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Archive for Friday, September 4, 2009

Lawrence students can opt out of watching Obama address Tuesday

September 4, 2009

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Lawrence students not forced to watch Obama

President Obama's planned address to American students will not be required viewing for Lawrence kids. Enlarge video

No students in Lawrence public schools will be forced to watch President Obama’s televised back-to-school speech Tuesday.

But it’ll be available — provided the teacher wants to plug into the live telecast and a student’s parents haven’t voiced any objections.

“It’s like when the inauguration happens every four years: We offer that as an opportunity, on how that can be viewed,” said Kim Bodensteiner, the district’s chief academic officer. “But we have not required it.”

The speech, expected to last for 15 to 20 minutes, will be shown in schools via Cable in the Classroom at 11 a.m. Lawrence time from Wakefield High School, just outside Washington, D.C.

The very prospect of Obama speaking directly to students, teachers and educational staffers in the nation’s schools has stirred reactions ranging from embraces of whole-hearted support to charges of agenda-pushing politics.

In Lawrence, Bodensteiner and others are viewing the speech for what it’s been billed: a chance for the president to “challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning,” Bodensteiner said, in an e-mail to principals and staffers.

Also: “He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens.”

Lawrence teachers are welcome to show the speech in their classrooms, if they so choose, she said. And principals in each school must accommodate students whose parents don’t want their kids watching the speech, provided parents make those concerns known to the school or teacher ahead of time.

“I think people have strong opinions about politics and about issues that are in front of the country right now, and may have strong opinions about whatever president is in office,” Bodensteiner said. “We’re approaching this as a nonpartisan opportunity, and certainly don’t look at it as endorsing politics in one way or another.

“We look at it as an opportunity to talk about how a president is elected, what the president does, what their role is in encouraging students to work hard and get an education. If that’s his message — come to school, do your best work, be prepared for the kinds of things you want to do after you leave our schools — that just reinforces what we like our students to do.”

Robert Gibbs, a White House spokesman, has noted that Presidents Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush had delivered similar speeches to students. And while Gibbs acknowledged that some districts already had decided against allowing the speech to be shown — after hearing complaints from parents — he declined to speculate on their motivations.

“Look,” he told reports in Washington, “there are some school districts that won’t let you read ‘Huckleberry Finn.’ ”

Lisa Thompson, principal at Langston Hughes School, figures that many of her school’s 512 students will get a chance to see the speech, especially students in third through sixth grades. Some parents also have inquired about whether they might be able to come to school to watch the speech with their children, and that’s fine, too.

Others parents have expressed concerns about their children being required to take part in the speech’s “extended activities,” as offered by the White House, or might be assigned to “write a paper about how much they like Obama, or how much they admire him,” Thompson said.

Parents needn’t worry, Thompson said, because that’s not the plan. Students don’t even need to see the speech, if a parent so chooses.

“We won’t hold it against anybody if they don’t want to watch it,” she said. “We’ll let them go to the library and read. We encourage kids to read 20 minutes a day, so they can do that then.”

Text of the e-mail from Kim Bodensteiner, district chief academic officer, regarding the back-to-school speech

President to give national speech to school students

This link (http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html) contains information regarding President Barack Obama's speech to America's students on September 8. It is reported that he will deliver a national address directly to students on the importance of education. The President will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens.

Teachers and principals may choose to air the speech. This is not a district required activity. The ESDC has received a few parent calls asking how to go about opting children out of watching the speech. We are directing parents to contact their child's teacher(s) and/or principal to determine if the speech will be shown in any of their classes. If parents wish to opt students out, please ensure that an alternate location is available for students during the speech.

The speech will be broadcast live on the White House Web site at 12:00 noon eastern standard time on September 8.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

Comments

ksjayhawk74 5 years, 3 months ago

I really resent that some people object to such a ridiculous extent about the President of the United States wanting to talk to their children...

How dare he have the nerve to care about my child... Just leave my kids alone... We want to see what he's going to say first before we allow our kids to hear it.

Really, treating the President as if he's some child molester that needs constant supervision if just offensive. And is it really a BAD thing for kids to write about how they can help the President of the United States? Obviously, these ideas to help the President would be helping the United States.

It's a bad lesson these people are teaching kids. If someone who you don't agree with wants to tell you something, stick you head in the sand because your brain probably won't be able to handle what you hear. Also, don't just mistrust the President but take it as a given that he wants to destroy you...

parrothead8 5 years, 3 months ago

We all know he's going to say, "Abortion good, God dead, Evolution real, Socialism win, Gayness fun, Capitalism bad, Punish wealthy, Hate whites. I was born on Pluto. My birth certificate is fake." Or else they'll just flash those messages subliminally in between the "work hard in school" and "prepare for good jobs in the future" messages. Man, what an evil dude.

ylime3499 5 years, 3 months ago

I agree with each side on this issue, but a parent has the right to raise their child how they want. Freedom. Just like you have the right to say what you want. I'm 20something and would not want my child watching this as an assignment. I also think parents should have to have a permit/license to procreate... :D But then who’s standards do you go by… no kids for me thanks!

Gareth Skarka 5 years, 3 months ago

Amazing that it only took the right wing 9 months to go from "criticizing the President is Treason" to "schoolchildren shouldn't listen to the President."

This is such BS -- Reagan and Bush I addressed schools via broadcast, but I guess that was OK?

The "patriotism" of the right wing (i.e., only when it's "my side") is a joke.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 3 months ago

that's funny to me that the same conservatives that yell about loving their country and "America First" are now refusing to let their child hear the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES speak. Hypocritical idiots. If your child is so mindless and weak that 15 minutes of a speech brainwashes and politically indoctrinates them, than your child has worse problems ahead of them than the Obama speech.

Gareth Skarka 5 years, 3 months ago

The conservative dictionary:

Tyranny: noun When the other side wins an election.

hwarangdo 5 years, 3 months ago

If I was a student I would WANT to hear my president talk to me! And if my kids were still in school, I would whole-heartedly want them to hear Obama. Hello! This is YOUR PRESIDENT speaking! Can't people put aside the dirty rotten politics and be open-minded and positive about something? Perhaps students need to hear/learn just one thing about this great country: united we stand / divided we fall. And that means ALL, not just one political party.

DRsmith 5 years, 3 months ago

Why the daytime, Lord knows he hasn't been on enough during prime time during his first 8 months in office...sarcasm.

mindylogan83 5 years, 3 months ago

ok I got the opt out letter today for my son and I say ok I FIGURED if my whole country voted for him then can he be that bad it seems like everybody had bummper stickers and wanted him as president but I am starting to fell like they didnt want him as a president they just wanted him cause they wanted to finnelly have a color person cause from most post on this they dont like him why vote for him if you dont like his belives and before you tear me down i didnt vote at all I didnt think any one of them had my belives I am a christen and dont believe in abortion or gay or other thinks he believed in I only believe in the bible and what it says

AKCmom 5 years, 3 months ago

Really!? Why are people so closed-minded!? It is our president, whether we like it or not, for more then three years yet. Why shouldn't our children learn all that they can? You can still teach them what you believe at home but why should all students have to be deprived because of you!?

ksjayhawk74 5 years, 3 months ago

@ mindylogan83.

You're a "Christen"? I thought you were a Mindy ;)

You don't believe in "abortion" or "gay"? I can assure you both do actually exist.

Keep in mind that "color person" is our Democratically elected President and people didn't just vote for him because he's colored...

mommyoffour 5 years, 3 months ago

My son is in fifth grade and he says his teacher is not going to let the class watch. He wanted to watch and listen to the President speak to him. Well I can not believe the school is not going to allow him to do this.

getreal 5 years, 3 months ago

"And we're entering one of the most exciting times in history, a time of unlimited possibilities, bounded only by the size of your imagination, the depth of your heart, and the character of your courage. More than two centuries of American history -- the contributions of the millions of people who have come before us have been given to us as our birthright. All we can do to earn what we've received is to dream large dreams, to live lives of kindness, and to keep faith with the unfinished vision of the greatness and wonder of America." From a President to students.

Is this Indoctrination? Let us all be very afraid of a President talking to students!

These people that are worried about their kids hearing from the President of the United States are simply unpatriotic!

mommyoffour 5 years, 3 months ago

I guess alot of Lawrence Schools are not even making it an option for our children to listen to our President speak to them. I think that is wrong. My son said the principle of Deerfield made the decision for the school. Hmmmm. Why not?

lawrenceparent 5 years, 3 months ago

We should stand behind the president of our country that we the people have elected. We should also encourage our children to do the same. United we stand, Divided we fall. We should also encourge free speech and due process. This is what our children need to learn.

