Wednesday, September 02, 2009

VIDEO: The Obama School Speech Debate

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.
"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.
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.
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."


Nate said...

I'm almost in fear that it's an indoctrination thing.

If you're considering keeping your kid out from a day of school because of a televised speech, you've gone well beyond "almost", lady.

And you're being completely ridiculous.

Schelly said...

I disagree. And, apparently Mr. Gephardt does, too.

Renee said...

Nate, you either don't have children or you like being screwed by our government. I am also considering not sending my son to school that day. If God is no longer allowed in schools, then why should politics be? This speech is only going to be more government BS.

cgb222 said...

I agree with Nate. The message the President is sending out is to work hard, stay in school, and be successful. Are you really against that, Renee? The curriculum you're so concerned about is available for viewing on the White House website, and it's only *suggested* discussion questions and activities. Instead of encouraging your child to play hooky instead of critically evaluating the president's comments, why don't you suggest to his teacher that he/she develop her/his own discussion questions and activities?

Think of the danger of not sending your kid to school because he might hear the President of the nation speak: "Mom, why can't we trust the government? Didn't the people elect them?" "Mom, if I could stay home from school when the President was speaking, surely I can stay home when they're doing that stupid geometry crap". "Mom, is the reason why everyone's so mistrustful of the President is because he's not White like us..."? Oh wait, NM, he probably wouldn't ask that one...

Renee said...

cgb222: I am not against the president because of his color. And if you remember correctly, he is bi-racial, not black. Have you ever questioned why he cannot produce a birth certificate? Or why he hasn't lived up to any of his campaign promises? I did not vote for this man because I don't believe in his leadership abilities. I firmly believe that it's best to educate our children about politics ourselves. I don't prefer for my children to fall victim to the smoke and mirrors of the government, as you apparently have. March on DC, September 12. Tea Party Express will be there also. Feel free to join us and learn the truth. God Bless America!!

Bee said...

/That is all

Bee said...

Reagan did it
Nancy Reagan did it
Bush did it

/that is all

EricTheRed said...

Beans: Yes, Reagan and Bush did. Here's the big diff - and I know, this is going to be a controversial statement - The Reagans and Bush loved their country, its founding documents, its economic system, and its exceptionalism as a light unto the nations. Any speech made to America's schoolchildren would have been a reflection of them.

By stark contrast, judging from our current president's statements and books, the company he keeps, and the individuals he appoints, his speech would be to do just the opposite.

That's why it's different.
The Jewish Republican's Web Sanctuary

Renee said...

Thank you Eric!! I'm so glad that someone else on here sees the president for who he really is!

Flak Jacker said...

I am dumbfounded by the ignorance of those individuals who believe that a 15-20 minute speech on education has been classified as indoctrination. For all you "I want to keep my kid home" you have already allowed your child to be indoctrinated by a VERY humanist/secular educational system for a total of up to possibly 13 years! And NOW you get all upset about a 15-20 minute speech. No wonder people look at you folks like your wacko. Oh yeah by the way, I am a public teacher and I home school and of the Judeo/Christian faith. Put your faith where it should begin, in your home.

Renee said...

Flak: I am far from being ignorant about what is happening to this country because of the corrupt government. Everyone has their own opinion, but it is very rude for you to be judging others because of their opinions. I feel sorry for the children that you are home schooling. I hope you teach them better than you have obviously been taught. I'm not upset because of a speech on education. It originally was not going to focus on just that. I don't think that school is a place for politics. Children need to learn that at home, from their parents who don't lie to them like the government does. That does not make me, or any others with our own opinions, wacko. So keep your negativity to yourself lady. And for God's sake, please teach those children better.

Renee said...

Oh, and Flak: Just for your information, it's not "your" wacko, it's "you're" wacko. I'm not a school teacher and even I know that!!

Unknown said...

To anyone planning on keeping your children home:

Does it not occur to you that keeping your children home rather than exposing them to the President's speech is also indoctrination? Rather than teaching your kids to run away from opinions they (or you) might not like why not teach them to debate and think critically? Let your kids watch the speech, you watch the speech and then talk about what each of you thought over dinner.

David said...

Everyone take a deep breath. This is the silliest controversy to date.

Many of you have abandoned the good sense our god gave you. First, Obama is not the anti-Christ, Hitler and Stalin rolled into one.

Second, it is time to nurse your wounds over the past election. This constant objection to anything Obama just smacks of being a very sore loser (remember the Gore Loserman bumper stickers). That sentiment now applies to you.

Lastly, to fellow parents, do you honestly believe a single speech will turn your children into blue colored zombies spouting Obama slogans? Have you no faith in your own parenting. Have you no faith in your own influence? Bush's countless speeches has had no affect on my children. Well, there is the fact that my boy does take particular pleasure in torturing my daughter. But no waterboarding to date. Again, to date.

Flak Jacker said...


I apologize, you ARE a wacko (an eccentric, strange, or odd person). Sorry for the typo, rather tired after reading all about the hype. Obama's speech came out today. Sounds exactly as was expected by the not-so- wackos...a motivational speech on receiving an education. Run for the hills Dorothy and Renee.

P.S. And you said I was being negative? Sheesh...

Renee said...

Flak: I don't know if you pay much attention, but Obama's speech was changed after all the debate. Just makes you wonder what he was originally going to say?? And as a school teacher and a mother, let me just say: I hope you teach your children not to be as judgemental as you. Just because someone has a different opinion, doesn't mean that you should go around calling names. No wonder this country is in the crapper!! And it doesn't surprise me that you are an Obama supporter. You don't seem to understand our Constitution either. Freedom of speech- have you ever heard of it???

Unknown said...

Public school teachers, administrators and B.O.E. members who send their own children out of their district, or keep them home to be educated should cause all taxpayers to pause and think.

Unknown said...

I think most Democrats Obama, of wanting despestar importance in children, education and the way they have improved or they can participate to help me change what Bush seems excessive and not very correct.