Updated: Watch the live streaming video of Obama’s address here: http://linkbee.com/C1U6I (10:40 a.m. CST)
Updated II: And by the way folks, to play fair, Democrats got just as bent out of shape when Pres. Bush spoke to kids in 1991. http://bit.ly/3JM2Go Bottom line? Keep an eye on our politicians. Power corrupts people, even good people.
Much controversy has surrounded the issue of why President Obama is addressing the nation’s school children Tuesday. Critics point out that much of the background information originally delivered to schools suggested that teachers use the speech to discuss the president’s work rather than education itself. When that was criticized by the media, the White House pulled back, now communicating that this speech is about the president sharing his views about why school is so important.
Whether or not you believe it is a good use of the president’s time to deliver this national education speech, or whether or not you agree with him, here are some tips on how you can use this opportunity to educate your own kids about education – how it works, what we all can do to make it better, and how we can influence our elected officials to do the right thing for our kids.
Why are some people so mad about his giving the speech?
Some people think this is another attempt by the president to take over an issue that’s historically been a local one. Clear authority for school improvement needs to be made at the state level. The federal government can provide support or incentives, but we’d prefer that decisions about how we operate schools and what kinds of reforms we adopt be made closest to where we live–by state legislators that we elect from our communities. Local decisions are not always the best, but we can monitor them more easily and they reflect the unique differences of each state. As long as we all recognize that, no one should be threatened by the president’s speech.
I’d like to take it one step further — people are also upset because they see it as yet another attempt, from our government, to push socialistic issues, not necessarily educational issues, on our country. By addressing our children, some people feel like they are trying to manipulate, and mold, our young into thinking the way they do so they will grow up and support a socialist country.
People are scared and nervous because suddenly, becoming a socialist country is a lot more attainable than they had originally thought possible. Helping people is one thing, taking over people’s lives and dictating how they can, and can not live, is an entirely different monster.
Look, here’s the thing — I’m a devout Republican.
I know, how freaking annoying and OH MY GOSH! I must be a cold and heartless person to admit that, but please, don’t judge – we all have our beliefs and I just happen to agree (FAR) more with the Republicans than with the Democrats.
(We don’t need no stinkin’ government breathing down our necks, thank you very much. We can take care of ourselves).
But let’s get real here, just because I’m a Republican doesn’t mean I agree with everything the Republicans stand for. For instance, what is UP with people’s reactions to President Obama’s proposed speech?
Granted, when I first read about the speech and saw, with my own eyes, what he had planned, I was furious.
“What can YOU do to help the president??” Was one of the exercises the White House was “suggesting” our children take part in after the speech.
Geez, what a self-serving … jerk that man is. Could his ego GET any bigger?
Was my first thought.
But because this is America and we have an awesome, if not flawed, checks and balances system, people saw this load of propaganda nonsense and called the president out on it.
(Though to be fair, it was most likely the writer’s fault for the insane, and poorly written verbiage, but who knows? You’re telling me the president never looked over the material before it went public?)
As a result, the White House revised the agenda.
Score one for the Republic. (Keep an eye on these politicians, folks. Both Democrats AND Republicans. They will be given an inch and then tax us a mile).
But now? It’s a simple speech, addressed to our children, about the importance of staying in school and to work hard toward their goals.
WHY exactly is this a problem of such colossal proportions that parents are actually entertaining the notion of keeping their children home from school tomorrow?
What exactly are we teaching our children when we resort to drastic measures like this simply because we disagree with an institution or an individual?
That it’s okay to simply hide our head in the sand and NOT at least have the respect and courtesy of listening to an opposing side? How does this mold responsible and informed future citizens? How can a person logically and intelligently make a decision on an issue if he/she doesn’t hear ALL sides?
Don’t our children have the right to make up their own minds about issues? Are we so focused on making sure they grow up with our own ideals and beliefs that we’re willing to yank them from the debate, thereby denying them the right to decide for themselves?
That in itself sounds a little like brainwashing to me.
Now granted, they are children. And they are gullible and vulnerable, but let’s give these kids some credit, they aren’t likely to become brain washed into a radical state of thinking by simply watching one presidential address.
(Now if the president makes this a habit, that’s something entirely different – but this one time? It doesn’t warrant the panic that it’s evoked).
And let’s not forget, he IS our president, whether we like it or not. Again, what are we teaching our children? To disrespect the president? What ever happened to respectfully disagreeing?
My boys are going to school tomorrow. And I am NOT signing a form that will excuse them from the speech IF their teachers feel it’s necessary to allow our students to view it. Why? Because it’s a perfect opportunity to TALK to the boys about what’s going on in our country right now and to LISTEN to their own unique, and individual, views on the subject.
By making this a big deal, guess what, IT’S A BIG DEAL. At least, to our children, who don’t fully understand what is going on. All they know is that their parents are upset because the president, a man who deserves our respect simply because of his position, is daring to speak to our country.
I understand the principle behind the arguments. I understand, and agree, that we don’t wish our president to shove socialistic ideals down our children’s throats. And yes, it’s a little strange that the president is addressing this during the day and not at night so that parents and children can view it together.
But I believe he feels like he’s doing a good and positive thing here, so let’s take the president’s good intentions and go with it.
Keeping our children home from school simply because we don’t wish for them to hear our president speak is defeating the purpose – it’s NOT making our country stronger, it’s driving that wedge just a little deeper.