BrianR 5 years, 3 months ago

mommyoffour (Anonymous) says… "My son is in fifth grade and he says his teacher is not going to let the class watch. He wanted to watch and listen to the President speak to him. Well I can not believe the school is not going to allow him to do this."

In this case, I would keep my child home so he can watch it.

Indoctrination?!? Wackos. If you indoctrinated them adequately at home, then the President isn't going to change their minds about anything. Are you that pathetic that you can't allow your child to hear an opinion that differs from your own? Are you that unsure that your opinion has merit?

Sad.

mommyoffour 5 years, 3 months ago

I will let my son watch our President. I am really confused and hope that my thoughts our wrong as to why all schools would not give our children the opportunity to be a part of this.

2002 5 years, 3 months ago

I would have no problem letting my kids listen to the President speak. I didn't vote for McCain and I think the President is doing an awful job, just like I thought Bush did an awful job. But I want my kids to hear these people speak and I want them to pay close attention to what they hear and then pay attention to see if it's true.

And for all you that are outraged: be honest, If you are "outraged" that Obama wants to speak to the children you probably would have loved a Bush speech. And if you have no problem and think those that are outraged are crazies; well, you would have probably been outraged if Bush did the same.

There are too many sheep in America, blindly following the two party system that feeds off of scare tactics and hyperbole while both parties sell us Americans out.

Keith 5 years, 3 months ago

I believe Steve Benen said it best: "I have given up hope for a loyal opposition. I'd settle for a sane one."

KSManimal 5 years, 3 months ago

"Are you that pathetic that you can't allow your child to hear an opinion that differs from your own? Are you that unsure that your opinion has merit?"

BrianR - you hit the nail on the head with that one....

The whole reason these folks don't want their kids to hear Obama is they are afraid the kids might actually see the guy is articulate and intelligent, and might actually have a good idea or two (like...stay in school, study hard...).

The only hope these folks have of their kids sharing their warped perspectives is to deny the kids exposure to anything else.

Btw, USD497 goes against their own board policies by allowing "opt out" of this speech; and/or by administrators making the decision for teachers as to what they will/won't show in class.

blackwalnut 5 years, 3 months ago

Why wouldn't a student want to hear what the president has to say - even if they don't like the president?

What is to be gained by staying ignorant of what is happening in the country?

I never heard of such an attitude until a black man became president.

Matthew Herbert 5 years, 3 months ago

MindyLogan83- I'm guessing that the "83" indicates that you were born in 83....making you 26???? If that is the case, I'm deeply saddened that someone from your generation still uses the term "colored". Thank you for preserving ignorance.

5 years, 3 months ago

Momoffour: Your child is giving you wrong information, the principal said nothing of the sort. It is a teacher decision if the speech is shown and parents can call to "opt out" their child who will go somewhere else where they are not watching the speech.

KS 5 years, 3 months ago

2002 - You said you didn't vote for McCain, but did you vote for Obama? Did you even vote? I think I know where I would put my money on that one.

KSManimal 5 years, 3 months ago

"What is to be gained by staying ignorant of what is happening in the country?"

Republican voters in 2012 and beyond.......

Newell_Post 5 years, 3 months ago

mindylogan83:

Please stop giving christens a bad name. You're really just a sock puppet for waka1, now aren't you?

roggy 5 years, 3 months ago

I think the problem people are having over this is not that the President is speaking to the students about working hard, staying in school, etc. Those are all things that everyone agrees on, no matter what side of the isle you are on. The problem was the lesson plans that went along with the speech. The lesson plans, available online, originally recommended having students "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the President." The White House revised the plans on Wednesday to "write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term educational goals." As a former teacher, I would not have used the lesson plans as written the first time. I will read the speech when posted online and then I can make an informed position on how I feel about this speech.
I wonder if those saying they have no problem with President Obama speaking to the children would feel differently if this was George W. Bush making this speech and sending out those lesson plans. Food for thought.

Shelley Bock 5 years, 3 months ago

I am a liberal Democrat. I voted for Obama. Yet...

I have always made an effort to hear every Presidential address from Kennedy to Obama, from Nixon to Bush whether I liked or loathed the President.

I watch and listen to inaugural speeches, State of the Union addresses and news conferences, even if I despise the President at that moment.

I have watched Presidential funerals and other events, even if I cared little for the individual, but out of respect for my country and the office

And, when I had some control over my children, who are now adults, they sat there to watch and listen. They protested, but they were going to listen.

My children can now make their own mind, based on their personal opinion and ability to observe. I don't really care what they think, so long they have the conviction to sustain their opinion with evidence they have personally analyzed and assessed..

If they were still in school, I would demand that they be given the opportunity to listen to the President, regardless of whom he or she may be or which party they belong. I respect the government of America, regardless of who is in power. To do otherwise, is quite simply "un-American".

If you deny your children the opportunity to listen to the President, why don't you pack your bags and move to the isolated part of the world you feel you should, but make sure it is outside of this country.

“… my country may she ever be right, but right or wrong, my country, my country” is a quote from Stephen Decatur. Decatur who was willing to stand by his country whether it was right or wrong. He willing listened to and accepted the decision of the President regardless of his personal desires. When? Where? Decatur was a US Naval officer in the early 1800’s who objected to President Jefferson’s willingness to resolve the Tripoli conflict by negotiation rather than by the sword. If he could listen to a Presidential comment, why can’t you or your child? If you refuse to listen, you deny your country and patriotism of our forefathers. In the words of the old right, “Love it or leave it.”

5 years, 3 months ago

mindylogan 83 doesn't the Bible say kill your 1st born? Done that yet?

Eileen Jones 5 years, 3 months ago

I even sucked it up and listened to Bush's speeches - over the radio because I really could not stand to see his smirking face, but I made a point to know what he said.

It is amazing how afraid of knowledge some segments of our population are. And a shame they force ignorance on their children.

While they have their heads in the sand, the rest of us are getting things done.

getreal 5 years, 3 months ago

roggy wrote: "I wonder if those saying they have no problem with President Obama speaking to the children would feel differently if this was George W. Bush making this speech and sending out those lesson plans. Food for thought."

No, I would not. My child did have an assignment in first grade that was to write a letter to President Bush, who I did not vote for. I had no problem with the assignment. I had no problem when President Regan addressed school children.

I think it is unfortunate that this is being portrayed as some sort of indoctrination plot. These were NOT lesson plans demanded by anyone. They were a list of possible classroom activities crafted by the Department of Education Teaching Ambassador Fellows and the letter writing activity was one of 16. Teachers could choose ALL or NONE of them to do in class. People act as if Obama was sitting around at night writing these suggested activities. Get real people.

Guess what the Bush Whitehouse had the same sort of suggested classroom activities online: http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/kids/guide/

These are people who simply hate and/or fear our President. If this is what they are instilling in their children, I feel very sorry for their kids.

NoSpin 5 years, 3 months ago

For the deprived: you can go to the department of education web site and listen to his speech on Monday. I think people had issues with the lesson plans given out to teachers. Again, this is America where "Americans" can burn the Flag but darn those parents who want the freedom to have their children not listen to a speech.

Newell_Post 5 years, 3 months ago

I am reminded of a wonderful line from that great old war movie "A Bridge Too Far."....

Lt. General Horrocks: This is a story you will tell your grandchildren; and mightily bored they'll be.

christy kennedy 5 years, 3 months ago

"One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal." —Bill Moyers

Says it all.

NoSpin 5 years, 3 months ago

Mighty judgmental, Scott. People actually have a right to determine what their children can and cannot listen to. That's a freedo we enjoy in America. If you want your children to listen to it, that's ok. Should one assume one is an anarchist if he does not seem to like his country? No. But you jump to a conclusion that parents who elect to opt out of the speech are racist. If someone opted out listening to Reagan, what would you call him? Stupid? Discriminating against older people? Get over it and stop the name calling.

Paul Decelles 5 years, 3 months ago

NoSpin,

I don't think such parents are racist, but I do believe they are scared because it will be much harder to for them to demonize Obama and get their kids to believe the tripe they are fed on Fox "News".

Quite frankly were Reagan to have spoken when my kids were growing up, great.

LA_Ex 5 years, 3 months ago

I don't need to say anything because Hepburn said it best (9/4 @ 9:22pm).

That was a great post. Kudos.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 3 months ago

The Conservatives look like a bunch of lunatics.

I don't have much hope for them anymore.

The last election I voted about 60/40 (Republican/Democrat).

I don't even recognize this Republican Party anymore. They seem to be all about generating hate for our President. They disgust me.

overthemoon 5 years, 3 months ago

Ckennedy.

