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Obama's School Speech: Will Your Kids Listen?

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Many parents won't allow their kids to hear it.

barack obama to give speech on schools

President Obama plans to deliver a speech to public school students on Tuesday, and some parents (especially conservative ones) are less than happy about it. They fear the president is trying to indoctrinate their kids with socialist ideas, and say they won't be sending their kids to school that day. In Texas, where opposition is particularly strong, many school districts plan to let students opt out of listening to the speech, in which Obama reportedly will urge students to work hard and stay in school.

"This isn't a policy speech," said Sandra Abrevaya, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education. "It's designed to encourage kids to stay in school. The choice on whether to show the speech to students is entirely in the hands of each school. This is absolutely voluntary."

Will you let your kids listen?

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21 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jan September 4, 2009, 12:10 PM

YES my kids will listen! I think it would be disrespectful (whether or not you are a conservative or liberal) to take kids out of school and tell them NOT to listen to the president of the United States.

Janette September 4, 2009, 12:21 PM

Whatever, I don’t care. My son is not in school, and I’m not particularly a fan of our current president, so I won’t be watching. I hear a lot of people comparing a move like this to Hitler, which is more than ridiculous in my opinion. Considering the lies that kids are already taught in school, I don’t think there is anything this president can say in his little speech that could be any more damaging.

no for me September 4, 2009, 12:46 PM

No, my kids (who are in school) will not be listening to his speech. He already had to change his assignment to his speech from asking the kids to write a letter to him stating what they can do to help him to what they can do to reach thier own goals. I don’t want any president asking my children want they can do to help him. The president is in office to work for the people not the other way around.

MarMar September 4, 2009, 12:54 PM

I can’t remember, was there this big of an outroar when George H. W. Bush gave a speech on education in the early 90’s? I believe we watched it at my school, which was a private school and frankly was heavily Democrat as far as the teachers, parents, etc. were concerned. We were always taught to respect the President, though. My parents have never liked either Bush as president, yet I don’t remember them making a fuss over this. It is a speech on education, to my understand - a “pep talk” is how one news story described it - so I’m failing to see what the problem is.

Anonymous September 4, 2009, 2:09 PM

Luckily my child is three and I don’t have to worry about it at the moment. However, I am NOT an Obama supporter, I did not vote for the man, so If I decide that I want my child to watch him, or NOT to watch him, that (whether you agree with it or not) is perfectly within my rights as a U. S. Citizen. He hasn’t done anything thus far to elicite my trust, why should I subject my son to his nonsense. My advise is to TIVO it, watch it yourself, and if YOU feel it’s appropriate for your child, then let them watch the recorded version.

KPM September 4, 2009, 2:21 PM

@no for me
You are an ignorant a**. We should all be helping each other. Everyone needs to do their part. The President will be speaking about encouraging students to stay in school - he’s not pushing any sort of agenda. God, you Obama haters are so infuriatingly stupid sometimes.

RachelAZ September 4, 2009, 5:49 PM

The outcry over this is so extremely disgusting. I hope all those who are in such an uproar about it will have the same type of feelings towards any and ALL future President’s who wish to speak to our kids about staying in school…that includes future REPUBLICAN Presidents too! You won’t see that happen though, because the people who are pissed about all this are hypocrites with their heads stuck where the sun don’t shine!

Chrissy September 4, 2009, 5:58 PM

This is the President for goodness sake. All he wants to say is “work hard, stay in school”.
What’s wrong with that?
I remember watching space launches when I was in school. I remmebr being informed that Pres Reagan was shot via the PA system. And being information from Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign.
Serisouly, how diferent is Pres Obama’s “Stay in School” than Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No”?

Deb September 5, 2009, 8:46 AM

I’d like to see the President start his speech with the Pledge of Allegiance. Oh, wait, that isn’t allowed anymore. How ironic.

