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

Mary Davidson

September 8th, 2009
8:55 am

I have never in my 50+ years of voting, witnessed such disrespect for a sitting president! The losers are doing anything they can to undermine President Obama and they have absolutely NO shame over the lies they are telling. What, pray tell, is so subversive about telling kids to stay in school and work hard? Isn’t that what they’re there for?

CLTDawg

September 8th, 2009
8:56 am

Any outrage over this is ridiculous. I read the whole speech and the only thing he is asking is for students to set goals and do well in school. Nothing more, nothing less. This is not some left wing conspiracy. Much ado about nothing.

Oh, c'mon Mary, grow up...

September 8th, 2009
9:03 am

…the 813 bloggers from Friday (or was it Thursday) have already covered the “losers doing anything” gig, so give that a rest. Most of those who questioned the “speech” cited their concern that he will deviate from the “text”. That is still a concern, as we know nothing more now from reading “the speech”, but we will know more in a couple of hours from now. All of this has nothing to do with anyone telling lies!

nurse&mother

September 8th, 2009
9:04 am

Must we have the same political debate AGAIN? This will merely turn into Friday’s blog responses. Sorry Theresa, I was hoping for a different topic.

Patrick

September 8th, 2009
9:09 am

I saw nothing wrong whatsoever with the speech either. I wish all the Presidents we had when I was in school did a speech like this. I don’t even remember if any of them did a speech like this, or anything similar. If they did, none of my schools showed it to us, either because they didn’t want to, or couldn’t because they didn’t have the technology.

As for schools who don’t have the capabilities of showing it to all classrooms simultaneously, what should be done is perhaps have a video download of the speech available on the website, burn it to DVD, then schedule a time for each grade level or individual classroom to go into the library and view the speech.

I think what had most parents’ panties in a wad was they were afraid Obama was going to use this speech as a way to push his health care reform bill. I scanned the entire speech and found no trace of “health care” anywhere. I ran it through Microsoft Word’s find feature, and it was nowhere. The only thing that came close to health care was him talking about becoming a doctor or a nurse, and the one example he gave of the child who is now in medical school. That was it.

The only other thing I could see parents getting uptight about this speech is that it details something they should be telling their own children in the first place, and not have anyone else tell them. They feel it’s their (the parents’) responsibility to raise their children, teach them the morals of studying hard and applying themselves, not the President’s or anyone else’s. The sad thing is that not all parents do this, or at least to the point of making it stick with the children. Also, the kids don’t take it to heart that they should stay in school, pay attention in class, do their homework, take responsibility for their actions, and if they make the right choices, they can be rewarded, regardless of the environment they live in. The environment they currently live in is not their choice, but the environment they will live in in the future, is.

Mattie

September 8th, 2009
9:09 am

Since our principal has decided not to let the speech be shown in my son’s HS, he has a note allowing him to come home to watch. I find the entire controversy absolutely disgusting.

Twindivamomma

September 8th, 2009
9:11 am

Since I wasn’t paying attention on Thursday or Friday. What exactly are they scared he will say. I mean really…We are talking about a Harvard Educated lawyer from a middle to lower class family. Who was taught that hard work and education is the key to success. I am just so tired of hearing you all cloak your racisim into concern for brainwashing.

What makes me even sicker is that we will shout that he is a socialist and not an american all day long on TV. And we will hid that behind that nonsense behind the 1st amendment.

Here is my suggestion if you don’t want Johnny or Susie to hear what he has to say. Then keep him home and teach him that we can’t work together even if we disagree on political issues. That’s lesson that CLEARLY you all don’t mind teaching your kids.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 8th, 2009
9:14 am

I have two topics today!!! Check under for a topic about nagging via texting — a new way to nag!!! Look there nurse and mother!!!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 8th, 2009
9:15 am

There is a second mom topic today if you are tired of this debate —- It’s about a new trend in nagging — nagging via texting!!! Check it out here

http://blogs.ajc.com/momania/2009/09/08/nagging-evolves-are-you-nagging-by-text-now/

Steve

September 8th, 2009
9:17 am

The right wing in this country just makes me sick. No wonder this country is in decline and sliding quickly off the cliff when our own President is panned for telling kids to work hard in school because…gasp…he’s not a tax cut for the wealthy morality espousing Republican who talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk.

Pandora

September 8th, 2009
9:17 am

I read the speech. There is NOTHING wrong with it! The ONLY reason why ’some people’ will not allow their children to watch President Obama make his speech is because they are racist!!! They are using that old excuse ‘ I don’t want him putting any ideas in their heads about his policies’…that’s b.s. and they know it! I would be humilated if my parents pulled me out of school or not allowed me to watch the President give his speech!