Absolutely, unequivocally agree with Boyers and you. This whole situation has gotten dangerously out of control. We have a mob mentality coming down. And the mob is made up of ignorant fools who are causing severe damage to themselves and to our country.

overthemoon 5 years, 3 months ago

I scanned all of the comments here. NOT ONE supports the idiocy of this challenge to our President.

To every one...we have to, we must, stop this insistent effort to disregard our president, our government, and our selves. We are going to fail, together and irrevocably, if we allow the ignorant to dictate our national narrative.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 3 months ago

Christikennedy, you're right about that quote: over a third of your democrat voters actually believe the 9-11 truth wackos. Michael Moore had a seat of honor at the democrat convention. and all the dem presidential candidates marched to the nutbag hateful Dailykos convention and bowed themselves.


"white folks greed runs a world in need."

now, who was the racial divider who said that? ... hmmm?


comparing this to Reagan and GHWB's speeches is just silly.
first, neither of them had a cult of personality. neither of them had supporters likening them to Jesus/messiah.

those speeches were not given at such a contentious time as right now.
increasingly, Mr. Obama is losing support generally, and particularly among independents. if his drop in popularity continues, then by the end of the month, he'll be down in the George Bush range you loons on the left liked to trumpet.
besides the clearly creepy study materials... "what can I do to help President Obama," it looks like this is a kind of end around to try to gain support for his massive health care scandal and other massive social engineering by way of selling to the children.


finally, I wonder: is Mr. Latham at LHS showing the speech? more likely, he's doing what he did for inaugrations: taking transcript and analyzing it with students and their markers. that's a far better use of time and involvement of the youth instead of passively shoveling it into their minds.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 3 months ago

Dear Lawrence teacher, please do not interrupt your day for this speech. It is politically divisive and there are many more important priorities for your classroom time.
Now, if you are a high school government or western civ teacher, please do show this, or better, distribute the text and analyze it with your students.

it is presumptuous of Mr. Obama to try to take over some valuable classroom time. Judging by the now disavowed study materials, he tells your students to listen to what political leaders say, but never mentions listening to, or respecting, what parents say. You know how important parents are to your children's education.

This should not be left to an opt-out for parents who object. Because of current political divisions and hot political debates, this speech should be only opt-in, at most. I would prefer that no school show this at all.

Sure, some may call me a racist. but I am not. I am free to criticize a President, no matter his race.
/gnome, Lawrence resident

bearded_gnome 5 years, 3 months ago

Keep in mind that “color person” is our Democratically elected President and people didn't just vote for him because he's colored…

---oh, yeah? most blacks voted for him because he's black. however, the blood of american slaves doesn't flow in Mr. Obama's veins.
Many white liberals voted for him because he is black. five years ago he was a little known, unqualified, state legislator in Illinois, who, for example, voted to support infanticide.
would a white politician with similar lack of experience have been elected, very doubtful.
if a white politician had attended the white equivalent of Reverend Wright's hateful church, he couldn't have been elected fire engine waxer!

We warned you all about Mr. Obama's associations. now, the green jobs czar is an avowed communist, and believes the 9-11 truth wacko conspiracy.
another of Mr. Obama's czars or maybe its the same Van Jones, I get the radical loons confused, believes that there is racism in the eco activists and the black and other minority communities are being intentionally poisoned with toxic waste.
others of his appointees: are avowed socialists; believe in forced sterilization/abortion; and support what Chavez has done to squelch Venizuelan free speech.

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

"This should not be left to an opt-out for parents who object. Because of current political divisions and hot political debates, this speech should be only opt-in, at most."

That's flatly absurd. You suggest that we only allow this sort of thing when there are no political divisions? Or is it just when You agree with the politics of the president?

"I would prefer that no school show this at all."

Of course you do. You have let your political bias take over your mind until that's all that you see.

"Sure, some may call me a racist. but I am not. I am free to criticize a President, no matter his race."

Certainly, but when your criticism sounds at best like paranoia and at worst like delusion, you should try and rethink how publicly you air them.

BigPrune 5 years, 3 months ago

I think conservatives are concerned their children will turn out like one of the kids in the above link.

"Gold star on the forehead if you wear your sky-blue shirts kiddies!"

Why does Obama remind me of that Damian Thorn character from The Omen III movie? hmmmmmmmm

Linda Endicott 5 years, 3 months ago

No Spin: so you think you have the right to control what your children can and cannot listen to...

Well, maybe you're right...but I always thought America was the land of freedom for everyone...even children...what are your children going to think in years to come when they hear how you didn't want them to listen to one speech, because they just might hear a differing opinion from your own?

Wouldn't it be better to let them watch the speech, and then discuss it with them afterward? Better yet, watch it with them...it might not be the big old boogey man horror story you think it is...

Seems a shame that so many people have made up their minds about the evils of the speech, when they haven't even listened to it themselves...

And good luck on that controlling what your children can listen to, anyway...do you have the internet at home? Do your kids have access to it? Do you have TV? Do you let them watch it? If so, you've already lost that battle, hon...the kids have already been exposed to many, many thoughts and ideas, most of which you probably aren't even aware of...

It is impossible to control everything your children will be exposed to...just think about how much they learn in school every day...and not from the teachers, but from the other little darlings they're forced to attend school with...

The mind just boggles at the paranoia of some people..the president's speech will talk about the importance of staying in school and working hard...and the importance of parents, teachers, communities, working together to help kids stay in school...

Scandalous! Shameful! How dare he want kids to stay in school and get an education!

You fruit loops out there have really shown how nutty you are with this one...

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

"Why does Obama remind me of that Damian Thorn character from The Omen III movie?"

That would probably be because you're a fool.

GardenMomma 5 years, 3 months ago

Or better yet, discuss the speech with your kids at home and talk to your kids. After all, they probably listen to you, so use the opportunity to teach them.

I know we'll be talking about it over dinner together. I'll get their thoughts about what was said and I'll give them my thoughts.

BigPrune 5 years, 3 months ago

Wow! I stuck a nerve with Jonus. You must admit, that spread happiness song from those kids is weird. Damian had his youth groups too. hmmmmmmm.........coincidence, or life imitating art?

KSManimal 5 years, 3 months ago

What if everyone who wrote comments here wrote to the school board instead?

Christine Pennewell Davis 5 years, 3 months ago

I keep seeing 15 little kinergaten kids sitting there and about 5 min. in being so bored. I would love to see them during this speech. Really just think of it 15 to 20 min speech 15 or so 5 year olds trying to get them to listen pay attention and comprehend. I can hardly get the twin 5 yr. old grand kids to be still for 5 min.

Sunny Parker 5 years, 3 months ago

He is getting the kiddies ready for 2012

djneibarger 5 years, 3 months ago

even if you're a hardcore right-wing conservative, how cowardly would you have to be to not let your child listen to a speech by a democrat president? are you afraid they can't think for themselves and make their own judgement? 20 minutes in the influence of the "enemy" and they will turn on you and knife you in your sleep?? c'mon, grow a spine, republicans. i couldn't stand Bush, but never restricted my kids from hearing the man speak.

djneibarger 5 years, 3 months ago

bearded_gnome, "comparing this to Reagan and GHWB's speeches is just silly. first, neither of them had a cult of personality. neither of them had supporters likening them to Jesus/messiah."

you were laughing when you typed that, right? c'mon, you had to be. the hollywood actor didn't have a "cult of personality"??? really????? and "born again bush" wasn't playing to religious fervor??? now that's some hardcore sarcasm. :)

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

Struck a nerve, Prune? Please. I can quite cheerfully point out your foolishness, it's right out there in the open for everybody to see.

JackKats 5 years, 3 months ago

I do have a problem with Obama talking directly to my child. The reasons I have have to do with his original questions he wanted to ask them to ask themselves which made his intent obvious and transparent. By changing the suggested questions does not change the intent or motive behind his speech. It only allows him to hide those intentions.

What he called for is a national civlian force more well funded then the military. His goals of mandatory service and getting 1 million HS students involved was well documented and the questions he wanted posed to students falls in line with his documented goals.

What would these children be asked to do in a civilian force? Just look at the way he used those that "wanted to help Obama" in going door to door to help petition his agenda right after the election.

I don't like the idea that a President would use his office to enlist children, indoctrinate them, and then ask them to serve him in service to promote his agenda. This, I believe is his true intent and for this I object to having my child swayed or encouraged to join.

My child will not attend school on Tuesday because I will not subject him to having to "opt" our or be subject to being an outsider. This is my right as a parent and I will not stand by and have my child's impressionable mind swayed. Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing.

Calliope877 5 years, 3 months ago

JackKats forgot to take his meds today...

