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Obama's speech to school children wakes up supporters and critics

As the text of Obama's speech to school children is released, many people are wondering "What's the big deal?" Everything he says seems perfectly reasonable. For instance, who wouldn't agree with this: "What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future."

Reaction to Obama's planned speech to school children Tuesday has evolved, however, along with the actual assignments to be presented and possibly the message itself. Many parents across the country have joined a "National Keep your Kids at Home Day," while others say the whole issue is "silly."

Brazoria County school districts have similarly diplomatic plans for handling the controversy: They are either leaving the decision up to individual teachers, or recording the speech for possible showing at a later date. All districts are offering to allow children to "opt out" if they bring a note from their parents. Children who do not come to school Tuesday will be counted absent.

Like other school districts in the area, Alvin ISD will record the speech and determine if it aligns with curriculum before showing it to students. Alvin Superintendent Robby McGowen said, "While I definitely respect the office of the president, I believe this approach buys some time for parents to listen first and for teachers to review it for relation to the curriculum."

"When did having our country's leader as a positive role model become a bad thing?" asks Manvel teacher Jennifer Thompson-Rogers. A few parents who have left remarks on Facebook would agree with this sentiment.

However, many parents in the local school districts have voiced concerns over the speech. Shirley Brothers at Alvin ISD said 34 parents had called the school district offices as of Friday morning. A source at one local school estimated that between 50 and 100 calls were received last week. Parents' emails to individual teachers may also be significant.

Few parents would disagree with the actual content of the speech.  Obama encourages kids to do their homework, pay attention in class, read, get involved in extracurricular activities, volunteer, stand up for kids who are being bullied, and take care of themselves. He even mentions that they should wash their hands often in order to avoid getting the flu.

The disagreement, according to online posts, involves the intent behind the speech, rather than that actual words delivered.

Obama supporters point out that both Reagan and George H.W. Bush gave speeches to school children. Reagan's speech was delivered at the end of his second term and allowed students to ask questions, and Bush's speech was delivered in Sept. 1991. Although these speeches had the potential to be delivered live to students, most classrooms did not have TVs and no one interviewed for this article could actually remember seeing or hearing about these speeches. Additionally, neither speech was accompanied by recommended classroom assignments.

According to a Washington Post article on October 3, 1991, at the time of the Bush speech, House Majority leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.), said "The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students [sic]."

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has been quoted as saying the uproar against Obama's speech to school children is "silly." He does acknowledge that part of the originally proposed lesson plans were "poorly written" and have been changed.  The original assignment for elementary school children included the questions "What can you do to help the president" and "Why is it important to listen to the president."

Several websites (including www.worldnetdaily.com) are reporting a legal challenge to Obama's speech, citing the United States Code that governs the Department of Education and its relationship with the individual states. Lawyer Mathew D. Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law, explains that the federal government, as represented by the Department of Education, has no authority to interfere with the curriculum of local school districts.

Staver's critique cited 20 U.S.C. § 3403, which states, "No provision of a program administered by the Secretary [of the Department of Education] or by any other officer of the Department shall be construed to authorize the Secretary or any such officer to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system." More information about the U.S. Code can be found at http://uscode.house.gov/.

Obama's critics, such as Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, and various bloggers, are voicing concern that Obama is "ingratiating" or "endearing" himself to America's youth in an attempt to build a civilian army of volunteers. The concerns date back to July 2008 when Obama deviated from a prepared speech and said, "We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded." Critics point out that the best place to start building such an army is with the youth of America. Excerpts and analysis of this statement can be found on www.americanthinker.com, among other places.

In the transcript of tomorrow's speech, however, Obama expresses concern for the future of America:

"You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy." 

He talks a good deal about himself in the speech, as well: "I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse." 

Obama ends his speech with "God bless you, and God bless America."

As parents, students, and school districts all across the country wait for the controversy over this speech to play out, one thing is becoming apparent: People have strong opinions about it, leading to good discussion and debate, but these strong opinions are also contributing to the growing chasm between conservatives and liberals, sometimes causing disagreement among family members and friends, many of whom are taking sides for the first time in their lives.