Founding Fathers 101

September 8th, 2009
9:18 am

God bless our country! We perhaps need it more now than ever with so many “leaders” willing to do the fear-mongering thing, putting party (or pocketbook) before country.

Thank you, God, for giving us our Founding Fathers when you did. They, of course, had tremendous ideals, but knew the importance of compromise… and the concept of loyal opposition. I’m afraid this country wouldn’t have survived the first generation if the leaders today were around back then.

KA

September 8th, 2009
9:19 am

Patrick: Hooray, logic!
Mattie: Love that exercise of your rights – turning the argument by right-wing on its head and showing them that the technique works both ways. Glad your son will be watching! Maybe he can tell his classmates about it …

Faye B

September 8th, 2009
9:28 am

I really am at a loss, I read the speech and was frankly glad, that a man who is black, who knows what it means to work hard to become someone wanted to share his views with our children. We have no problem when our children listen to the negativism in rap music, or watch all the sex, cursing, and murder on TV, even in the so called cartoons or animation of today. Our country is going to hell in a hand basket, and instead of trying to teach positive things to our children we rant and rave about a speech that is telling our children to work hard. What in the world is wrong with us? Instead of beating down the president every chance you get, pray for him. In God’s word it says He sets up kings and brings them down, it also says to pray for those in authority. Do we want things better or do we want to stay in the hole we are in? If we do not stand behind our president and realize he will make mistakes too, we are standing against him. It’s like having a child who is trying to do something good but we keep telling him he can’t do it, and therefore don’t try to help him. You know what, America is our country, let’s do all we can to try to turn this thing around, if we don’t are we any better than terrorist. We need to work together…together we stand, divided we fall.

Ellie

September 8th, 2009
9:29 am

There are two primary conclusions to be drawn from the rightwing opposition to the president’s speech:
1. I don’t want my child being influenced in ANY WAY by a Black person.
2. We need to keep a lot of the populace downtrodden and uneducated – I’ll see to it that my child is educated, but at the same time somebody’s got to clean the toilets, flip the hamburgers, and cut the grass.

JawJaw Dawg

September 8th, 2009
9:33 am

Uhmm, many of you are missing the point. It is NOT disrespect that the country has for the president. It is MISTRUST. He has abused his powers in only 71/2 months to no end. He has proven he surrounds himself by many who cannot be trusted. He, himself, has chosen racists, extremists, radicals and anti-patriots. READ all the info out there…don’t rely on any one or two sources. I am amazed that there can be so many that just go on what a politician says. The question we must ask ourselves is…where do you see this country in four years? I grew up here, have moved all over the country and have recently returned. The AJC is crazy with liberal speak. Citizens, you must read many diverse points of view and MOST IMPORTANTLY find the facts. Obama has put more “czars” in place than any other President. WHY? WHAT positions are they overseeing? WHAT are their views, strategies, and what do they say? The POTUS is there to serve the people, not the people serving the President.

Walt

September 8th, 2009
9:34 am

Unbelieveable

September 8th, 2009
9:34 am

This is so, so sad. I agree with Mary when she writes that she has never witness such disrespect for a sitting president. For those who are venomously opposed to Obama’s speech to the students, you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself what’s the real reason for your opposition and fear!!! Once you come to terms with the fact that role models come in different shapes, sizes, abilities, and color then I think that you will all be ok!!!

JawJaw Dawg

September 8th, 2009
9:35 am

Ellie, your comment makes me sick. How dare you call anybody from the right of center a racists. You are exactly why there is such polarization in this country. You bring down ALL americans with such petty, immature, outdated comments such as the one you posted here. Shame on you, if you are an american at all.

L in B

September 8th, 2009
9:38 am

Here we go again with throwing out accusations of “racist” at any criticism of the President. When are you going to realize that you’re just diluting the sting of that label when you are so ridiculously quick to use it? There is racism in this country still (on BOTH sides), but this isn’t anywhere close to it. Conservatives are balking for exactly the same reasons that liberals balked back when Bush senior gave the exact same kind of speech. He was widely criticized by the left and it wasn’t because he was a white man! From the Washington Examiner:

“The day after Bush spoke, the Washington Post published a front-page story suggesting the speech was carefully staged for the president’s political benefit. “The White House turned a Northwest Washington junior high classroom into a television studio and its students into props,” the Post reported.

With the Post article in hand, Democrats pounced. “The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students,” said Richard Gephardt, then the House Majority Leader. “And the president should be doing more about education than saying, ‘Lights, camera, action.’”

Democrats did not stop with words. Rep. William Ford, then chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate the cost and legality of Bush’s appearance.”