JackKats 5 years, 3 months ago

Do you who support this speech and are anxious for the speech directed to your children really need this to get your kids excited about school and encourage them to do well? I have for all my kids lives been challenging them to excel, encouraged them to set goals, helped them acheive their goals, suggested ways they could better themselves, and on and on. If this speech were nothing more than support of my efforts towards my kids, I would applaud it and welcome it. But I see it as having an agenda for Obama's goals and not only as a challenge to children and young adults.

JackKats 5 years, 3 months ago

Calliope....

I don't expect anything more than an insult from anyone on this blog. Thank you for confirming that the left's tactics are ultimately reduced to name calling.

JackKats 5 years, 3 months ago

First, It is the intent and not the content that I object to.

djneibarger 5 years, 3 months ago

jackkats, good for you! and here's some other things you might want to protect your impressionable child from: -teachers who ask them read books, which might contain ideas and opinions, or ask them to solve difficult problems which might leave them feeling like an outsider if they can't. -television, which might try to get them to buy things and hear news stories about other countries and societies. -other kids, who might try to get them to try new things like different music and games. -sheep who might not really be sheep. -pastors or priests who might want to enlist them to attend weekly meetings and go door to door helping petition their agenda. -anything that would subject your child to being an outsider, like sports, social events, school clubs, clothing stores, or anything that promotes individuality or personal preference. -newspapers, radio broadcasts which might express a different point of view from what is expressed in your home. -family members who don't share your exact views/opinions. -any kind of public service, because you never know what might be a cover-up for a hidden political agenda.

these are just a few, but you should absolutely beware of ANYTHING that might challenge your impressionable child and make them think. thinking is bad, very bad.

JackKats 5 years, 3 months ago

djen- Lets take some of your thoughts and apply the agenda of Obama and see if you would agree. Teachers= Read books they have written and grade them on if they agree or not. I would object to that. Television-Shows that are inappropriate and raunchy. That are purely unethical. I do object and do sensor these shows. Other Kids- I do object to my kids being around those that do drugs and are obviously out of control.

Pastors- I do not allow my kids to attend churches that have means that are cultish in practice.

Sports- If a coach wanted my child to join a team because it would help him.her to "get into hall of fame" and was not just for my kids best interest, then I would object.

You miss the point, It is the agenda and the "self interests" that I object to in what Obama is doing. The ends do not justify the means. It is my duty as a parent to provide my child with an enviroment of nuture and safety where they can make their own decisions and not have undue outside influence that may sway them to make bad decisions. And also to face their own consequences for such decisions I might add.

JackKats 5 years, 3 months ago

Let me give you a true case DJ of a teacher that I objected teach my child.

My oldest was in a class wtih a teacher. The teacher during the summer contacted me and asked me if I was interesed in a business opportunity. I agreed to listen as long as it was not Amway. He showed up and presented a presentation on Amway.

I in no uncertain terms told him that it was unethical to take my name from the school's role and use this to contact me. The following year when my second child was enrolled in his class, I went to the school to have him assigned another teacher. I believe that my second child would not be graded fairly and that the teacher's intention in teaching children was not just in challenging them and enriching them but he had an agenda that was self serving as well.

Was this wrong to have my child opted out of this class?

Monica Miller 5 years, 3 months ago

I am a parent that doesn't want my child watching the speech. . . or hearing anything Obama has to say for that matter. Most kids my kids' age, 9 &10, don't grasp the whole "All that glitters is not gold" concept yet. Obama, IMO, is way over rated, trying to give people false hope, and has the exact qualities the Bible gives to the anti-christ. I'm sure all you Obama-lovers will have plenty to say. . .yet it will not change my opinion.

daddax98 5 years, 3 months ago

dear god man it was Amway! can't you see we must protect the children. must act swiftly before children are exposed to that lemony furniture polish.

daddax98 5 years, 3 months ago

"and has the exact qualities the Bible gives to the anti-christ"

And we have a winner!

Monica Miller 5 years, 3 months ago

Christ is capatalized when referring to Jesus Christ. ..

I realize for a moron like you that it may be hard to come to terms with the fact that Obama is not hardly that!

ferrislives 5 years, 3 months ago

bearded_gnome: Your argument is STUPID, because several whites also DID NOT vote for Obama because he was party black. So nanny nanny boo boo.

Anyway, this whole "I'm not gonna let my kid watch the socialist president" thing has got the be the stupidest thing since...carrying an assault rifle at a presidential speech!

Let me ask a question to all: How many of you watched a speech from your president in your school classroom as a kid??? I did, and he did not brainwash me. He simply said the whole "I'm proud of you...stay in school...be good" speech; it's nothing new. I didn't hear any of you arguing when previous presidents spoke to our kids in the past, including George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Bill J. Clinton, or Ronald Reagan.

I strongly believe that a lot of those who are making such a big deal out of nothing are doing so because deep down, Obama scares them. He scares them because he's black, or he's liberal, or they think he'll take away their guns. All of those people are hiding behind the "he's a socialist" line, when they are really and truly hiding behind the "oh my God, he's black" thought. But they'll never admit it.

Simply put: they don't like having a black or bi-racial president, unless he's an extreme conservative. Just ask Colin Powell. And they're using the socialist tag to brainwash their children. Considering their argument on brainwashing, how ironic is that.

The Republican/GOP platform: he'll want more abortions, no guns for citizens, socialism for all, and he'll probably rape your daughter...after all; he's black.

GET OVER IT!!! HE IS YOUR PRESIDENT TOO!!!

ferrislives 5 years, 3 months ago

YOUNGCSI: You are an idiot. Maybe you need to re-read your bible, you hypocrite. There are those that said GWB was the anti-christ, and that was bull**** too, you ignorant idiot!

Good job brainwashing your kids. Maybe you should start a brainwashing college. It seems like it would be very popular around here.

Monica Miller 5 years, 3 months ago

(laughter)

Another silly moron!

(laughter)

Funny how I'm the idiot, but you're the one referring to "parenting" as "brainwashing. . . .

Bottom line, it's my job to decide what is/is not best for my kids at this young age. Many of you morons can't help that you're morons, you learned from your parents. So do you call that "brainwashing"?? Instilling similar values to mine in my kids is not brainwashing. . . And as I stated in my first post, I know a lot of you sill morons have comments I care nothing about. I stand behind what I believe and won't let someone who learned ignorance from their poor parents waiver me.

ferrislives 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm not sure why I'm trying, as you are obviously beyond help, but others might benefit from the truth:

From Wikipedia: Brainwashing (also known as thought reform or re-education) consists of any effort aimed at instilling certain attitudes and beliefs in a person — beliefs sometimes unwelcome or in conflict with the person's prior beliefs and knowledge.[1] Motives for brainwashing may include the aim of affecting that individual's value system and subsequent thought-patterns and behaviors.

You are brainwashing your children because you are not giving them the opportunity to think for themselves; you are thinking for them; end of story.

But it really doesn't matter, because as history has taught us all, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree; especially when you parents brainwash you, such as youngcsi is doing right now. A true waste of time.

FYI: Jesus does not like brainwashers; good values: yes; brainwashing like youngcsi: no! There IS a difference.

Youngcsi: Good bye, and here's your cookie...idiot!

fuel_for_the_fire 5 years, 3 months ago

JackKats - How does keeping your child out of school teach him to make his own decisions?

To make a truly informed decision, one must first be aware of all of the facts, actually understand them, and then, after careful and thorough contemplation, come to a decision.

Instead of providing your child with all of the facts by exposing him to the President's speech, you are choosing to promote his ignorance.

I wonder, will you tell your child the reason why he is being kept home from school on this day? And if you do, what will he learn from this? That he is to ignore ideas which differ from his father's? That the office of the President of the USA is not worthy of respect if his father doesn't like the person who holds that office?

Exposure to ideas that differ from one's own encourages thought. You are robbing your child of an opportunity to learn this valuable life skill.

I respectfully implore you to consider the other lessons your child will learn from your actions.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 3 months ago

I put the questions that are going to be asked on one of my blogs to be handy for those who actually want to know what they are and might like to discuss it with their kids. That is, if you do actually discuss homework with your kids. Apparently not.

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

"Instead of providing your child with all of the facts by exposing him to the President's speech, you are choosing to promote his ignorance.

I wonder, will you tell your child the reason why he is being kept home from school on this day?"

I thought both of these thoughts deserved a repeat. Partly because they are rational enough for some of these people to completely ignore them, having no answer for them.

Hopefully, they'll answer the question truthfully.

"Because I'm irrationally afraid."

Monica Miller 5 years, 3 months ago

I should not be surprised at your lack of ability when it comes to reading comprehension.

"Christ is capatalized when referring to Jesus Christ. ..

I realize for a moron like you that it may be hard to come to terms with the fact that Obama is not hardly that!"