Comments

  • Rob 5 years ago

    It all boils down to the idea of "freedom" for me. In his labor day speech today Obama was promoting his health care takeover and he kept saying, "You won't have to be afraid anymore." Well, that is the left's justifacation for government power. They believe the government is there to protect us, to do for us, to make us safe and unafraid. I don't belive that. To have freedom you must also be willing to have risk... I would rather live in a tent in the woods cooking over an open flame than live in a government house being told when I can run the air conditioner, what car I can drive, what health options I have. EVERYTHING Obama proposes is more government involved in my life... and he expects me to pay for everyone else too. I don't support ANYTHING about Obama or his plans.

    NOBAMA!

  • Lisa 5 years ago

    i think that it is a way to ease into this. this speech he will carefully word it so the republicans can't possibly contest or question. so the next speech, no one will pay as much attention. that one will get a bit more agenda oriented. the next one will be more so, and so on. that is what he is doing, slowing making it OK to introduce to the children, his agenda so that they will follow him and support him and his far left ideas.

  • Jason 5 years ago

    Let kids be kids: play football, tease fat kids, and kick the butt of anybody smaller than you.

  • Okpulot Taha 5 years ago

    I finished reading Obama's prepared "school" speech, several times. English teachers, those who are talented, will have fun with his speech.

    This English professor counts 72 serious grammar errors, a dozen unacceptable writing style errors, 3 run-on sentences and a few logical fallacies. No spelling errors, though!

    Most of Obama's grammar errors are inexcusable.

    Overall, his theme is self-aggrandizing, written at an early high school language skill level and contains a few hints of partisan politics.

    Obama needs to hire himself a professional ghost writer.

    Interesting to me, personally, English is not my native tongue yet I know much better than to make those language usage mistakes made by Barack Obama.

    Okpulot Taha
    Choctaw Nation
    Puma Politics

  • Rod Davis 5 years ago

    To: Okpulot Taha, Choctaw Nation

    Thank you for your well thought out remarks, however; the last time I checked your kids were in dire need of encouragement from someone. The natives of these United States suffer the most from alcoholism, drop-outs, and suicides.

    You want to complain... I think you have more than enough to occupy your zeal right in your own backyard.

  • Patricia Tydings 5 years ago

    To Okpulot Taha: I noticed a significant number of errors, as well; however, my article didn't seem to be the appropriate place to point them out. I may be doing a follow-up article tomorrow--after I can get some more comments and reactions. Thanks!

  • Kerri 5 years ago

    I believe that President Obama, as past presidents have, is simply making a speech to encourage students to do their best.

    Okpulot, the speech is written and aimed at the students, so wouldn't it be a great idea to speak to them in words that they can understand? I think so.

    Rob, this article, in case you have not noticed (or took no time to read it), is about the speech on education. There is no need to say that you feel like your freedom is being taken away. Children staying in school...does that take freedoms away from you? If it does, I am sorry to have bothered. But it is not necessary for you to say you don't support the president.

    Jason, I trust that you watch news programs and stay up to date on things that are happening...but, there have been several suicides due to bullying. It is not a funny issue or something you can joke around with. This is becoming a big problem and, unlike most conservatives are willing to admit, times have changed. Bullying is no longer acc

  • Unknown 5 years ago

    I think this is stupid. He has no right to disrupt a school day to deliver a speech. Messing with the country is one thing, but messing with our kids is another. Of course he wants the younger generation to stay in school, who else is suppose to pay for the debt he is putting us into?

  • disgusted American 5 years ago

    I think a lot of people in America follow politics with the same seriousness that they follow professional sports. Politics in America has become a way for one to assert ones "identity". Not as a way to achieve good governance. The corporate culture and breakdown of the family has left Americans seeking affirmation and belongingness in politics and religion. The end result is a movement of people who use facts from an alternate reality in order to assert their insane views on the rest of us. The characterization of President Obama, an overly moderate liberal, as a socialist facist leader bent on creating a leftist utopia is one such belief. I dont think the Founding Fathers ever contemplated a scenario where the American people were too immature and self-centered to ever think about the good of the nation. If I were Pres Obama, I would resign the job in disgust at how far the American people have strayed from the values of the Founders. Death panels indeed!

  • Ann 5 years ago

    I think the uproar over the President's speech to school children is an attempt by the right wing fanatics to further wreak havoc on the Obama Presidency. There is nothing wrong with President Obama encouraging our school children. As a school teacher, I plan to show it to my class.