JawJaw Dawg

September 8th, 2009
9:39 am

Fear! You got it Unbelievable. The fear is not in color/race – who cares is you are purple, green or hot pink for gosh sakes. If you are trustworthy and decent and see ALL people with equal rights I will support you. FEAR is near because Obama has an agenda to turn the country into a robotic, “I need there for I will have” mentality. I love this country because ANYONE can do ANYTHING ANYTIME and rise to the top just because of their own dream and action. Do we need health care reform. YES but not like this. Do we need corporate reform, YES. We need to bring people together, but this is only polarizing our nation more.

Anne

September 8th, 2009
9:41 am

Greetings!

In my opinion, the speech is GREAT! This is what parents, guardians, grandparents, etc all across the country should be teaching their kids. My grandkids will be tuned in. Mr. President, do what you do best…never mind the critics…

Bonnie

September 8th, 2009
9:44 am

I feel he should have more important things to worry about right now than the children. I believe that the “stay in school” subject has been covered over and over again and if it hasn’t stuck by now, it won’t stick. Funny all this came about so quickly. And I agree with those who believe it is “mistrust”. It has nothing to do with racism – he’s the one who ia always claiming racism. I wouldn’t care if he was blue, black, yellow or purpose, his lies have more than caused distrust in anything he says so why should we believe him now! Why should we allow our children to believe him and believe it’s okay to lie about things? He is not a role model to any young person coming up in this world today unless they are from a socialist country and know no better. I can’t wait until 12:00 passes and all this is done and over with once and for all. He needs to worry about the big mess he’s made rather than whether a child stays in school – that should be left up to the educators and the parents. If a child wants to better himself, then he will – he doesn’t need a government official telling him to – but gee I forget those are government schools aren’t they?

Alice

September 8th, 2009
9:46 am

I am not an Obama fan, to say the least, but I think his speech is great. The point is, no one actually believes this is his original speech. He apparently altered it completely after so many complained. The original supposedly contained many other things like asking students to urge their parents to be “green” and recycle and to urge their parents to answer the Census questions honestly. All political comments have been removed.

Manny

September 8th, 2009
9:48 am

How did Obama abuse his powers as President, Jaw Jaw Dawg? That’s a very strong statement! Where did he commit that crime? Where did he go beyond jurisprudence?

See what I mean? Unsubstantiated claims, driven by fear, in order to make a person in power seem less than human. The Left did it with George W. Bush so bad, one would have thought that he was some monster… so much, in fact- that when some Iraqi threw his shoes at a sitting President- the left CHEERED!

And now, the Right is doing the same thing… making Obama into some weird Overlord that ran for President in some grand scheme to destroy the USA… unless someone pays him…. ONE… MILLION…DOLLARS (Bwaaahaahhaahhaa!)

Can we please give reason a chance? The fear that comes from the Republican Party has grown tired right now.

Prayshia

September 8th, 2009
9:49 am

The way I see it…I have given similar speeches like this to children of all ages and no one has ever been nothing but grateful for me inspiring their children to want more and to do better. This speech is nothing but but an inspirational vitamin for our children of all races and ages. I am a little saddened that I have heard that some don’t want their children to watch it because it’s a push for Obama’s Health Care Reform, but considering it says nothing about it and considering that my son who is 8 and doesn’t understand what healthcare reform is and surely doesn’t care; I don’t understand how the message will hurt him. I grew up an African-American woman in the state of Kansas and consider myself to be slightly conservative. I have just never seen such a blatant disrespect of a President. I did not support Bush’s war agenda, but I respected his decision and prayed that he knew what was best. And I prayed that he could lead his country. I dont’ understand why the same just can’t be done for our current President. Forgive any grammatical errors. I’m flustered!

Unbelieveable

September 8th, 2009
9:50 am

The tides shall soon turn!!!

JawJaw Dawg

September 8th, 2009
9:52 am

Bonnie – very well stated…a child doesn’t need a government official telling him to better himself. Most people do not even understand what the job of the POTUS and government of the people, by the people and for the people really means. For the past 20 years, my job has required that I travel the globe. Those of you that want to change this country where you hold your hand out and wait in line for what the dictator decides to give you…I suggest you read your history books and travel…especially to Washington DC. Spend time reading the Archives and also the inscriptions on all the building exteriors. The patriotism in our country is floundering because of mistrust, NOT disrespect.

Unbelieveable

September 8th, 2009
9:52 am

Alice, you know this because…….??????

Prayshia

September 8th, 2009
9:52 am

Bonnie: Did you really write he has more things to be worried about than the children? I have no response for such a crazy statement. Bonnie, Please understand that James Baldwin said it best when he stated “For these are all our children, we will all profit by or pay for what they become.”

