of our students!”. I guess George W. Bush really was your president.

J. W. Rittenhouse II

September 8th, 2009
11:24 am

I can’t fathom the nations willingness to accept the Federal Government’s involvement in our school system and, so too, our lives. What’s happened to LIBERTY? Great and or famous men should be welcomed in our public schools and their encouragement of our children should be praised. The president of the United States of America should stay out of; and keep the government out of, our public schools, they are the purview of the individual states and the Federal Government has no Constitutional right to involvement of any kind. It’s time to shout CEASE AND DESIST!
Joe

Non-stop

September 8th, 2009
11:25 am

Actions speak louder than words. Who’s to say he will change some words here and there and twist the message. NO, this did not change my mind. *I am biblically correct, not politically correct.*

Wm

September 8th, 2009
11:37 am

It’s not about what’s in the speech. Why is the Federal Government taking up time in our classrooms without asking the parent’s for permission? How far does Obama intend to reach into our lives until we say “enough?”

Warrior and Mom

September 8th, 2009
11:47 am

My kids stayed home today. I have read the text and the lesson plan. I chose for my kids until they are able to choose for themselves.

Freedom is not free. I have fought for and got injured for this country and have the right to disagree without being called names. I am a GA Native and went to public school system. It was the bottom of the nation then and has yet to rise. The Dep’t of Ed was started by a peanut farmer, and modeled after GA’s Dept of Ed.

We lead the nation in bank foreclosures and the bottom in education. We need so much more work than some of the others. I have to work for a living or I would home school the kids. I graduated from college without any loans, and debt free. Who is going to pay for the college??? Hope is running out. I worked my way through college and I twice before spending any of my hard earned money. Personal responsibility is one of the best teachers of experience.

Warrior and Mom

September 8th, 2009
11:51 am

Should be “thought twice before spending money”.

Disgusted Parent

September 8th, 2009
11:59 am

WOW!! So now I am a racist for keeping my 5 year old home today. My desire to have my child not listen to this “speach” has nothing to do with race. It is simply that I choose to have my child learn from people who are qualified to teach. I do not pay the huge dollars everymonth to send my child to an advanced school to have her preached to by someone who is not qualified to do!

This President has never even held a real job in his life. And no, community activist is not a real job. Being a member of congress is not a real job either. Where is his resume showing some idea of what my life is like or what my child will face? It is unfortunite that the people who claim to have “won” this election feel they have some mandate to take this country in directions it is not ready to go. Or more importantly where in the constitution does it say that a President can do any of this President thinks he can get a way with?

Ah the Constitution of the United States of America, does any one remember that little document? It is in those wonderful pages where our freedom is guaranteed. Freedom from a radical over haul of our nation at the hands of those who prefer socialism to our way of governing. It starts with our children!

Teacher

September 8th, 2009
12:00 pm

Ok, so I am conservative and lack support for much of what the current administration is doing with our government. However, it is of the utmost importance that the integrity of the office is upheld in the minds of our students. The President is doing something very good today in encouraging our students to do better. Something that not enough influential people do anymore.

Now, what the heck is it that is bothering everyone? TRUST. The politics of the past two decades on both sides have cut down the trust that we have in government and the office of the president. My feeling is that President Obama has fostered more distrust in government than the previous three presidents combined. My students are watching today for what they can be influenced to achieve not for what they will believe when it’s over. I pray that the President will win a little trust back by sticking with the points.

Spank Da Monkey

September 8th, 2009
12:23 pm

lwa

September 8th, 2009
12:30 pm

MDE wrote: And btw, what were Obama’s grades anyway??? Another example of do what I say not as I did, a pot smoking and cocaine blowing farce. The only thing transparent in this administration is Obama’s ego

Are you referring to Bush Jr? HA HA HA Stop listening to the extreme right.

I just heard the speech and it was good.

Yes, we as parents tell our kids to stay in school, good education, etc. Yes, they listen to us most of the time. However, many kids get all excited when someone else tells them the same things we tell them. Sometimes it depends on the person who is delivering the speech.