  • CR Sader 5 years ago

    To Okpulot Taha:
    Give me a break!
    You're missing the point!
    If Obama has conveyed to people, his life experience
    & he tells students to study hard, so what, if the grammar
    is not up to your standards?! That's like looking at a car,
    and refusing to drive it because the tires are wrong; or there are only 2 headlights, instead of 4. "Not to my standards", you say!
    Say anything just to criticize Obama.
    ====
    To Lisa.
    And Bush 43 was not engaged in propaganda?
    Maybe not, since Bush was just blount about it...
    "There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!
    Let's attack Iraq! Now!"
    I don't think it is a Left, or Right thing.
    ===
    To Rob:
    You wrote: "EVERYTHING Obama proposes is more government involved in my life...and he expects me to pay for everyone else too.
    I don't support ANYTHING about Obama..."
    I ask...and the government has not ALREADY been in your life?
    Consider Medicare, IRS, Interstate commerce, the military,
    education? I mean,

  • Pocket PC 5 years ago

    What Obama says is very resonable but, he goes back on what he says. He said we would work on green tech. but he turned down hyrogen powered cars. And as for students beeing able to leave if they have a parents note, students have a right to be able to choose to lisen to him wether thier parents care or not.

  • Fact Finder 5 years ago

    To Teachers who plan on showing the speech to your class, I advise you to get parental permission from each child. Otherwise you and the school district may be sued from here to China. This has the making of some serious consequences.

  • wild willie 5 years ago

    there is nothing wrong with the president speech. parent and grand parent need to listen with their children and answer all questions and discussed with their children. we all need to help reinforce education and help our children get a good one.

  • Keely T 5 years ago

    After a week of National outrage, the WH wisely chose to change the original format to something less intrusive, Obama focused, and politically charged. It is now an exercise designed to plant a seed which demonstrates the "great leader's" wisdom, guidance, concern, and compassion to impressionable children K-6. Maybe this wouldn't be such a big deal had Obama not proclaimed his goal of having a National Youth Corps - as well funded and powerful as the US Military. HELLO! Why not his own Army of loyal youth supporters?... He's already appointed 36+ personal Czars to carry out HIS (hidden?) agenda - all done without Congressional oversight or any accountability - except to HIM!
    Many of us are gravely concerned about this President's (and Congress) raw lust for power, out of control spending, the lack of checks and balances, and disregard for the views of the American people.

  • Caroline 5 years ago

    This controversy is not only silly, it's bogus. Nobody is sincerely, genuinely troubled by the president making a speech to schoolchildren urging them to work hard and stay in school. It's part of an orchestrated, cynical campaign to raise a protest about anything President Obama does. If Obama said "Have a nice day!" the same people would be screaming.

  • Keely T 5 years ago

    After a week of National outrage, the WH wisely chose to change the original format to something less intrusive, Obama focused, and politically charged. It is now an exercise designed to plant a seed which demonstrates the "great leader's" wisdom, guidance, concern, and compassion to impressionable children K-6. Maybe this wouldn't be such a big deal had Obama not proclaimed his goal of having a National Youth Corps - as well funded and powerful as the US Military. HELLO! Why not his own Army of loyal youth supporters?... He's already appointed 36+ personal Czars to carry out HIS (hidden?) agenda - all done without Congressional oversight or any accountability - except to HIM!
    Many of us are gravely concerned about this President's (and Congress) raw lust for power, out of control spending, the lack of checks and balances, and disregard for the views of the American people.

  • Stella Mae 5 years ago

    Very well done Mr Keely T. People like "caroline" need to get their head out of the sand. This is no ordinary administration. Too bad so many are being misinformed watching CNN, MSnbc and so forth.

  • Okpulot Taha 5 years ago

    Patricia Tydings comments, "I noticed a significant number of errors, as well...."

    Yes, ma'am, sure enough mistakes found in his writings.

    Obama is alleged to be brilliant, alleged to be a great orator and all that. Personally, I believe the boy writes with crayons.

    This poor writing exhibited in his school speech points to Obama being a scatterbrain thinker. Obama is well aware almost all Americans will be reading his speech carefully just as he is aware about half of those who read his speech will be looking for a variety of mistakes and not just in grammar and style.

    Obama being aware almost everyone around our world will be reading his speech and looking for fodder for critique, I would think he would at least run his speech by someone with expertise in English language usage to be sure his speech is near perfect.

    Nope. Either Obama is not the brightest color in the crayon box or his arrogance is making a fool of him.