Just Wondering

September 8th, 2009
9:54 am

Hidden racism at its best! It’s not about being right or left, it’s about covering up the true agenda for not wanting the POTUS to give a motivational speech to students. I hope these very same parents who dont want their children to watch the speech, are just as diligent in making sure that their children aren’t exposed to the perverts and pedophiles that may be walking among them in the school. I bet they are crying to see the janitor or the substitute teacher’s credentials.

MDE

September 8th, 2009
9:55 am

What so many of you are missing in this debate are the assignments that came from the White House to all the teachers. Go to the DOE andlook them up.

My kids do not need another person who has had all the breaks going to the best schools our nation has to tell them to study and listen. They already do that. And they do not need yet another assignment about B.O.

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.

Southern Yankee

September 8th, 2009
9:57 am

(turn sarcasm on) Of course it’s socialist agenda speech. He wants ALL kids to succeed, not just the rich white republican kids. (turn sarcasm off).

Founding Fathers 101

September 8th, 2009
9:58 am

Two questions, Bonnie:

1) Do you have children?

2) Do you get all your news from Hannity, Limbaugh and e-mail fwds?

Keep searching for the truth, dear. You’re a long way off, and, if the answer to No. 1 is yes, it’s your obligation to find it.

BC

September 8th, 2009
10:00 am

That’s bull! I am sorry but I don’t see G.Bush getting the same type of reaction if he chose to give the same speech to kids. If anyone was not trustworthy it would have been Bush. Do we have to go down the list of things that he did to betray the American trust in government? So I don’t want to hear this trustworthy argument. He has not done anything close to what has been done in the past to shatter the American’s trust. These is just bitterness left over from losing the election. I will come in all shapes and sizing. This is just one of them. At least give him a chance to screw up. Its a speech…we should if anything else give the office of Presidency the respect that it deserves. People around the world are watching!!!!

overit

September 8th, 2009
10:05 am

The lady who types this blog went to the Neil Boortz institute of fanning the flame. The difference is Neil is really smart.

Helena Platt

September 8th, 2009
10:07 am

I can’t wait to retire, so that i can leave this country. I just came from one of the poorest counties (Jamaica, WI) and they are the riches people in spirit and love for one another, god has truely blessed them. I can’t believe some of you, simple minded, racist, yes racist, people, because this is truely what’s really going on here, he’s the President ya’ll!!!! whether you like it or not! I wish when i was going to school, that we had a President that spoke to me about staying in school, getting good grades, and listening, wow!, i would have been the first BLACK FEMALE PRESIDENT!!! Deal with it!

EEA

September 8th, 2009
10:08 am

You guys have never witnessed such disrespect to a sitting President? Where have you all been??? It is the norm for American society to complain about their government. It’s your first amendment right (there to abuse)…Where were you when Dixie Chicks went to foreign lands to disrespect their president? Where were you during the whole Clinton Debacle?

Just support the dude acting as President. Support your Government. Don’t abuse your right to free speech. That man is not really abusing his (yet). I’m sure your rugrats will not be traumatized if they catch a sound clip of the speech. Take the speech, post it in your kids room. I promise you, with the lack of discipline in today’s kids, they will need every ounce of motivation they can get.

Founding Fathers 101

September 8th, 2009
10:08 am

BC with the slam dunk!!! Well done!

Aren’t reasonable posts refreshing?!?

S. Powell

September 8th, 2009
10:09 am

Disrespect of athority, deciding wheather students should listen to the President of the US, is not the message that should be sent. Teachers have a major problem teaching respect, disciplain, honor, dedication to all students in every class. They need all the help they can get.

The republicans should counter with their spokesmen, Russ Limbraugh a college dropout and a drug addict.

We must make a change, kids don’t come into this world knowing who to hate. Nor, do they come into this world thinking that life is worthless.

What is going on today in politics will destroy us all.