Valstake

September 8th, 2009
12:30 pm

He can talk himself hoarse for all I care.

wbj

September 8th, 2009
12:33 pm

If you treat people as you would want to be treated, the world would be a better place. However, for those idividuals who have treated people with disrespect, and have done mean and spiteful things to them,……they are the ones who are running scared. When you have been a bully and now you can’t bully any longer, you find it difficult to fathom the changes that have taken place in U.S. History. A Black man (even though he is biracial) is the President of the United States. I personally never every thought that we would see a Black president in my lifetime. I was wrong. Obviously, there were others who felt the same way and have not embraced the fact that this change has come to America. There are people who said that if and when Obama would become president, he would have an all-black cabinet, which would include Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. The white man would become subservient to the Blacks, etc., etc.,. There was a possiblity that Blacks would revolt against Whites for past and/or present mistreatment. That was and is a lot of bull. Now that the Black man is in, these same people are trying to scare the public into thinking that each and everything Obama does is against what America stands for. I even heard a so-called miniter stating this a.m. that he was praying for Obama’s death!!. When you keep stiring the bigotry pot on high heat, the contents are going to boil over. If people don’t want their children to hear Obama’s speech today or any other day, they have the right to keep them away. Just don’t try to justify it by calling the man a Communist, a Moslem, a Socialist, etc. Stop the name-calling, and comparing this man to Hitler of all people. If Hitler were alive and in power today, you can best believe that he would not be pleased with those individuals who claim that Obama, a Black man, takes after him. You drop Hitler and Stalin’s names around like you were talking about Charlie Brown. These men were vile, cruel human beings. To say that Obama is another Hitler or Stalin is ridiculous. You and I both know that Obama is going to catch Hell, each and every time he steps out the door of the White House; each and every news conference, each and every interview. There will be nothing, absolutely nothing the man can do to appease these people. To say that this Black man is not qualified to teach/speak to children is an insult. If other’s can graduate from Harvard, it is impressive. For this Black man from Harvard to speak,…..for some reason he is not qualified. The fact that people truly wanted to spread the word that Obama was going to speak to children in school and endoctrinate them into pushing his healthcare reform, economic ideas, etc., is a reflection of the downright stupidity of some these parents.

DB

September 8th, 2009
12:34 pm

OK, I watched the speech. I hope all the Hysterical Hannahs that kept their kids out of school are thoroughly ashamed of themselves. It was a thoroughly innocuous speech, and if it had been delivered by just about anyone else in the country, most people would have clapped politely and said, “Oh, yes, that needed to be said.” It was said by the President of the United States, and regardless of your politics, he IS the President, and as of last November, he had the support of a majority of the country, so therefore, he presumably has influence with a large number of people.

Wakefield H.S. student body president got to introduce the President of the United States — regardless of your politics, it had to have been a high for this young man.

“Don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or the XBox” — yet he makes a speech on TV. Ironic . . . hehe! :-)

Oops — there’s a comment on health care: “Wash your hands, and let’s all try to avoid swine ‘flu.” Hardly provocative.

Honestly, this has a lot of the flavor of Eve Arden’s principal speech at the end of “Grease”, addressing the senior class — “Some of you will be doctors, astronauts, or even President of the United States!”

His last comment: “Make us all proud.”

He had a round-table discussion with some kids afterwards — talking about being President, having more time with the kids than he did when he was campaigning and as a Senator, how he has a “really nice home office”, and how he can’t really get out as much as he’d like, because every time he goes out, “they have to close a whole lot of streets and inconvenience a lot of people.”

OK. I watched the speech. And I have to admit, I am thoroughly embarrassed if anyone kept their child home from school because of this. What I find the most bewildering out of all of this hoohah is that the very people who are screaming about Obama “brainwashing” their children are the very same people who are sending their children to government-operated schools in the first place. Are these same people protesting revisionist history in history books? Are they protesting required “community service” that many high schools require in order to graduate? Are they equally aghast at the evolution vs. creationism debate that Georgia schools dipped into a few years ago? Bill Cosby said almost the exact same thing when he discussed the necessity for kids (speaking specifically to the African American community) to get educated and aim for achievement — of course, he got slammed for that, too.

I will make a suggestion: No more comments from anyone who DIDN’T watch the speech. If you didn’t watch the speech, you have absolutely nothing meaningful to contribute to further conversation on this. One cannot engage in a meaningful dialogue if you have your hands firmly over your ears and are screaming “lalalalalalala!”

