Do you want your kids to watch President Obama's speech?
- Yes (59%, 10 Votes)
- No (41%, 7 Votes)
Total Voters: 17
With our nation’s schools facing many difficulties, what could be wrong with a word of encouragement from the President? Plenty is wrong, according to critics. Word of Obama’s speech has caused a pretty significant backlash from parents and conservative groups across the country. The reasons behind this opposition aren’t entirely clear; however, many people have grown suspicious of President Obama’s tactics to grow grass root support like he did during his Presidential campaign. Many people have suggested Obama’s political priorities in health care and other areas are closely aligned to big government and socialism. So when reports were released earlier this week that detailed the lesson plans that teachers were encouraged to use that instructed students to write letters to themselves about “how they could help the President,” and after the video, “what does the President want me to do?,” many people saw this type of agenda as dangerous propaganda. Education secretary Arne Duncan reinforced concerns with a letter written to school principals that strongly urged them to make the speech available in classrooms nationwide.
The Department of Education has since revised the controversial lesson plans, but some people like Glenn Beck of Fox News have urged parents to keep their kids out of school to protest the speech. Some school districts in Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia, and Wisconsin have said that they will not air the speech. School officials have toned down the rhetoric in denying the speech, however. Many of the declining districts have stated that the speech is not appropriate for the first day of school, which is a chaotic experience in the best of times. In response to the opposition, many other districts are allowing students to do an alternate activity if their parents object to the speech.
For me personally, I have a son that recently started seventh grade. I believe that it is important to be well informed and build a world view that is based on all of the information that is available. It is my intention to let him watch the President if his district carries the speech, and I will address with him directly if I think there was content that crossed the line of my political and personal values.
What do you think? Is Obama’s speech a good way to jumpstart the school year, or does Obama’s speech have too many undertones that suggest propaganda and indoctrination? I invite you to chime in with your comments below.
Image credit: Tiffany Szerpicki
Dave Baldwin is a businessman, musician, and divorced father of two boys. They live together in El Paso, TX.