JawJaw Dawg

September 8th, 2009
10:11 am

Hah! You assume I’m Repub, Manny. I’m not. I think their is mistrust on both sides of the familiar aisle. Anytime a politician brings in “their own” (meaning not vetted, nor voted in) their will be and should be questions. Now, after seeing Obama’s pastor and his extreme racist rants and knowing this man sat in on that for TWENTY YEARS..that raises eyebrows. Knowing that he placed Van Jones as czar over the green effort is beyond belief, that is, if you’ve listened to him speak. Yet, most media has not even posted this information. He calls repubs a_holes and he says whites poisoned blacks and rants about more plans to do so. He absolutely signed on the line with a radical group that believes our own government orchestrated 911. These are the FACTS. Wish I had time for more, but I’ve got to go out and do my part so I can give 40% of it to those who have not earned it. Look into how many people (legal citizens, not illegal aliens) would actually benefit from Obama’s health care reform as it stands now. And be sure to leave out the enormous group of young people who CHOSE NOT to carry health coverage right now…they will be taxed 2% and they don’t even want the coverage. This is absolutely about the POTUS trying to restructure the government when the majority doesn’t want it done this way. The majority DOES want to see everyone covered, but NOT LIKE THIS reform bill filled with pork and cr_p. I am disillusioned with my government who puts out a 1000+ page reform bill. We should demand our government officials serve us, not themselves! No bill presented more than 50 pages and a flat 10% tax for all…NO LOOP HOLES for the rich. Poverty levels pay 1% so they are part and feel worthy of citizenship. Who’s on board for that?

JawJaw Dawg

September 8th, 2009
10:14 am

oops…in a hurry their=there

Call it like it is.

September 8th, 2009
10:15 am

Someone please explain to me why I can have this debate and disagree with Obama in Calif, Org, Washington State and not be label a raciest, but when I come home back to Ga, and I don’t care for anything Obama stands for, me being a raciest can be the only reason?

This might come as a surprise to you guys, but a large percentage of this country did not vote for Obama, don’t like his ideas and want support anything he does. And please don’t play like this has never happen before. Bush was treated 10 times more harsh then Obama. Its like they say what goes around comes around. Your President is getting treated the same way you treated ours.

In regards to any speach from the President, it should be forced on any of our students! Play it at night during prime time, and each parent can choose to watch it or not. Enough said!

1911A1

September 8th, 2009
10:25 am

I haven’t seen this mentioned yet, so here goes. During the warm-up of the controversy last week, comment after comment was posted expressing the desire that the content of the speech be made available so parents could vet it before deciding whether to permit their children to hear it. The speech was finally made available yesterday, one day before it airs.

Last-minute rewrite, anyone?

Manny

September 8th, 2009
10:29 am

MDE-

Obama was a straight A student at Harvard law school and graduated top of his class. And his mother didn’t play when it came to his grades. She used to wake him up at 4AM just to make sure his homework was done right and that he actually knew his lessons.

In other words, he’s a good student.

Jaw Jaw- Van Jones? That’s Van Jones, not Obama. George Bush brought on people in his administration that went to prison. So did Clinton. Van Jones called the Democrats a bunch of (fill-in-the-blanks) and said that he was a Communist once-upon-a-time.

Yes, he made a mistake bringing him in, but he was going to be handling environmental issues. And that one instance makes Obama someone who cannot be trusted?

Did you trust George Bush? Bill Clinton? George HW? Ronald Reagan? Carter? Eisenhower? Roosevelt? Anyone?

Because if you did, I can find many more things that they did that was more questionable than Van Jones.

Founding Fathers 101

September 8th, 2009
10:36 am

Call it like it is,

You’re comparing 8 mos. of Obama to W’s 8 years? Hmm…

Your disagreement with the racist-reason poster is fair. I would hope that person is talking about the most vehement protesters of this school speech, not casting a net over the whole body of general dissenters.

Photius

September 8th, 2009
10:49 am

The whole thing is just absurd, totally ubsurd.

FCM

September 8th, 2009
10:53 am

To me this is the SAME THING as prayer in school. If praying in school might mean that some child becomes a Bible Thumper, then it is equally true that listening to ANY Presidential speech in school will likewise brainwash the kid into that President’s idology. Now how many are in favor of a non-demnom prayer before the speech?

It is rediculous that sooooooo much has happened in such a short time of this man’s administration, that we parents feel we must question his motives towards our children.

My children are in school, and I did not send in a release to keep them from seeing the speech.

Hum

September 8th, 2009
10:55 am

Mary Davidson has you head been in the sand the last 16 years. If you want to see disrespect for a sitting president just Google (with the video button selected) “Bush is a crook” or “Bill Clinton is a liar.” Watch any of them. Keith Olbermann’s “Special Comment: You ceased to be the President of the United States” is as “disrespectful” as it gets.

We live in such a time as politics has been reduced to insulting the “other side.” Americans are too lazy and some are just too ill informed (or misinformed) to listen to let alone contribute to a discussion of the issues.

Manny you are correct. Can we please give reason a chance? But you are also wrong. Fear comes from both sides. Lets face it, there is no such thing as an honest politician. The system that “we the people” have allowed to evolve would not let one win. Fear, blame, false and half truths win elections – not statesmanship and honesty.