One last comment: Mary, the commentary on this President is no more or no less scurrilous than comments made towards George Bush (and continue to be made) or Bill Clinton. The last President’s intelligence, private life and policies were routinely mocked and scorned. If they have a different flavor now, it’s because it’s a different person in office. There is a large portion of the population that think that “discussion” means “insult.”

Cora Kelly

September 8th, 2009
12:37 pm

One GA father said it was for him to talk to his children about staying in school, not the President. That works fine for him, and his children, but the statistics seem to show children growing up in a single parent home drop out at a higher rate. These children can use any extra boost they can get.

Teacher

September 8th, 2009
12:38 pm

And the verdict: He stuck to the purpose of the speech. He said what students, not politicians, need to hear. He stuck to the script which was more than appropriate to inspire students to live up to their potential. He reinforced everything teachers tell failing students on a daily basis. Every president should start off the school year in this fashion.

Leslie

September 8th, 2009
12:38 pm

I don’t believe it’s the duty of any president to address our children directly. That duty and role belongs to parents. The president works for us, we are not under his employ. I am not happy with public school being used as a forum for this either, our children shouldn’t be forced to watch this simply because they attend public school. The message itself is important and poignant. I think it’s important for children who do not have the support and guidance at home to hear this sort of inspirational rally cry. I’m just not comfortable with our president being the deliverer of it. My concern isn’t really about today’s speech or the topic. I think this is a precursor for more such specifically targeted speeches to our children. Setting the stage for us to become more and more comfortable with that kind of contact and information download directly to the youth of our country. I hope that is not the case but I have concerns that it is.

RCS

September 8th, 2009
12:39 pm

I’m not an Obama supporter. We (my wife and I) were fine with out daughter seeing the speech. As it turns out, our daughter’s school chose not to participate in viewing it. Still, I went ahead and read the speech. There was nothing troubling as far as I’m concerned, but do any other parents of young children find it odd that President Obama knows they had already hung their future on rapping and basketball? That’s interesting. It would be easy to be dismissive of this viewpoint and say , “Well, that did not apply to your child”. And to that I would say, exactly right! One size does not fit all (some hats do, but that is beside the point). So why bother pushing to make this speech to all school children? Would my 7 year olds future really have been impacted by this?

DB

September 8th, 2009
12:40 pm

One last comment: Does anyone else find it the height of irony that while Obama is encouraging children to “stay in school”, many parents are doing just the opposite — taking their kids OUT of school over because they disagree with a innocuous speech? These are the same parents who will tell their kids that they need to “listen to all sides of an argument”, and “be willing to listen to people who disagree with you”, etc., etc. So I guess the message that the kids get is “Stay in school — except if you don’t want to.”

worldhawk

September 8th, 2009
12:51 pm

Enter your comments here

A

September 8th, 2009
12:51 pm

My 6-year-old will be watching the replay on the web this afternoon with me. This was not a partisan speech; it was the leader of our nation telling kids the importance of staying in school. I don’t care if you’re a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Progressive or anything else, who can argue with encouraging kids to stay in school, work hard and achieve their dreams?

Cere

September 8th, 2009
1:02 pm

“I don’t believe it’s the duty of any president to address our children directly. That duty and role belongs to parents.”

You are correct, Leslie, however, sadly, so many parents do not encourage their children in their education. I think this is one of this president’s most important gifts – his ability to serve as an example of a good husband and father. He spoke to the children of America in a very fatherly tone – I hope parents watch his speech and try to emulate his example.

Good job, Obama!

Barbara

September 8th, 2009
1:03 pm

This is an excerpt from an article after his speech was given. “During his meeting inside, one young person asked why the country doesn’t have universal health insurance. “I think we need it. I think we can do it,” Obama replied. The president said the country can afford to insure all Americans and that doing so will save money in the long run.” Yes a student asked about health care reform – and why when this should have been about education? And if it was all about education like everyone says – then they should have not been able to ask certain questions. But Obama went through with the answer and his opinion – so don’t tell me he did not have another agenda.

worldhawk

September 8th, 2009
1:05 pm

Bonnie- what planet have you just beamed in from -” more important than the childre” – they are future leaders and carekers of America. Stay in school is subject that needs to be addressed everyday drop out rate is growing. Remember past years ” Just say No!! to drugs” see where that got us – into small towns of America. Non-stop you are biblically correct but I wonder who said your interpreation is correct remember the 60’s the south said they had the bible on their side also. This is another example to show how divide America is 6 years of Bush has definitely left a gap that probably will never be closed in my lifetime. Disrespect for the our present president is obvious by this mess over a speech about the importance of staying in school. We should not tell anyone how to do anything America we are a mess!!!

pd

September 8th, 2009
1:07 pm

“This President has never even held a real job in his life. And no, community activist is not a real job. Being a member of congress is not a real job either.”