It is clear that I am stating Obama is NOT Jesus Christ. . . thank you for proving me right as to what a moron you are.

FYI. . . IF I had changed my statement, it would have been a 360 degree reversal, not 180. Geeze. . . I'm beginning to wonder why I even waste my time typing. . . .It's clear there's no one home on your end.

ferrislives 5 years, 3 months ago

"FYI… IF I had changed my statement, it would have been a 360 degree reversal, not 180. Geeze… I'm beginning to wonder why I even waste my time typing… .It's clear there's no one home on your end."

My word youngcsi, you apparently didn't pass math class:

180 degrees would make you turn backwards (opposite), while 360 degrees would put you right back where you already are (same). Wow, a moron calling someone else a moron.

Too bad you are brainwashing your children to be future morons.

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

"I stand behind what I believe and won't let someone who learned ignorance from their poor parents waiver me."

Except, that it seems that you have learned the art of ignorance very well. I struggle to find any other words for somebody who equates "teaching values similar to my own" with shutting out access to alternative viewpoints.

Can you explain how shutting out access to alternative viewpoints is not promoting ignorance?

ignorance (plural ignorances) "The condition of being uninformed or uneducated. Lacking knowledge or information."

You say that you are actively unwaiverable, but it seems that you are really just unwilling to think about it. You could prove me wrong, but I'm not holding my breath.

ferrislives 5 years, 3 months ago

jonas_opines: cosign from me.

And to those who don't support their president, I was raised in a military family, and we were and still are very patriotic. Supporting your troops and the president was never an option.

Debate and disagreement with the administration's views was ALWAYS welcome in our house, but the ignorant and fearful words, like those said on this forum, would have never been welcome at our house, without being backed up with fact and logic (like what is NOT being displayed by YOUNGCSI).

And if one of us had dared said that we disavow our president, it would NOT have been looked at well. Because that view is ignorant, plain and simple. Knowledge of all sides of an issue is the sign of success for a country and its people, and ignorance is the death of it.

JackKats 5 years, 3 months ago

Jonas.

I am teaching my child that it is okay to not to listen to someone or accept what they say when their intentions are not pure or for their good just because they say so.

Do you really believe that by my keeping him out of school as a matter of principle is teaching him something wrong? Act on our principles and stand by them and do not be part of something that in its intentions is evil and self promoting.

Have you given your children every opportunity to make a decision and allow them to experience evertything? Do you not have standards that you just say no to them and try to teach them in why no is a correct response?

Yes, I have explained to my son why I am not allowing him to go to school that day and also have shown him the news stories of what the president plans are for the youth of America in being "encouraged" to volunteer.

Jonas and Fuel....Have you taken your kids to church and allowed them to make their own decisions? Are there any activities that you will not allow your kid(s) to partipate in or do you truly give them carte blanche in all things?

Jonas and Fuel...As stated earlier, I would not have given this a second thought had it not been for the questions that the President wanted the teachers to ask and had it not been for the mandatory service he wants to force upon the youth as he stated and as has been promoted by other democrats.

JackKats 5 years, 3 months ago

Ferrs.

Congrats on your parents in instilling values that you can live by. I also was raised in a military family and duty to country, sacrifice, upholding the constitution, protecting freedom and a respect for a chain of command was always taught as things to respect and value. But also I was taught that although that someone was in authority does not always make them right nor their intentions pure.

My decision to keep my son out of school as a matter of priniple is not any different then a value that you learned from your parents. It was there duty to help you to have principles and values that should not be abondoned and that their decisions were made for you on what was acceptable and what was not.

I am using this speech as a catylist to teach my child a value in life. That just because someone is president does not always make them right and that their intentions should be judged by more then just one speech.

ferrislives 5 years, 3 months ago

JayKat says: "Yes, I have explained to my son why I am not allowing him to go to school that day and also have shown him the news stories of what the president plans are for the youth of America in being “encouraged” to volunteer."

Wow, how evil of our president to actually ask kids to volunteer in their communities. That's absolutely absurd!

I agree JackKats and YoungCsi, you have changed my mind. I will talk with my children tomorrow about the evils of doing good in school, setting goals for themselves, and volunteering in their community. They'd be much better off making bullets for the end of days, because it's coming you know. (sarcasm alert)

JayKats, you and everyone else is allowed to have your opinion. But you are not allowing your son to do the same,you've made that choice for him. All you are doing is trying to create a carbon-copy of yourself; nothing more. And that is brainwashing (see earlier definition).

If you truly cared about letting him develop his own opinions, you'd let him see the speech, and have an honest dialog when he got home...letting him express how HE feels. But you and others will not do that, because that's not really what you want in the end.

ferrislives 5 years, 3 months ago

Jay Kat says: "Congrats on your parents in instilling values that you can live by. I also was raised in a military family and duty to country, sacrifice, upholding the constitution, protecting freedom and a respect for a chain of command was always taught as things to respect and value. But also I was taught that although that someone was in authority does not always make them right nor their intentions pure." Good, we can agree on something. Being raised in a military family definitely gives you another perspective on being an American, and sacrifice.

JayKat says: "I am using this speech as a catylist to teach my child a value in life. That just because someone is president does not always make them right and that their intentions should be judged by more then just one speech." But JayKat, if your son is smart, which I'm sure that he is, you should follow my advice and let him see the speech. See what he has to say about it, and let him know how you feel about it. There's nothing wrong with debate, but there is a problem in robbing your son of his own thoughts. No child is really a carbon-copy of their parents, unless those parents force it upon them. Give him the opportunity to use his mind on this and everything, because that will help him throughout life.

JackKats 5 years, 3 months ago

Ferris,

In the end our motives seemt the same but the means are different. I am sure that if you honestly look back at what you did to help guide your child through life, that there were times that you prevented them from something that others were allowed to participate in.

I have raised my children on my own and took custody of all four of them some 7 years ago. They all have their own minds and they do have their own lives to live as they please. Just as allowing them to attend to hear this speech will not harm them, neither will keeping the last one I have at home, hurt him.

In the end of it all, they will be who they are and accept some of my values and reject others. All I can do is do what I believe to be right and use every instance I can as a time to teach them some lessor or illustrate some point. .

JackKats 5 years, 3 months ago

Ferris,

And it is evil for our President to ask our kids to volunteer and ask them what they can do to help him acheive his goals. To encourage them is OK but to recruit them is not.

JackKats 5 years, 3 months ago

Ferris,

Should preachers be allowed to come to schools and ask kids to say how they can help them in their cause? And after they changed the questiosn should they be allowed to still address the students? Should recruiters be allowed to come to schools and give speeches to the students on how they can serve in the military? But after changing the direct pitch, be allowed to still addres the students? Should anyone who has a motive to address students, and then change the questions that were to be asked, then still be able to address the students?

I think that if anyone who is generally a good role model for students or young people had stated the motives of asking how the students could help them, would be booted and not allow to still address the students even after changing the direct plea for helping them.

ferrislives 5 years, 3 months ago

JackKats- On your first statement, you are correct, we both hope that our children become good adults with good values and free thoughts. I just prefer for them to see both sides of an argument. I was a single parent for quite a while myself, and I understand how trying that is. But it just gives those children another experience that they wouldn't have in a nuclear home, which will probably help them to understand multiple points of view.

"And it is evil for our President to ask our kids to volunteer and ask them what they can do to help him acheive his goals. To encourage them is OK but to recruit them is not." Although I didn't have much respect for GWB or Clinton's views, I always cherished them and other Americans reminding my children, along with other children, the value of volunteerism and helping our fellow man.

Our military is currently an all-volunteer military. What would they do without volunteerism? I believe that the kids of today would benefit from much more volunteerism in their lives. So many kids today are so selfish and unaware. They need to set higher goals for themselves, not necessarily monetarily, just goals on how they can always strive to be a better person.

I was just explaining the other day how MLK Day was meant for a day of service, and not a day off. Is that thought evil? You and your kids can pick whatever service they want to provide to their community, or even their family. What is wrong with that? It's what Christianity and many other religions were based on. That is good values man!

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

"I am teaching my child that it is okay to not to listen to someone or accept what they say when their intentions are not pure or for their good just because they say so."

The problem being, how the hell can you know what their intentions are if you're not listening to them? You can't equate listening with accepting what they say, anyway. One is to gain knowledge, the other is to make a choice. Choices are always made in the most effective manor with the largest amount of relevant information available. Restricting information leads to poorer choices. Do you disagree with that>

"Do you really believe that by my keeping him out of school as a matter of principle is teaching him something wrong?"

Absolutely I do.

"Act on our principles and stand by them and do not be part of something that in its intentions is evil and self promoting."