BC

September 8th, 2009
11:03 am

Here is it in a nutshell….a President gets elected and the opposing party spends the next 4 to 8 years finding issues to divide the American public in order to get their party back in power on the next election cycle. So this President is no exception. All is fair in love and politics. However I have to say that I am a little surprised that this speech would be an issue that the opposing party would chose to stir the political “Hornet’s nest” with. A speech on education…really?! Seems trivial to me.

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.

nurse&mother

September 8th, 2009
3:57 pm

Ok, I told myself I wouldn’t get into the argument again, but………
First of all, I do not agree with President Obama’s agendas. I didn’t agree completely with all of President Bush’s agendas either. Does that make me racist? Of course not! Then why do so many far right folks call conservatives racist? It has nothing to do with racism. Does this mean that there are not SOME folks who are racist? Of course not. But please don’t label all conservatives racist. It speaks volumes of those spewing such lies.

Has it occurred to some of you that there are many US citizens who are concerned about so much spending? What about Big Brother getting into everyone’s business. I wholeheartedly support charities and those in need. Do I think it is the government’s place? No. It is not government’s place to tell me that I have to send my money to those who chose not to work just because I may make more than others. Is is society’s place to help others who are down on their luck? Sure.

If that makes me racist, then we need to redefine racism.

BTW, I was saddened that my daughter’s school decided against playing the president’s speech for the children. If he was truly only going to talk about the importance of education then I am all for it. I will let my daughter find it online. Now if he has a political agenda, then that is a whole different story.

freddy

September 8th, 2009
4:07 pm

What a bunch of crybaby apologists for this marxist you have in ATL…

Kevin

September 8th, 2009
4:24 pm

I am still laughing at the first post by Mary Davidson.

“I have never in my 50+ years of voting, witnessed such disrespect for a sitting president! The losers are doing anything they can to undermine President Obama and they have absolutely NO shame over the lies they are telling. What, pray tell, is so subversive about telling kids to stay in school and work hard? Isn’t that what they’re there for?

Where in the Hell was she from 2000-2008? Never seen this much disrespect for a sitting president? Look what they did to President Bush. Not only the media, but elected senators, congressmen, ex-presidents, etc. Were you in a coma or something for the past 8 years Mary? Don’t even go there wiht that crap.
I don’t have a problem with the president talking to my child. But I do have a problem when they originally were going to have the kids answer questions about your “Messiah” How can you help the President? What the hell kind of question is that? Ask not what your COUNTRY (not President) can do for you, but what you can do for your COUNTRY (not President)

What lies are you talking about Mary? Give an example before you look dumb (er) than you already do.

nurse&mother

September 8th, 2009
4:55 pm

I need to clarify on my last post that when I say “society’s place” to help others, I mean it should be local communities getting involved. Just look at local food banks, homeless shelters, Meals on Wheels, United Way etc.

April

September 8th, 2009
5:14 pm

I had no problem with the speech I read although I do not believe it was the original speech.

However, JawJaw Dawg makes some very valid points. I think most people come from a perspective of distrust not hatred or racism.

JenD

September 8th, 2009
5:18 pm

I’m with ya, Kevin. I think someone missed out on the coverage of GWB. It was a teeny bit disrespectful ….yeah

To protect my children

September 8th, 2009
5:26 pm

The speech clearly makes quitting school equal to being unAmerican. Several times he tells the students that their country is depending on THEM. (I suppose that could be akin to JFK “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”). He repeats this refain often. He challenges them to be mayor, senator or Supreme Court justice (caps as in the speech release), but not President? (Why???)

Then he ends his speech by saying “I messages’. “I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get yo the books, the equipement and computers you need to learn….I expect you to get serious this year. I expect….I know you can do it.”

A few times he links family to country “don’t let your family or your country…..”

Now, I challenge you to read the Munich speeches of 1934. They are some similar refrains. These were said to school children too.

Once you get those young innocent minds to think of the ‘greater good of the nation’ and it becomes their ‘patriotic duty.’

Well friends, then you have some serious things to fear from a government that thinks it knows what is best and will parent us all.

JUST SAY NO! Tell the goverment to stay out of your home, out of raising your children, out out out.

cobbmom123

September 8th, 2009
6:08 pm

To Protect My Children wrote:
“JUST SAY NO! Tell the goverment to stay out of your home, out of raising your children, out out out.”

