Springfield parent Rebekah Casado fears President Obama's school speech "is a socialistic idea of getting to kids when they're young," but superintendent Norm Ridder points out that the speech is strictly about citizenship and how students can succeed in their academic efforts.
*WATCH THE NOTEBOOK MISHMASH ABOVE*
"I'm almost in fear that it's an indoctrination thing. We saw this kind of stuff in other countries," said Casado, who still is contemplating whether to keep her middle school daughter out of school Tuesday.
"We really don't encourage it in anyway. It's up to the teacher and curriculum. If they don't want their child to see it, that's fine. They can ask their children not to see it and the child is pulled," said Dr. Ridder, emphasizing that the speech is not mandatory for any student and parents can opt-out.
Casado's son, Alec, says he wants to hear the President speak -- no matter what the topic is on.
PLUS: THE MATERIALS
ABC's Jake Tapper has linked to the Department of Education materials in question in this Twitter post. Tapper also reports that the White House revised original language in certain sections.
As one of the preparatory materials for teachers provided by the Department of Education, students had been asked to, "Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president. “
Today, after Republicans accused the White House of trying to indoctrinate school children with liberal propaganda the White House and the Department of Education changed the section to now read, "Write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short‐term and long‐term education goals.”
"We changed it to clarify the language so the intent is clear," said White House Spokesman Tommy Vietor.
1991: DEMS BLAST BUSH 41 SCHOOL SPEECH
From the Washington Post, published Friday, October 4, 1991: Democrats assailed the Bush Administration today for spending $26,750 in taxpayer money to hire a production company that oversaw President Bush's telecast from an eighth-grade classroom here to schoolchildren around the country on Tuesday. The money came from the Education Department's salary and expense budget. As a result, Representative William D. Ford, the Michigan Democrat who heads the House Education and Labor Committee, demanded that Education Secretary Lamar Alexander appear before the committee to defend his "spending scarce education dollars to produce a media event." And the House majority leader, Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, said, "The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the President." The President's spokesman, Marlin Fitzwater, responded by denying that Mr. Bush's talk to the schoolchildren had been a political event and calling the criticism "nonsense."