    Okpulot Taha
    Choctaw Nation
    Puma Politics

  • RachelM 5 years ago

    I am more concerned about what our children are learning from the immature, nutty, and childish response of the Right. What in the world are their parents teaching them, but intolerance, hatred, and the inability to listen to someone with a differing point of view? It is a shame that my children have been subjected to this horrible right wing message filling the media. This should be the concern -- not a speech about staying in school -- a message that any normal person (not brainwashed by right wing shock jock media) should all agree on. Have you thought once about the horrible intolerant message you are teaching all of our children?

  • Patricia Tydings 5 years ago

    To Okpulot Taha again: My next article will be titled "Obama Needs to Appoint a Grammar Czar"!! I am going to write an entire grammar lesson based on his speech. (I'm a college English instructor, too.) Do you mind if I quote some of your comments above?

  • Okpulot Taha 5 years ago

    Patricia, we only need to look back to illiterate George W. Bush to make note of how poor language skills makes a fool of an American president. Bush suffered greatly for his pseudo illiteracy; a constant source of biting parody.

    Here is Obama, the great orator, writing at a high school entry skill level. Many mock Obama for his addiction to TelePromTer devices with justification. This school speech confirms Obama is tongue tied, is a slow and relatively poor thinker.

    This is critical because we are learning we have a slow thinking poorly educated man in charge of our nation. We know this, our enemies know this, and this places our nation in grave danger.

    Much can be learned from the words of a man. I do not like what I am learning about Obama.

    "Vocabulary is the yardstick of knowledge"

    Okpulot Taha
    Choctaw Nation
    Puma Politics

  • Odafeelin 5 years ago

    Incredible comments from most everyone; however to stay on point I will only mention that this is the Bitter Old Boy Network versus Obama as he is attempting to keep a promise, a promise to the American people on healthcare and educaction. Is everything he's attempting so wrong that the opposing party opposes every single bill? It would appear their main goal is to undermine the president by spreading propaganda and have no intention of doing anything to help the American people unless it is something of their own design. Is this what democracy has been reduced to? A bunch of bitter old men squabbling and bickering like old hens over who'll get the credit and how that affects their chances at additional terms in office.

  • Okpulot Taha 5 years ago

    Patricia asks, "Do you mind if I quote some of your comments...?"

    Not at all. Use my words as you wish! No credit needed.

    Patricia, give close attention to Obama's use of "and", "but" and "so" at the beginning of sentences. Those are very glaring mistakes. Typically we do not use conjunctions at sentence beginning, not always, but typically. However, Obama splits up sentences with conjunctions where he should not. He renders his sentences choppy, dangling, as if he forgot what he was writing.

    His writings lack a smooth flowing style; scatterbrained.

    You will also note he makes singular person references then follows up with plural pronoun references, here and there.

    Look for "now" scattered all over in his speech.

    Obama: "We need every single one of you...." (idiomatic casual)

    Well, OK, "every" is plural, "single" and "one" are singular.

    "We need all of you" or "We need each of you".

    Have fun playing a cranky English teacher!

    Okpulot Taha
    Choctaw Nation

  • Patricia Tydings 5 years ago

    To Okpulot Taha again: Right. I should use some examples from the Bush speeches, too. I have to be fair, after all. Good idea.

  • Marie 5 years ago

    I would welcome my children hearing what the President has to say and then being able to have a conversation with them about it. Since when did listening to the President of the United States in a school setting become the same showing an R rated movie. So it is ok for our kids to learn about racism, murder, sex, drugs, terrorist and violence in school but not to hear the leader of our country talk to our children about staying in school, working hard, setting goals, volunteering to help others all in an effort to prepare themselves to be future leaders. Go figure.

  • Okpulot Taha 5 years ago

    Odafeelin comments, "A bunch of bitter old men squabbling and bickering like old hens...."

    Sexism?

    Boys are not hens. Boys are roosters.

    This is how you land yourself in trouble with English teachers. Might seem nit-picking, might seem anal retentive, nonetheless how a person expresses himself is a measure of both his knowledge and his thinking. In essence, these words we speak or we write are reflections upon our backgrounds and our personalities.

    Obama has all kinds of talents available to him. A quick phone call and equally quick Obama has an English professor in his Oval Office editing his writings. Obama is our president. Obama is to set an excellent role model for all peoples of our world.

    In this case, a school speech, his writings are to be absolutely perfect even if ghost written. He is addressing our academic community and he is to express himself with perfection.