If you believe that, that is fair and most definitely your right. However, please remember you are talking about a speech broadcast in PUBLIC schools. You know, government ran institutions paid for by tax money? If you want the government to stay out of educating your children, then doesn’t it make sense not to send them to government run institution for education???? There are many fine private schools available to you.
I can’t fathom why people think it would be wrong for the head of our government to speak to children in a government institution.
I do not think most of the people who were opposed to this speech are racists. I think they are just ignorant and scared. Many of these people are ruled by fear. They are sheep. I do not think they are bad people, I just feel sorry for them.
As I said, we are talking about PUBLIC schools. Every parent has a right to send their child to a private school. I know many people who do not want the government involved in their child’s education so they send their children to private schools. I can respect that.

nurse&mother

September 8th, 2009
6:22 pm

Cobbmom123- forgive me for playing the devil’s advocate (maybe the great debater in me-lol). Many would say the same thing about sheep in regards to the extreme right (denying that the Obama administration has any plans to bring the country towards socialism). Funny how a put down can apply to many folks and not just for those whom you intended the put down). Having a little grammar trouble.

nurse&mother

September 8th, 2009
6:28 pm

oops meant extreme left.

cobbmom123

September 8th, 2009
6:37 pm

Nurse&mother – go ahead – play devils advocate- I think everyone should! You are indeed correct, there are MANY on both sides of the fence who are nothing but sheep. I have a good number of friends who are EXTREMELY right-winged. However they are not sheep. Many of them send their kids to private schools so the government is not involved in their kids education. They are smart enough to know better than to demand the government pay for their kids education then complain that the government is too involved.

Brittancus

September 8th, 2009
8:03 pm

Don’t let opponents suffocate E-verify, by buying our politicians.

Slow as it might seem E-Verification given a chance to perform, will extract illegal immigrants from the working positions and replace them with American workers. Just like earlier ICE raids foreigners were removed from poultry plants, packing industries and lines of US workers took their places. Those workers who believe they have been wronged can easily rectify this situation at a Social Security agency? But the open border lobby will not mention that way to resolve the problem? Only those individuals, who realize they can no longer fool human resources and employers, will not venture into a government realm. Now that the federal courts have overwhelmed the special interest lobbyists, thousands of jobs offered by government contracts, will overtime remove the illegal worker stigma of those contractors and subcontractors, who have used cheap labor for decades, stealing jobs from Americans.

Whistle blowers can connect with the IRS at there HOT-LINE 1-800-829-0433 GOOGLE their website! The IRS is not kind to employers that seek to elude taxes, pay under the table for illegal activity in any place of work. THERE COULD ALSO BE A REWARD WITH A HEAVY FINE OR PRISON SENTENCE FOR THOSE WHO DON’T COMPLY. ICE informants also have a hot-line to contact with information this agency. Nor have we stepped from the pro-illegal worker quagmire yet, as Democrats and many Republicans will use any blockade that halts millions of impoverished people from coming to America. Stepping stones are already there, including the under funded single strand border barrier and not the originally planned two-tier system?

Fading ICE raids on businesses and the altering of the 287 G regular police enforcement and so weakening the powers of arrest? E-Verify only has the power if every business is required to use it throughout the United States? Without any breather we must maintain an aggravating bombardment of our politicians at 202-224-3121. Tell them you want a permanent, all encompassing E-Verify for new and long time workers and insist they do not rescind the 1986 Immigration laws. Positive amendments for US workers, not the slow overhaul for bringing into our nation more destitute people to be exploited by millions of reprehensible companies. If you are sympathetic towards a public option health care for every American, this cannot be established by allowing illegal immigrants to tap into the system?

Their must be certain lawful compliance that identifies US citizens and permanent residents, who enter the system but also dismisses foreign nationals. Any second immigration reform BLANKET AMNESTY legislation would automatically give acceptance to millions of legalized people already here, bankrupting any health care agenda. MORE FACTS TO READ AT NUMBERSUSA & JUDICIAL WATCH.

ShoeShee

September 8th, 2009
8:23 pm

There’s a thing called “Emergency Medicaid” and it’s what illegal immigrants use to birth their babies in our hospitals (making the babies American citizens). We pay their whole medical bill. Since the downturn in the economy, many illegal immigrants have returned to their homelands and the hospitals (Northside anyway) are very, very slow for business.

Denise

September 8th, 2009
8:56 pm

I’m an adult but I felt inspired by President Obama’s speech. Who doesn’t want someone to say “you can do it”? To me, President Obama’s speech was nothing different than the “you have to do your best” speeches that we got every year at our opening assemblies from our random principals, vice principals, etc. Nothing different than the speeches our coaches gave at the first practice. Nothing different than the commencement speakers we have at graduation ceremonies. Are we now going to require teachers, principals, speakers, etc. to share their speeches in advance to get approval? Are we now going to keep kids home on the first days of school so the principal doesn’t give them motivational speeches since only parents should do that for children? This is a ridiculous “controversy”.

Obama is awesome!

September 8th, 2009
9:22 pm

Disgusted Parent: “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!”