Is teaching Constitutional Law a real job????

My son is home today with a virus. I hope that his teacher doesn’t think that his parents are some nut jobs who would take their child out of school because of their own politics.

JenD

September 8th, 2009
1:10 pm

My mind isn’t changed now that I’ve read and watched the speech. With all of the uproar across the nation about this planned speech, I sincerely believe that more than just the suggested teacher’s lesson plan got revised. I’d bet anything that the focus of his speech was dramatically revised too. This wasn’t the originally planned speech. No way.

HB

September 8th, 2009
1:23 pm

Really? In the unaired meeting with students on-site, you wanted students’ questions screened by the administration to make sure they didn’t ask the wrong things? Yeah, like he wouldn’t catch criticism for that! High school students, who will soon be of voting age, were granted the priviledge of meeting our president. And you want to send a message to them that real discourse shouldn’t happen and that they should not ask policy questions of their leaders in case their stances differs from Mommy and Daddy’s? I can understand people being against the President giving a remote, one-sided, no questions asked promotion of his agenda to children of all ages (not that he was ever going to do that). But to be against the president having a conversation with 40 teenage citizens off-air that included answering their questions?! Really? I just can’t even wrap my head around that.

tonya

September 8th, 2009
1:28 pm

At what point does the President of the United States of America providing an inspirational and motivational speech to our youth become offensive and inappropriate? It is possible to multi-task. Perhaps those “naysayers” should realize that not every speech he makes pertains to “confrontational” subjects. As a teacher and a parent, I feel empowered and supported. All too often, parents don’t question the influence that teachers, music artists, actors, community members, or anyone else has in their childrens lives, but because the President (who happens to be the highest elected official in the country) wants to empower your students with knowledge, show support for educators, and encourage children to be better students, citizens, and individuals there is a problem?

Parents don’t question the news programs that are aired in the classrooms, the use of newspapers in classroom, or the incorporation of the community in the classroom. How many parents don’t ask to see report cards? How many parents accept their children staying out all night, underage drinking, or failing? How many parents are not attending school conferences and/or participating in Parent Teacher Associations? Yet, the President has the audacity to encourage children and he is acting inappropriately?

I ask, what lesson are we teaching children? Are we telling them that it’s ok to be disrespectful? Are we telling them that if anyone provides you with a message of accountability and responsibility you should disregard it? Are we saying that ignorance is acceptable? Yes, it is ok to disagree, but how can one chastise a speech based on what “you think” will be said?

I am extremely disappointed in my fellowcountrymen right now. The timing of President Obama’s speech has been questioned. Has it occurred to so many “know it all’s” that he may have chosen to wait until ALL schools were in session? Many schools start prior to Labor Day, but some systems such as the one my daughter is in starts AFTER Labor Day.

Regardless of whether or not you cast a vote for him or concur with every change he is trying to make, Barack Obama is the president of the United States and one of the biggest role model any child could have. He deserves applause for trying to do what many parents have yet to try—reach the children in a positive manner.

Cere

September 8th, 2009
1:33 pm

When President Reagan addressed high school students he had extended Q&A (and his speech and Q&A were both spoken at a very high level) – Here are some examples -

“Q. Do you feel that in your two terms as President that you and your administration have carried out the ideas of the Founding Fathers?

The President. Have we carried out the plan set by the Founding Fathers? I think we have subscribed to that. When we came into office, there were some things that we thought were very wrong, including the fact that there were more people unemployed, inflation was robbing the people of their earnings and their money, interest rates were high and all. And in these last several years, we have not only restored prosperity, but we have created almost 18\1/2\ million new jobs, added to those jobs that were already there so that unemployment is so far down that today of all the Americans, 16 years of age and up, to whatever age, that pool of people — 62.7 percent of those people have jobs, are employed today. But also, more important than that, I think we have restored the belief in America’s freedom and the obligation that we have to our country. I think there’s more patriotism today. We’ve been in a time when people have gotten rather cynical about those things.