Being part of something is also not the same as hearing what there is to be heard. Evil and self-promoting are your opinions, which you can make. By all means explain to your children your viewpoints. I would suggest, though, that you clearly explain why you believe this to be the case, if you can. Then, later, your child will be able to make their own informed viewpoints rather than just parrot your own. Which could come in handy if it turns out that you. are. wrong.

"Have you given your children every opportunity to make a decision and allow them to experience evertything? Do you not have standards that you just say no to them and try to teach them in why no is a correct response?"

My child lives with his mother, so my actual control over his daily life is somewhat limited. I have encouraged him to attend church with his mom and her husband, but have also encouraged him to think clearly about it and not blindly accept what other people believe to be true but cannot factually prove. I believe that "no" is appropriate when there is clear harm or potential of harm. I believe that it is lunacy to believe that your child will be harmed by listening to an address by the man elected last year to be president.

When I taught my class (college level soph and jrs mostly) I demanded from them in their papers that they argue not only their position, but consider the other side of the argument and include it. To do otherwise makes a weak position that is Always incomplete, generally purely emotional and easily countered, like suggesting that Obama is evil.

Do I have standards that I would set for him, and for my own full-time child when they come? Of course. Will I act as thought-police, censoring and controlling their total information flow? No, I will not. I would have encouraged them to listen to a speech by Reagan, Clinton, both of the Bushes, and now Obama (McCain as well). If I disagreed with the contents of that speech, I would have Discussed it with them afterwards. To do otherwise is to cripple your child's ability to think critically and proactively.

JackKats 5 years, 3 months ago

Ferris,

Once again I do find common ground in what we are saying. I agree that helping and doing for others is an important part of life. I teach my kids that altruistic behavior is vital to a happy life and is characteristic that should be cultivated and practiced.

I believe in helping others and volunteering ones time, energies and efforts. I believe in grass root movements starts with an individual. I just don't agree that it is something that can be pushed or demanded. That defeats the thought of voluteerism.

In the end, we just have a different lesson and a different lesson plan from this speech.

And by the way. The last thing I want of my kids is to be a carbon copy of me. I want better for them.

JackKats 5 years, 3 months ago

Got to run. Thanks for the conversation. And by the way. Thank you for thought provoking comments and sharing of ideas. I always welcome a good exchange of ideas where there is no name calling and where the debate is respectful in tone.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

ferrislives 5 years, 3 months ago

You too JackKats. I was indeed nice to have good debate without childish behavior. Have a good one.

Ralph Reed 5 years, 3 months ago

@BG: re your 1255 about Michael More having a seat of honor at the Democratic convention. You're forgetting that Rush Limbaugh ranted for 90 minutes during a speech at the Republican convention.

Ralph Reed 5 years, 3 months ago

ty ferris and jackkats. I didn't agree with everything you said, but thanks. It was refreshing.

  • Ralph

rbwaa 5 years, 3 months ago

firstnation101 ---- thanks for the chuckle!

mommyoffour 5 years, 3 months ago

So every teacher at Deerfield made the decision not to show the speach?

mommyoffour 5 years, 3 months ago

I wonder what teachers chose to let the children watch the speech. My son said that the decision was made by the Principle. I will talk to him in the morning and make sure that I got the information correctly from him. I remember watching a few presidents in school. My family may or may not have voted for them but they always taught us to respect and pray for our Country and our President.

RiverCityConservative 5 years, 3 months ago

We in America seem to be in a self-perpetuating socio-political meltdown. I believe the catalyst was the 9-11 attack on New York City and Washington D.C. One side selfishly used the post-attack ethos to carry forward an aggressive agenda that did little more than fritter away American blood and treasure.

The chasms left on the grounds where the World Trade Center once stood have generated fault lines throughout our society, and there is no clearer example than this summer's health-care "smack-downs" on the right and on the left.

Now, a U.S. President who has staved off an economic depression and is taking reasoned approaches to a multitude of awe-inspiring domestic and global problems is addressing school children in a national broadcast--and his political opponents and their media talking heads are working up new fervor with bizarre portrayals of his intentions.

I wish President Obama continued strength and I commend him for his tireless efforts to collaborate with political leaders from both parties. I hope he can help America to finally achieve closure on 9-11, the Iraq War, and the Patriot Acts.

We need to remember that this really has to be "the land of the free and the home of the brave." Our national discourse cannot fall to pieces every time our country faces a new challenge.

Newell_Post 5 years, 3 months ago

When I was a kid, the only thing that convinced my Mom kept me home from school was a fever of 103 and projectile vomiting. Absent that, your butt was in the classroom, doing the three Rs.

My parents didn't like like President Kennedy but, when he was assassinated, they were more upset than I ever saw them. Anyone who accepts that job and attempts to do it in good faith deserves our respect and support, even if they make mistakes. I thought GWB was a fool and a moron. But if someone had written a good speech for him about education, service, and persistence, I think everyone of all ages should have listened to it and have given it a fair hearing. (If you could tolerate the snide smirking.)

This current wave of hysterical paranoia is disquieting and, IMO, un-American. This is not our way.

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

"We in America seem to be in a self-perpetuating socio-political meltdown. I believe the catalyst was the 9-11 attack on New York City and Washington D.C."

Last part of the Clinton era was not so pretty either. It does seem, though, that we are oscillating more and more towards the wings.

Monica Miller 5 years, 3 months ago

I thank all of you for confirming my original thoughts. . .I no loner question my decision

danemary 5 years, 3 months ago

NO TO HITLER! BOYCOTT SCHOOL IF YOU MUST BUT DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN WATCH THIS SLIME BALL!

jafs 5 years, 3 months ago

I agree that civility is greatly needed in public debate/discourse.

I disagree that we must "respect and support" whoever happens to be President.

It seems to me that we should listen carefully to all politicians, and think critically about what they're saying and doing.

Reasonable dissent is as American as unthinking patriotism, perhaps more so.

The disturbing thing about the speech, as others have pointed out, is the suggested lesson plans, which don't seem to include questioning, debating, or thinking critically.

kufootballchick 5 years, 3 months ago

If the president is so much for education, why is he taking time out of the educational school day to speak to children? He doesn't talk to the working folks during their work day. He doesn't talk about health care whatever and broadcast it at a hospital. Speak in the evening, watch if you want. Just like with the State of Union speech.

mhh1955 5 years, 3 months ago

Imagine what would happen if there were a major national event - say the dedication of a battlefield memorial. Imagine that the President wanted to speak at this event - even just a few words. Imagine that the organizers of the event didn't really want the President to speak - they already had people lined up as speakers - one of them a major public speaker. Imagine that all that the President wanted to do was to say a few words - no political agenda, no campaign speech - just say a few words about the importance of the event taking place. Imagine the the organizers of the event were actually able to prevent the President from speaking at that event.

Now, imagine how the world would be different if the Gettysburg Address had not been given.

He is our President, whether we voted for him or not, he has the right to speak, and we have an obligation to support that right to speak - The First Amendment isn't only about us speaking to or about our government - it is about our government speaking to us.

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

"I thank all of you for confirming my original thoughts…I no loner question my decision"

Serious question, youngcsi, can you think of any potential way this could have played out that would not have confirmed your original thoughts? Be honest.

conservativepunker 5 years, 3 months ago

Good. Glad that not every child in Lawrence will not be taking the first step towards indoctrination into the OJ (Obama Jugend).

daddax98 5 years, 3 months ago

"If the president is so much for education, why is he taking time out of the educational school day to speak to children?"

Ban Recess!

daddax98 5 years, 3 months ago

“I thank all of you for confirming my original thoughts…I no loner question my decision”

Serious question, youngcsi, can you think of any potential way this could have played out that would not have confirmed your original thoughts? Be honest.


I don't think s/he has ever had an original thought

Jimo 5 years, 3 months ago

"but a parent has the right to raise their child how they want."

Not on my dime. You want to raise your child in your way right on down to teaching him/her that the President of the U.S. is as to be feared as a child molester? Again, not on my dime. Pay your own way!

These parents need to think very carefully of how their children will react later in life when they realize that their parent's teaching of 'Obama as the Antichrist' wasn't true and begin to question everything they've been taught. Many a parent over the years has been lured down a harmful path thinking that the ease of constructing an alternate reality for a 10 year old could be sustained into the future for that 20 year old. These parents may be self-sabotaging the whole of their child raising plan when that future child rejects everything they've been taught as the Big Lie.

fuel_for_the_fire 5 years, 3 months ago

conservativepunker - the double negative in your sentence is tantamount to a postive. In other words your statement has the following meaning: "Glad that every child in Lawrence will be taking the first step...."

And are you seriously comparing the President's speech, meant to imbue children to achieve high educational goals (such that they might have a working knowledge of grammar, for instance) to the Hitler Youth?