    Obama failed to do this. Obama is not mindful of his image.

    Okpulot Taha
    Choctaw Nation
    P

  • Me 5 years ago

    I have a question, why doesn’t America trust him with their children? That is the real question. It is not race, I am white and I have yet to here anyone that is not black bring race up in to why they do not trust him.

  • Keely T 5 years ago

    After a week of National outrage, the WH wisely chose to change the original format to something less intrusive, Obama focused, and politically charged. It is now an exercise designed to plant a seed which demonstrates the "great leader's" wisdom, guidance, concern, and compassion to impressionable children K-6. Maybe this wouldn't be such a big deal had Obama not proclaimed his goal of having a National Youth Corps - as well funded and powerful as the US Military. HELLO! Why not his own Army of loyal youth supporters?... He's already appointed 36+ personal Czars to carry out HIS (hidden?) agenda - all done without Congressional oversight or any accountability - except to HIM!
    Many of us are gravely concerned about this President's (and Congress) raw lust for power, out of control spending, the lack of checks and balances, and disregard for the views of the American people.

  • Teacher 5 years ago

    As a school teacher I don't inherently have a problem with what he is wanting to tell our children. However, this is a speech that could be done at 5 o'clock in the afternoon, during primetime television when parents and children can both watch and discuss what Obama is saying. This is not something that needs to take up instructional class time. I also don't appreciate that the federal government is providing lesson plans to go with this speech. Our constitution prevents the federal government from interfering with the education system and leaves it up to the discretion of each state. Obama needs to give his speech outside of school hours and without telling teachers what they need to do.

  • Megan 5 years ago

    If George W. Bush did what Obama is doing now, nobody would have any problems. I remember going to assemblies when I was younger where somebody would talk about the importance of doing well in school. I think it is a great idea and that people are taking this way too far! I'm not even a liberal!

  • samatha 5 years ago

    i dont see how the president making a speech to us school children is such a big deal. im a sophomore in highschool and i'd like to hear what the president has to say to us. most people arguing on this topic are adults, and it shouldn't matter to you guys since the announcement is for kids.

  • JMH 5 years ago

    I am sorry to say that I am that is not wanting my child to listen to this. I could maybe understand that he would like to talk to the high school students that are about to turn 18, however when a state is going to make it mandatory that all student listen that is something that bothers me. Another thing is that in Louisiana we have laws stating that you can not push Politics or Religion in schools, so why are they going to allow this to take place. If they can do this then I don't see why they are trying to to the word !!!GOD!!! out of everything. I am a parent of an 18year old in high school and she has informed me that she would rather not listen to a man that belives in Abortion and I am going to respect and if they have this on at her school she will call and I will take her out of school. I will also fight the school board if they try to mark her Absent.

  • A Mom 5 years ago

    To Samantha: last time I checked parents where to always look out for their children. Do you know about the debit being passed onto you and your brothers and sisters? Or what the constitution is or how it works for you? We adults are just lookin out for you and others. Someday when your a parent you will understand the need to know how and what your child is being "taught", just part of being a mom or dad. Best wishes

  • Me 5 years ago

    I have a question, why doesn’t America trust him with their children? That is the real question. It is not race, I am white and I have yet to here anyone that is not black bring race up in to why they do not trust him.

  • RJ53 5 years ago

    I just read the whole speach on another website and there is nothing political in it. People keeping their kids home will only hurt their kids by missing a day of school. Too many people are listening to Glenn Beck and have become paraniod. Why do people listen to this guy? Some people think Glenn is so smart, he is a showman. He has only a high school education, that's it. He makes big money acting, he even said that. So all you paraniod Beck and Limbaugh followers keep you kids home, it only hurts them..

  • SAG 5 years ago

    I bet all you people who posted negative postings are white. Do you feel a black person shouldn't tell you or your children what to do. I feel like you white people are going to be like you were back when you wore white sheets.

  • SAG 5 years ago

    Is that why you read the speech to nit pick. You people are ridiculously ignorant and racist. Did you and your KKK buddies sit around with dictionaries, thesaruses and dissect the speech. YOU people are deeply hateful and it's shameful for the country to be headed back 40 years ago. White is not always right!