Federal Deficit and Line-Item Veto
Q. My name is Casey Lee, and I’m from St. Stephen’s School. And I was wondering what was the most important thing that you wanted to accomplish, but that you weren’t able to accomplish as President?

The President. I could sum that up very briefly: the Federal deficit — the fact that for over a half a century our government has been spending more money than it takes in. And we have a plan working now that is aimed at 1993, of bringing us down each year. Last year we reduced the deficit by around $70 billion, and this year we’re aiming at about another 30 so forth. But that is the thing. And I think that what we’re going to have to have — and what I want to strive for — is an amendment to our Constitution that requires the Government every year to balance the budget. And in doing that — also a tool for the President, and it’s called line-item veto.

Now, you probably don’t know what that means, but I’ll explain very quickly if I can. The line-item veto — the Congress when they have ways of putting in bills a number of things instead of just a bill to get one thing accomplished. And then with all these hidden things — and some of them are appropriations, spending bills and so forth — the President either has to veto the whole bill or let it become law. And sometimes they attach them to a bill that you just can’t veto. Line-item veto is what I had as a Governor. Forty-three Governors in the States have line-item veto. It means that you can go into that bill and pick out that single item that has nothing to do with the whole bill and veto that. And I think the President should have it, like the Governors do.”

– Actually, it’s too bad these kids didn’t listen! ;-)

Carol

September 8th, 2009
1:35 pm

You can bet your life this was not he speech he planned. I do not
trust him and never will. How many troops have died because of
his “new rules of engagement”.

Barbara

September 8th, 2009
1:41 pm

HB-Fair enough – screening would have been impractical. BUT, he should have prefaced his “Q&A” session by saying he would answer any questions around EDUCATION as that is what he was there for correct??? THEN when asked that question he could have said, it’s an important issue, but let’s stick to EDUCATION. NOT what he said. Which is exactly what many people had a problem exposing their kids to. Socialism comes like a thief in the night, not with a banner saying elect me and I’ll change our society to socialism. Healthcare has ZIP to do with education, which is SUPPOSEDLY what this was going to be about. It was him pushing his and his liberal cronies agenda to kids that likely have no idea about the failings of universal healthcare.

This president cannot be trusted! He is a statist...He wants government to rule our lives...Obama wants to rule our lives.

September 8th, 2009
1:49 pm

Enter your comments here

JenD

September 8th, 2009
1:57 pm

Nope. And that’s what this ALL boils down too: A complete lack of trust and respect for him and his appointees. He hasn’t earned our trust or respect. He’s done quite the opposite. And NO, just because he’s the president does NOT automatically mean that any of us, adults or children, must respect him. Polls show that less and less people agree with him, and his approval rating continues to plummet because of the agenda he is pushing. See: http://www.gallup.com/poll/122822/Americans-Sharply-Divided-Healthcare-Reform.aspx
God help us all.

Loved It!

September 8th, 2009
2:07 pm

I am not a fan of Obama, whatsoever. But, I do have to say that this was an excellent speech. I can understand people taking their kids out of school, of fear of not knowing what he had to say. But after reading the speech I think every child, and parent should watch this. He was encouraging students to stay in school, and achieve the best that they can. Even if you don’t suppport Obama, I think that most of us should admitt, this was a good speech with a good message. He pushed no political veiws on young children, and stayed on topic as to what he was discussing. This was encouriging for everyone…. Children that come from money, and childrenw who don’t. People who didnt like the speech, think of it this way… If your students principal was giving the speech, would you agree with it then? I think that most would….

Tim

September 8th, 2009
2:12 pm

The problem is not the content. The problem is its not his responsibility to talk to my kids, it’s my responsibility. It appears that the President thinks that today’s parents are generally failures at parenting, and thus he needs to step in.

This is what I thought of after reading the text:

George Orwell, Chapter 2, 1984

“With those children, he thought, that wretched woman must lead a life of terror. Another year, two years, and they would be watching her night and day for symptoms of unorthodoxy. Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. What was worst of all was that by means of such organizations as the Spies they were systematically turned into ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced in them no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the Party. On the contrary, they adored the Party and everything connected with it. The songs, the processions, the banners, the hiking, the drilling with dummy rifles, the yelling of slogans, the worship of Big Brother — it was all a sort of glorious game to them. All their ferocity was turned outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals. It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children. And with good reason, for hardly a week passed in which The Times did not carry a paragraph describing how some eavesdropping little sneak — ‘child hero’ was the phrase generally used — had overheard some compromising remark and denounced its parents to the Thought Police.”