Obama was a LAW PROFESSOR you IDIOT! I guess that’s not a real job either. And yes, I suspect you are a racist as you have clearly demonstrated your vast ignorance. I feel sorry for your children. Your name should be “horrible parent” not disgusted parent.

Paula

September 8th, 2009
10:14 pm

As a parent and a teacher I am appalled that there should ever be a question about ANY sitting president wanting to address our children with the goal of motivating them to do ther best. Did anyone really believe Obama was going to try to talk policy to kids? I believe anyone who professed this fear was fooling themselves at best, and being dishonest at worst. I am glad we have a president who knows that whatever he can say to inspire our children is worth saying!

deidre_NC

September 8th, 2009
10:29 pm

i cant believe this topic is still going on…what are all of you who are so against obama doing to change things? sitting here posting your hate on a blog isnt doing a danged thing to change anything. what yall have done is take a speech from the president and made it into something huge-when if all the hoopla hadnt happened the kids probably would have forgotten what he said in an hour…if they even listened in the first place. and what yall are doing is teaching your kids to bitch and complain instead of taking some kind of action against what you evidently see as the doom of our country….and i agree with the posters who say…these are PUBLIC schools the speech was in…our kids needed to hear this and need to hear everything the president has to say..how else are they ever going to form an opinion of their own? give it a break….theresa i hope this is the last of the blogs about this….it has gotten ridiculous and fired up so much hatred against the man who like it or not is running our country right now…..and i dont think the backlash against bush comes close to this against obama….and bush is the one who got us into a war under false pretenses…and how many people have lost their lives over that??? whatever you think about obama…he inherited a huge problem that he didnt start…he is trying to fix a probably unfixable country….wouldnt want to be him thats for sure…

deidre_NC

September 8th, 2009
11:08 pm

well dayum my great post got lost in cyber land…grrrrrrr

Becky

September 9th, 2009
8:33 am

HB & DB. lmao..I had forgotten about that “law” My oldest sister lives in VA and her late husband was a teacher, so I had heard about that being the reason they start school up there so late(compared to us), but it had totally slipped my mind..

Mrs. G

September 9th, 2009
11:52 am

Just listen to yourselves – I don’t want my child to listen to: You can become something, education is important, getting ahead is hard work, your might fail at first but don’t give up, keep trying.

Let’s call it what it is…………..Racism at its Best!!! And Guess what?…………he’s got his education, his wife has her’s and their children will get their’s. He will be long gone as President (maybe after 4 years, maybe after 8) and your racist behinds and the children you reared will still be working at Walmart, K-Mart, Doug’s Garage, or maybe not at all, all while living in a Trailer Park or payday to payday.

It doesn’t hurt anyone to listen nor to learn. Those who don’t want to, want to remain closed minded and cynical. Fox TV won’t be airing the President’s Speech tonight – instead they’ll be showing Dance Your Azz Off! WOW!!!!! That says so much for Mr. Murdoch.

If you can’t be part of the solution, remain the problem and let the problem follow your family for generations to come. Otherwise, please hush unless you have a better idea on how to run the country. You withstood 8 years of BLATANT – IN YOUR FACE LIES – yet you want miracles in less that a year!!!!!

Anyone remember when Prayer was taken out of schools? I don’t have to tell you what has happened. You live it every single day as we all do.
I may be rambling, but what I’m saying is truth. Open your eyes. We’re all in this together – attempt to make the world a better place. Can’t you try? Everyone will not be pleased, but you have to learn to agree to disagree and keep it moving – unless you are going to run for an office and really make a change.

Obama really thought he could make a difference – in fact, he still does, but the festering sore of hatred refuses to heal and puss drips from the lips of those who can’t stand the fact that a Black Man lives in the White House.

May the One True God and his son bless you as you look deep into your heart as you review the thoughts in your head and the words that come out of your mouth!

Scott

September 9th, 2009
5:17 pm

Mrs. G, to call you an IDIOT would be a slap in the face to every other “this is racism!” MORON that posted on here. Your worthless ramblings expose you for mentally unhinged POS that you are!!

Sometimes Maureen is right

September 9th, 2009
8:12 pm

How many of the speakers your children have listened to at school have you vetted their speeches? How many of the songs they have listened to have you previewed? What about Movies? You Tube? MTV etc? Many Americans give their children free rein for anything that comes down the pike. Why are you focusing on our president instead of video games/internet/talk radio etc etc. Garbage in/Garbage out. An educated man (of any political persuasion) is more likely to provide fodder for thought than many of the other senseless sources of information many expose their children to.

Mrs. G

September 10th, 2009
9:11 am

Scott, get a tissue – the pus is dripping down unto your chin!

Doug

September 15th, 2009
6:56 am

We do not want this president and his liberal extremisist spew in our schools.