Godwin's Law strikes again....Mike, you're a genius.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 3 months ago

Menu of Classroom Activities President Obama’s Address to Students Across America (PreK‐6) Produced by Teaching Ambassador Fellows, U.S. Department of Education September 8, 2009 Before the Speech

Teachers can build background knowledge about the President of the United States and his speech by reading books about presidents and Barack Obama. Teachers could motivate students by asking the following questions:

Who is the President of the United States? What do you think it takes to be president? To whom do you think the president is going to be speaking? Why do you think he wants to speak to you? What do you think he will say to you?

Teachers can ask students to imagine that they are delivering a speech to all of the students in the United States. If you were the president, what would you tell students? What can students do to help in our schools? Teachers can chart ideas about what students would say.

Why is it important that we listen to the president and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important? During the Speech

As the president speaks, teachers can ask students to write down key ideas or phrases that are important or personally meaningful. Students could use a note‐taking graphic organizer such as a “cluster web;” or, students could record their thoughts on sticky notes. Younger children could draw pictures and write as appropriate. As students listen to the speech, they could think about the following: What is the president trying to tell me? What is the president asking me to do? What new ideas and actions is the president challenging me to think about?

Students could record important parts of the speech where the president is asking them to do something. Students might think about the following: What specific job is he asking me to do? Is he asking anything of anyone else? Teachers? Principals? Parents? The American people?

Students could discuss their responses to the following questions: What do you think the president wants us to do? Does the speech make you want to do anything? Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us? What would you like to tell the president?

fuel_for_the_fire 5 years, 3 months ago

These are the activities that have scared so many people into refusing to allow their child to attend school?

Wow!!

This is a sad, sad day for America. I can hear the world laughing......

Boosh 5 years, 3 months ago

I wish he'd begin each speach qouting Mel Brooks

" 'scuse me while I whip this out"

and end with

"Now, where the white women at"

um...wait...nevermind this series of tubes would melt.

NoSpin 5 years, 3 months ago

Watch the "speech" with its special celebrity guest stars tomorrow on the Department of Education's website and decide whether it is appropriate or not for your child to see. I love how people are in disbelief that some parents censor what their children see. Again, this is America where we do have some freedoms.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 3 months ago

Well, folks, this is what I have been saying we will get from idiots like limbaugh and glenn beck. People who used to engage in civil discourse about their disagreements have become raving lunatics in their political stances. People screaming and yelling at each other, people raging about the "other" party, people venting their prejudices against the black president, (you will soon be seeing the white robed klan people on the evening news) and people who worship the radio talk shows getting out their "hunting" guns to go out on the streets to start picking off the "evil-doers" of the "other" party. This is what we get from these radio traitors who are milking the gullibility of the American public for their own persnal profit and gain. So don't forget to order your coffee cup, ball hat and t-shirt, ole rushie and glen-baby will really thank you as they drive their Caddy to their homes in the Hamptons. And you, the ignorant dupe will be paying for their luxury. President Obama will just have to hope that the sane portion of the population will eventually win out over the ignorant and stupid ranters in our free society.

fuel_for_the_fire 5 years, 3 months ago

NoSpin - Parents, if they take their responsiblity seriously, should censor what their children see. Gratuitous sex, violence, and even profanity can often have a negative impact on a young child.

What I find unbelieveable is that some consider a speech about the importance of having and attaining high educational goals something to be censored.

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

"I love how people are in disbelief that some parents censor what their children see. Again, this is America where we do have some freedoms."

But not your children, apparently.

UfoPilot 5 years, 3 months ago

It's not the speech, but the curriculum that goes along with it that people object to.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 3 months ago

I gave you the curriculum. Why is no one reading it? So, they can say they don't know what it is? No one has read one of my blogs about this or about President Obama. Why is that?

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

UfoPilot (Anonymous) says…

"It's not the speech, but the curriculum that goes along with it that people object to."

Okay, I know nothing about you as a poster, and I haven't looked at your comment history, so I will address you as if you want a rational discussion and an attempt to answer your objection. If neither of those are true I guess you'll let me know one way or the other.

This seems like you're objecting to making this a learning project. As a school civics project, it seems like its less the waste of students time this way than passive listening. It seems that your real concern maybe is content? The content, as I understand, is being made available prior to the viewing, so you will be able to see for yourself what it is, but it seems like there is no clear evidence of anything being indoctrinated, as of yet. Just assumptions that of course it's going to be, Obama being the evil anti-Christ, Hitler, communist socialist liberal neo-fascist that he is. I looked into some of the given links on here at least (and the links, and the backlinks, etc.), and what it seems like you really have is one source, Michelle Malkin, saying that there was evil afoot and they had evidence of it. I personally believe that Michelle Malkin has great incentive to keep us divided, angry, and fearful, as we keep giving her money to say things like that. But trust who you want to. I just ask that at least You watch so you actually know what he said as opposed to what the ideologues on this site and others want you to believe that he said.

So far, they have definitively changed one sentence. Something about asking children what they can do to help the president. Help him do what? Help America? Improve our country, our economy, our lives? Do you honestly believe that he's going to go on and talk specific political policies? "I ask you to pressure your congressperson to prove HRKillamerica2010 communist health plan?" Like it will automatically turn our children into little automatons that will take months to undo the damage?

There's no rational reason for him to do that. It won't do that, for one thing. For another he would be crucified politically. He would not be re-elected. Frankly (and here, I'm going to just this once bring up race), as our first black president, I believe that he would be impeached.

In other words, he would have to be insane. Too many perspectives from the wings only work when their targets, be they foreign leaders, people, liberals, conservatives, have to be assumed to be idiots or insane. Or evil. I have found, in many, many examples with which I could hijack this thread if I wanted to, that when your perspective requires that many people to be idiots or insane or evil, it is because your perspective is fundamentally flawed in some way.

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

As for changing the content, I'm not sure why that is seen as a problem myself. To say, oh, ok, this is an unpopular and perhaps problematic way of putting things, so we will change the wording so its less problematic.

But I must admit, I found great problems with the alternative, of blindly pushing whatever it is that is what you want, regardless of whether it is well-received, or problematic. It seemed that when that was the general policy some of those same voices supported that approach, so it seems unlikely that we'll see eye to eye.

beatrice 5 years, 3 months ago

bearded knows for positive that people voted for Obama simply because he is black, since he himself obviously voted for John McCain just because he is white. Or is he going to deny this or even be insulted by such a suggestion?

Only question is, why didn't blacks then vote for Alan Keyes? Why wasn't the vote split 50/50 between Keyes and Obama?

Anyone who believes President Obama is the anti-Christ are idiots on two levels -- the first for believing that Obama is an all-evil being sent to earth to bring about the end of days, and the second for believing in a fairytale like the anti-Christ in the first place.

With thinking like this, the Republican party is destined to become a fringe political party within 20 years. I just wonder if it is the Libertarian party that will take its place alongside Democrats, or another party all together.

Not wanting children to listen to a talk aimed at them from the President of the United States is un-American.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 3 months ago

Ah... modern American educational values... an evolution of blinders from the peripheral to the full-frontal.

Katara 5 years, 3 months ago

Irish (Irish Swearingen) says… I gave you the curriculum. Why is no one reading it? So, they can say they don't know what it is? No one has read one of my blogs about this or about President Obama. Why is that? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Because if the blog does not go the way you want it to or people want to talk in a different direction than you think they should, you change your blog and render all the comments that were already made useless and nonsensical.

People have already told you that is why they avoid your blogs. Perhaps you didn't listen to what they said & are getting a taste of your own medicine. If you don't like it, chances are others don't like it when you treat them the same way on this forum. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It is useless to point out that previous Presidents had lesson plans for their talks to school kids. There was one that another person posted on one of the other articles about it from the first Bush Administration. The people freaking out about this 15 minute speech lack the inability to read and comprehend what they read. Their children will be left behind. The world needs it ditch diggers too.

My class wrote to the President at the time when I was in grade school for one of my social studies class and my kids in previous classes have done the same. It is not indoctrination to encourage kids to think for themselves and express those thoughts.

GardenMomma 5 years, 3 months ago

JackKats, didn't some other President "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country?"

Was that wrong too? How many schoolchildren heard that?

BL 5 years, 3 months ago

Thank goodness for uTube and the other sources of audio/video on the internet. Students will find and listen to the President's words, even if not allowed by their parents to see/hear them in school, The President's message of hope and caring, and working for America to help make a better future for mankind by staying in school and working hard to learn, will not be ignored, no matter what riduculous method of censorship is used. This is just another dispicable attempt to keep America "dumb and down" by those who profit the most by doing so. But even so, I'm really disgusted that the Lawrence School system has cow-towed to it. We've got to stop backing down to the outcries of the scared and ignorant fueled by the big-mouthed, big-monied bullies!