John

September 8th, 2009
2:12 pm

HB

September 8th, 2009
2:15 pm

Barbara, why should the conversation in the unaired small group be limited to education? Did the parents of those 40 kids have a problem with possibly exposing them to the president’s views and opinions? I would think their concerns would be handled at the school level. Everything I read said the speech meant to address all students nationwide would be limited to a back-to-school pep talk, and it was. The unaired meeting was a local event that I assume was covered by the White House Press Corps like all other events are, so if your kid wasn’t there, I don’t understand what your complaint is. Personally, I would want students meeting with the president to be able to ask questions, that may or may not support the administration’s agenda, and hear his answers. I find the idea of limiting the scope of questions to a topic predetermined by the administration to be creepy whether that’s in a meeting with students, a town hall meeting, or a press conference.

Tonya wrote: “Many schools start prior to Labor Day, but some systems such as the one my daughter is in starts AFTER Labor Day.”

Yes, and specifically, most Virginia public schools start after Labor Day, as per the King’s Dominion law (I think districts have to receive special permission to start earlier). Today was probably the first day of school for Wakefield High.

Loved It!

September 8th, 2009
2:26 pm

Tim, I understand where you are coming from. And its great that you take it as your responsibility to talk to your kids to encourage them to suceed, but many parents are not like you. We all know of cases with children whose parents are never around, working too much, partying to much, children that dont live in stable homes. Just because your children have a good parental system to guide them through, not all of the kids in America do. I think Obama was trying to do one of two things. First, adress children who do not have the support and encouragment at home, and two, inform kids (both from uncertain homes, and well supporting homes) that its not only parents and teachers that want them to succed, its the President of the United States, which to most little kids is imprssive…

Also, I think this went out to children in poorer school systems, that even though they dont have as much of the technologies that the nicer schools do, they still have what it takes to succeed, and that there ARE people out their who want to see them succed.

pd

September 8th, 2009
2:35 pm

“How many troops have died because of
his “new rules of engagement”.”

Um, I’ll guess none. Whats the right answer? I give up. How many? I am assuming that your question is not rhetorical and that you can provide facts to back up your answer as anything less would be worthless hyperbole on your part and you wouldn’t want to participate in that sort of thing….would you?

Barbara

September 8th, 2009
2:47 pm

HB- Ah, now it doesn’t matter if it was going to just be about education. Now it is fine for a President to stump for his policies to CHILDREN. Would you have a problem with the Army coming in and talking about how great it would be to earn money for college, with juuuuust a small little bit of your time, that you shouldn’t worry about?

Did the parents know that anything in current ADULT politics were open game to the high schoolers? MOST people recently polled oppose the Prez on his healthcare plan. Well if the adults have a problem with it because ya know, they learn more about the pluses and minuses of such policies as they get older, then we need to start cultivating our agenda earlier on I suppose. Uh yeah… problem.

pd

September 8th, 2009
2:54 pm

Barbara, the army did send in recruiters to my high school. I have no problem with it.

Look, to those who are so against the President addressing school kids, can you honestly look yourself in the mirror and say that you would still be upset if this had been President Bush???

If you can, fine, I respect your opinion. However, if this is simply because the President is a member of a different political party, then frankly, I feel sorry for your children and consider you to be a bad parent.

DB

September 8th, 2009
2:55 pm

Yep, my nephews and nieces live in Virginia, and today was their first day of school. ROFL at the “Kings Dominion Law” — for those of you who don’t know what that is, in Virginia, any county school system has to have special permission from the State of Virginia to start BEFORE the Tuesday after Labor Day. Part of that was a bill referred to as “The Kings Dominion Bill”, after an amusement park just north of Richmond, Virginia — the park complained loudly that they could not stay open until Labor Day if all of their employees — students — had to go back to school. As kids are considered a valuable work force tool, and the argument was made that “some kids need the money to help their families” — thus, the “Kings Dominion Law”, which took control of the school start date from the individual counties and made it a state-mandated date — it has nothing to do with laws left over from when Virginia was an English colony!! It was designed to provide a work force for tourism and amusement parks in Virginia. Some counties get a waiver — those in the Southwest mountains for example, without a strong tourism base, and who get slammed every year with weather delays. But for the rest of them — no way. No school until Tuesday!