Chris September 5, 2009, 10:18 AM

Deb, I am a public school teacher and we say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. I agree with you that it would be appropriate to start his speech with it. No for Me, I agree with you that the letter writing assignment asking the students to write about what they could do for the President is inappropriate. I believe President Obama made a mistake and it was quickly fixed. However, President Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” I think President Obama was saying something similar, but it was just poorly worded. I am a BIG Obama supporter, but not just because I voted for him, but because he is our president. Like it or not, he won the election and deserves our respect. His life story is inspiring and I am glad he is addressing our school children.

Susan September 5, 2009, 2:17 PM

Personally, I feel most of this stems from conservative racists who never wanted a black man in office to begin with. I have never heard of such ignorance and silliness in my life. For years, we had to sit back and watch the Bush administration MURDER people and drive our economy into the ground. A decent president now wants to talk to our kids about the importance of education, and you are CRYING?? IGNORANT, IGNORANT pathetic fools I must say, and for the record, I am as white as white can be.

mercaties September 6, 2009, 11:27 PM

I guess I don’t understand why so many parents are making such a big deal about this and not sending their kids to school. Different states must be getting President Obamas message to our students in different ways. I got a recorded message from the school district that said please press 1 if you would like your child to hear a message from our president 2 if you would like a call back or simply hang up if you do not wish to have your child listen. Personally, I let my daughter listen and she’s extatic she keeps telling everyone that the president called her.

michelle September 7, 2009, 8:38 PM

Anyone who keeps their kids out of school rather than let them hear this speech is a bad parent. Yes, I said bad parent. They are teaching their kids something much more damaging than anything President Obama could possibly teach them (which is what exactly? do people think some subliminal socialist death rays are going to come through the TV?). They are teaching their kids to fear and avoid any viewpoint or opinion that MIGHT differ from their own. They are teaching them to close their ears and minds to what is supposed to be the free exchange of ideas in a democracy. They are basically teaching their kids to be both anti-intellectual and un-American. Nice — two in one! For the record, I consider Bush 43 the worst president in history but would have let my child hear a speech by him AND EVEN TALK TO HIM. Because I actually care about my children’s education and intellectual development. Too bad certain others are so consumed by fear and ignorance that they are unable to raise children properly.

Anonymous September 7, 2009, 10:27 PM

Wow, these comments really take the cake. Let me just say this, first of all, to the individual who linked Bush to the economy, please remember that the ecnomy isn’t related to the president, regardless of their party. The economy is tied into the the budget and that is setby congress. The president has very little control over that. Secondly, calling folks that don’t want their kids watching the speech ignorant racists, is just that, ignorant. One of the best things about living in the USA oare the freedoms we all enjoy. Watching or not is a personal choice, better left up to the individaul, not some self appointed arbitor of good taste who seems to have a god complex. Thanks. Oh, and one more thing, to the lady who claims to respect Obama just because he got elected, great. Think about that statement for a moment. We should be respecting people for their deeds, actions, and principles, not for their titles.

Anonymous September 8, 2009, 5:12 AM

I find to so two faced for all the people to say you need to respect the president just because he is the president but in the same breathe will critized Bush and show him no respect. Remember that for every time you claim someone is racial or close minded you are being the same way just by judging them. And for the record I am a long time democrat but I am also able to think on my own and has learned through the years that I must stand for I believe in and not just what my party believes in. So that being said, I won’t even state how I feel about Obama or Bush but I will say that I am a resonable people and play close attention to what is going on in this country and around the world.

JOY RIVERA September 10, 2009, 8:49 PM

Give the President a break!!! He is speaking for the future with the future leaders of the world. Let him speak first before you judge besides there are far more worst things than listen to the President of the United States and whether we like it or not, he is the president, we must hear what he has to say.

jen October 3, 2009, 10:16 AM

Wow, has anybody read the speech?? There is absolutely nothing political in his speech. He tells children to take responsibility for their own education and to never give up. How is that indoctrinating your children? Whether you like the man or not, it seems that you would want somebody of such stature to speak to your kids about staying in school. Personally, I feel it is a little disrespectful to pull your kids out of school for that reason but you do what you feel is right. I think it’s your loss. But at least be honest on why you are doing it, your pulling your children out because you don’t like the president. Please STOP saying he is trying to indoctrine your child because that is not the truth and it is just language that is inciting.

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