  • unknown 5 years ago

    To Patricia and Okpulot you guys really suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!Go to hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tired 5 years ago

    SAG,
    Why are YOU throwing race into this debate? Let it go. News flash: Most people really don't care. He was NOT elected only by minorities, and EVERY thing isn't about race. We CAN disagree, (as people have done with countless politicians since the beginning of politics) without having it be because of race. I'm guessing that you didn't like Bush. Was it because of his race, or because you didn't like what he had to say? Think about it, and then drop the race card. It's overplayed.

  • Okpulot Taha 5 years ago

    Me asks, "...why doesn’t America trust him with their children?"

    Simple. Since taking the presidency, Obama has well proven to America he cannot be trusted.

    Problem here is young kids and to a measured degree, teenagers, are highly impressionable. An example. Third grade children typically absolutely adore their teachers. Whatever message a teacher imparts, whatever lesson, those children take this into mind and into heart. This establishes, in part, thinking and personality for life.

    A teacher says, "Ain't Obama the greatest man ever!" Those third graders now have burned into their minds, "Obama is a great man." Subsequently, all which Obama says, writes, imparts, will be viewed by those third graders as true and "great" unless taught otherwise by a responsible person, perhaps parents.

    Political indoctrination of children is very easy and very insidious; children are yet to develop skeptical critical thinking. Children are easy prey.

    Okpulot Taha
    Choctaw Nation
    Puma

  • chingbong 5 years ago

    First of all I find nothing wrong with the President of the United States talking to the kids and a President's words are ones the kids should hear. When Obama's speech was first anounced, it included assignments for the kids that seem to glorify the person who is the president and not the office. This was improper. It is clear from the responses in this post and others, that if you do not support Obama and everything is does, some will call you a racist and a sheet wearing member of the KKK. It is clear that many believe that no right minded person could possibly disagree with Obama and if you do you are a racist by definition. It does not matter if what you disagree with has been tried before and has consistantly failed. I would like to ask this of those of that position. Since Obama's mother was white, does this mean he is still half racist?

  • tasser 5 years ago

    Last time I checked, teachers don't say "Ain't..."
    That type of statement just demonstrates the prejudice of the poster.
    I am an educator and a parent. I see nothing wrong with this speech.
    I also question the uproar over the lesson plans. Yes, some had some unfortunate language. Smart teachers can adapt them. I also winder where these parent are when we get lesson plans from Disney and other TV/movie production companies on a monthly basis to tie in with their shows/new releases.
    Oh, I forgot that we toss them out if they are not relevant. Its too bad that so much of an uproar was made over an optional teaching tool.

  • A Mother 5 years ago

    socialism can not be tolerated.....

  • a teenager 5 years ago

    On Wednesday is the first day of school and I am going to be a senior in highschool. Today I read Obama's speech and I thought that it was great, and I do not think that it has any socialist ideas nor does it make children love Obama more or less. What is the harm in telling children to do well in school? I know that Obama is not trying to rally up little children to like his agenda, he is just trying to help kids who need that extra push!!!

  • Brian 5 years ago

    The President serves as a leader and role model. I can't think of any freedoms being violated due to his speech. He appears to be a very proactive president and I would like to hear what he has to say. One speech can't brainwash anyone. A leader should lead and that's what he is doing. Direction should always be encouraged for our children and in this fast paced society even more so. Our children have a daunting task ahead of them and many tough choices to make so they must be encouraged to "ask not what their country can do for them but what they can do for their country." This country is in a crisis and each individual's future is tied with that of his country so they can and should prepare now to help solve the growing problems our nation faces. I think that may be the bulk of the message the president will deliver.

  • Gadsden 5 years ago

    FBO. My daughter will be staying home.

    Signed,
    An Educated Damn-Yankee

  • Teacher 5 years ago

    As a teacher, I have faith in the youth of America. I think that they have a strong enough mind-set from their upbringing that they could not be brainwashed even if that was the plan. Parents should have faith in their children to maintain what they believe in no matter what anyone, even the president, says to them. If you raised your children to think for themselves, they will decide how they feel about what their president has to say to them.

  • Teacher 5 years ago

    As a teacher, I have faith in the youth of America. I think that they have a strong enough mind-set from their upbringing that they could not be brainwashed even if that was the plan. Parents should have faith in their children to maintain what they believe in no matter what anyone, even the president, says to them. If you raised your children to think for themselves, they will decide how they feel about what their president has to say to them.

  • Marysue 5 years ago

    Thanks Patricia for caring and taking the time to voice your opinion and the opinion of many of us - We appreciate you!!

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