The poor kids go to school until June 18th. . . . . ouch.

DB

September 8th, 2009
3:01 pm

Barbara, these children had a rare opportunity to go one-on-one with the President of the frickin’ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Do you know how many people around the world would have given anything to have the opportunity those kids had this morning — to be able to ask questions and talk to someone whose policies (whether or not you agree with them) will affect not only this country, but the world? Health care has been a major issue. If a kid was erudite enough to ask a reasonable question, then he’s smart enough to process the answer, don’t you think? If you think that kids that age are too stupid to make decisions, then I expect to see you working on raising the voting age soon. Give ‘em credit. These were high schoolers, citizens, and some of them are actually old enough to vote. They had a fabulous opportunity.

I didn’t vote for him, and I don’t agree with many of his initiatives. But I sure wouldn’t walk away from an opportunity to exchange ideas with him.

Mrs. G

September 8th, 2009
3:11 pm

People Please!!!!! Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe, just maybe this was a “Welcome Back” to school speech to our Students, regardless of Nationality, Religion, etc. Do you know how many children, black, white or otherwise who do not have parents who care whether they get a good education or not? Some of you should go into Social Work. It’s pitiful some of the things young american children have to live and deal with. Single parent families, drug addicted parents, old grandmothers raising them, etc. These things affect every single nationality in America – so why shouldn’t the President give a speech that builds confidence in ones “self”. It doesn’t matter how many of you dislike, distrust, hate, can’t stand him or whether over half the country didn’t vote for him – he’s “IN”! To all the children in America, if you come across this post, please know that you can do whatever you aspire with a lot of hard work and perserverance. Don’t be one to complain about the government, the President, the congressman, the “Man”, or anything else. Study hard, work hard, expand your mind and never think that you are a loser. The losers are the ones complaining about the President speaking to you. (CAPITAL “L’s)

JenD

September 8th, 2009
3:24 pm

pd: “Look, to those who are so against the President addressing school kids, can you honestly look yourself in the mirror and say that you would still be upset if this had been President Bush???”
Absolutely, I would have a problem with it! It’s not about Obama, himself. I disagree with ANY president, from any party, using a captive audience of children to advance their political agenda. Granted, Obama didn’t do that today, but I truly, truly believe that’s ONLY because he couldn’t… not after the uproar that preceeded this speech.

HB

September 8th, 2009
3:28 pm

I don’t consider an open Q&A to be simply stumping policies. I don’t know exactly what the Wakefield parents were told, but if they were misinformed, then sure, they could have a legitimate complaint. Nothing I’ve read, though, indicates that occured. Until such complaints are made by those parents, I don’t understand why you are complaining on their behalf about what their “children” were exposed to.

And yes, I would have a problem with a recruiter coming into an assembly and promoting a military career as you described. To me, that would be the equivalent of the president giving a speech for the primary purpose of promoting his agenda rather than the innocuous school pep talk he gave. I would not have a problem, however, with students having an opportunity to have a smaller meeting with a member of our military with the opportunity to pose any question they wish about current policies and events, even if his or her views may differ from my own. Students should be learning to gather information from a variety of sources, consider what may influence each source’s standpoint, and start forming their own opinions.

Mike Keats

September 8th, 2009
3:34 pm

Who are these alleged conservatives boycotting Obama’s speech? I am a conservative and so are many of my friends. I believe this whole controversy was invented by our media. Our media seems to enjoy presenting extreme right or left viewpoints as being representative of either conservatives or liberals. We as a nation should avoid these petty arguments.

HB

September 8th, 2009
3:38 pm

Haha, DB! Thanks for detailing the Kings Dominion Law. I live up here, and it hadn’t dawned on me that people might not know about the amusement park and could think it was something colonial…

JenD

September 8th, 2009
3:40 pm

Mike: No doubt, the media exploits the extreme views on both sides and the result is further division among Americans. However, I don’t believe the issue at hand is petty at all. There’s a deep underlying distrust of Obama and his administration by many, many Americans, and that’s at the core of this issue. That’s what it all boils down to.