BL 5 years, 3 months ago

OK, I know it's KOW-TOWING. Just been back in Kansas again too long, I guess.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 3 months ago

When I was growing up it would have been unthinkable to tell a child not to listen to a speech from the president. The questions are all valid and need to be answered by each and every one of us. The government governs, that is the whole point. We elect people to go to Washington D.C. and make the laws that we all abide by. Federal laws are good because they apply to everyone and are impartial. If you qualify you get help. The money comes from taxes that we all pay. Even the homeless participate in the economy to some extent. What can you do as an individual that would make your home, your school, your neighborhood, your church a better place? What can you contribute to those around you Give a little love and it all comes back to you, the world will remember the things that you say and do.

storm 5 years, 3 months ago

The schools should just record it then show it later. This way, if he's assasinated on tv, the children won't see it. I mean didn't we learn anything when children saw the space shuttle blow up with all that hype about teacher in space?

altarego 5 years, 3 months ago

This controversy is more telling than the speech will be, I'm sure. My only regret is that I don't have time to read all the comments. I am sure they are brilliant and insightful, and pardon me if I am repeating something that has been said.

My only objection to showing this speech in school is that I expect my children's teachers to manage their day the way they see fit. Obama is the President of the United States, and I respect that. But the principal at my children's school is in charge, not the White House. I will support her position either way. I will find this video and watch it with my children regardless of what happens at school.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 5 years, 3 months ago

Sometimes it's hard to remain a conservative. Geez... what kind of troll do people think Obama is? What sort of harmful ideology will he promote?

"might be assigned to “write a paper about how much they like Obama, or how much they admire him,”"

For crying out loud!! Take a valium. So, the schools are trying to indoctrinate our kids, is that the rational belief of the right (or some minority of nutcases that call themselves part of the right)?

Linda Endicott 5 years, 3 months ago

When I was in school, we were frequently required to watch the state of the union address and then write a report about what was said and what we thought it meant.

Of course those speeches were shown during prime time...but back then it wasn't unusual for a teacher to require kids to watch a particular speech or program on TV at home and then write a report about it.

And it was certainly required when I was taking government classes in college...where you not only had to write a report explaining what the president said, but what parts you agreed with, and why, and what parts you disagreed with, and why...

I have listened to and written reports about many presidents, including Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II...

Now, somewhere in there, whether I was a democrat or a republican, there has to be a president I was not going to agree with about everything... And it didn't kill me...

I always thought it was called critical thinking...

Apparently there are a lot of parents out there who just want their children to become little robot clones of themselves, and never learn critical thinking or how to have an original thought...

How can you help your president? What's so wrong with that? How would YOU answer the question? How have you tried to help presidents in the past? Obama won't always be president, you know...someone else will be someday, someone you approve of, but because you objected to your child learning how they could help their president, they won't know how...not even when it's someone you like...

One year I had to study about and write about how Christmas was (or was not) celebrated in different cultures...it was one of the assignments I liked the most during all my school years...yet it didn't in the least change how I or my family celebrated Christmas...

What alarms me the most about this country in the past few months are how many people there are out there that are totally irrational...that is truly frightening...what the hell are you so afraid of??

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

crazyks: It's not, to my mind, so much what the people are afraid of as what the people feeding them utter BS over the airwaves and TV in non-diluted streams are afraid of: losing power, losing money, losing ratings.

As to why it seems so many more are credulous about lunacy this time around. . . . I have my theories, but they're too cynical to even give words for, and I still want to be wrong. Part of it, though, is probably the semi-hysterical political mood we've been in since 9/11. It sometimes feels like we've never quite recovered our rationality from that time. But I was not born until the fading years of the Cold War, so maybe it's always been like this.

(But I was watching Glenn Beck talk about his 9/12 thing. "Back on 9/12, we knew what we had to do! Let's get back to that moment!" Jeesus, I remember 9/12 a little clearer than that. Scared, paranoid, hurt, fearful, that's great. (well, that probably is how Beck wants us to be) The only thing we "knew" we had to do was nuke the entire middle east into a sheet of glass, that was the most common suggestion that I can remember.)

Linda Endicott 5 years, 3 months ago

I just don't understand this all out assault against a president...yeah, there have been presidents that I disagreed with...didn't vote for them, but I still had respect for the office and the incredible difficulties they faced..

And even though they weren't my chosen candidate, I wanted them to do well...because any rational human being should know that if their president does well, then our country will also do well...

I have never in my life seen this kind of paranoia and hate against a president being flung around...and that part is frightening...

Whatever happened to the art of compromise?

But it seems that for conservatives, Obama can do nothing right, no matter what he does...if he stays firm in his convictions, he's considered evil...if he gives in on some points, and agrees to a compromise, then he's not worthy of being president, he's a wimp...and still considered evil...

It's like being in an abusive relationship...no matter what you do or don't do, it's never good enough...

jonas_opines 5 years, 3 months ago

Agreed. But it's also true that the same could have been said for the Bush Admin, too. I'm. . . not a fan (cough), but it got absurd after a bit. It was kind of like a Pavlovian experiment, say Bush and watch certain people froth at the mouth. An article like "Bush family adopts cute kittens" would have been followed by some people saying "Yargh, Bush wants to keel teh doggies!"

booklover 5 years, 3 months ago

OMG! The Nerve of him! Here is what the President is going to say to your kids!

http://www.whitehouse.gov/MediaResources/PreparedSchoolRemarks/

Now don't all of you naysayers feel TOTALLY ridiculous? Geez people! Leave the hysterics to Katie Horner!

Flap Doodle 5 years, 3 months ago

Some stats from the prepared remarks: * 56 iterations of “I” * 19 iterations of “school” * 10 iterations of “education” * 8 iterations of “responsibility” * 7 iterations of “country” * 5 iterations each of “parents”, “teachers” * 3 iterations of “nation”

Copied from: http://hotair.com/archives/2009/09/07/obama-school-speech-released/

Eileen Emmi Jones 5 years, 3 months ago

I read that the topic of his speech is personal responsibility.

Odd that the Republicans, who claim to be the #1 champions of responsibility, don't want our children to hear about it from our President.

Maybe there is another agenda. Maybe they do not want children to develop admiration for this President.

bookemdano 5 years, 3 months ago

Some stats from President Reagan's prepared remarks on Nov 14,1988 (full text here: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/07/reagan.1988.speech.pdf): : 84 iterations of “I” 14 iterations of “school” 5 iterations of “education” 0 iterations of “responsibility” 15 iterations of “country” 0 iterations each of “parents”, “teachers” * 0 iterations of “nation”

Thought you might find that enlightening.

bookemdano 5 years, 3 months ago

Some stats from President Bush's prepared remarks on Oct 1, 1991 (full text here: http://bushlibrary.tamu.edu/research/public_papers.php?id=3450&year=1991&month=10)

  • 22 iterations of “I”
  • 23 iterations of “school”
  • 8 iterations of “education”
  • 0 iterations of “responsibility”
  • 5 iterations of “country”
  • 6 iterations of “parents”, 7 of “teachers”
  • 1 iterations of “nation”

And the best line:

"Let me know how you're doing. Write me a letter -- and I'm serious about this one -- write me a letter about ways you can help us achieve our goals. I think you know the address."

bookemdano 5 years, 3 months ago

Corrected Reagan wordcount (I inadvertantly included remarks by student questioners in the first count):

  • 77 iterations of “I”
  • 4 iterations of “school”
  • 5 iterations of “education”
  • 0 iterations of “responsibility”
  • 14 iterations of “country”
  • 0 iterations each of “parents”, “teachers”
  • 4 iterations of “nation” (no idea why it found 0 the first time--I used the same word counter that the right-wing blog linked to above)

ferrislives 5 years, 3 months ago

RalphReed says "ty ferris and jackkats. I didn't agree with everything you said, but thanks. It was refreshing.- Ralph"

Thanks for the comment Ralph. It was definitely nice debating someone without resorting to childish redirect.

I still think that the Obama speech to the children has been blown greatly out of proportion considering history. I grew up with a mother and father who required me to watch each president speach, regardless of party or affiliation, and I learned a great deal from it. As a youngster, I learned that there are a lot of Americans with different views on our own culture, and the world. I also learned respect for my president in any case, and an appreciation of what it means to be an American.

For those that are choosing to keep their children away from a speech from OUR president, I say shame on you. You probably didn't agree with other presidents in the past, but you also didn't resort to this fearful and ignorant behavior. And your child will remain ignorant, as you have chosen to be. And that's too bad for America.

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