Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Presidential Speech...... I'm confused!

I will be the first to admit that I am not a political person.  I don't like or understand it.  Politics to me are confusing as well as maddening especially when there is so much political bashing.  I will also be the first to tell you that I did not vote for Obama, and I don't necessarily believe he is the right one for the job of being our President.  However, he is the President and I believe we as a country need to work harder in finding ways we can work TOGETHER rather than working so hard in finding ways to DIVIDE our country even more. 

That said, I have read several of your blog posts or comments on Facebook regarding the Presidential Speech to our school children.  Most of you are in an uproar about him speaking to our children.  You are even suggesting that you will keep your children home from school and have made it very clear to everyone that you think we should all keep are children home from school and not allow them to listen to what he has to say.

I DISAGREE!  First of all, I want my children to be able to form their own opinions of such things.  But this is what I don't understand, why wouldn't you want your children or any other child to hear this message? 

Excerpts from President Obama's Message to School Children:

"We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems," Obama said. "If you don't do that — if you quit on school — you're not just quitting on yourself, you're quitting on your country."

In the prepared remarks, Obama tells young people that all the work of parents, educators and others won't matter "unless you show up to those schools, pay attention to those teachers."

"At the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents and the best schools in the world, and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities."

"I expect great things from each of you," he said. "So don't let us down — don't let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it."

Come on Folks, what are you afraid of?  
In my opinion, every child needs to hear this.  A child can hear this same message over and over again from his parents, siblings, friends and not get it.  But a person, such as the President who is in a very powerful leadership position, telling our kids about his failures growing up and what it takes to become a successful person may just be the one person that your child will listen to.  It may be this one message that may change your childs attitude and will want to make him/her strive to reach their goals and become a better person.
That is all I have to say.  I am anxious to hear your thoughts and/or opinion(s) regarding this topic.  Please do share!


Lara said...

The original uproar was caused by the educational materials the USDE sent to be done after the kids listen to the speech. The wording made it sound like the children HAD to do whatever the President said. They HAD to be inspired by his speech and so on and so forth. I didn't like them. Nor did a lot of people.

The White House has since rescinded those materials.

HOWEVER, I have felt that people are just jumping on the DON"T LET OBAMA SPEAK TO YOUR CHILDREN bandwagon without educating themselves. And I think it's completely ridiculous.

Even with the accompanying materials in place, I wouldn't have minded my children listening to a speech about EDUCATION given to them by the POTUS.

midRae said...

I will just give you an 'I Agree.' tailEnd will watch and hopefully come home with some insight. But odds are that it will completely flow right through his mind and out.

Rebecca Talley said...

I was confused about the uproar myself so I decided to read the text before making a decision. When I read it, I didn't see any problems. We should all be encouraging kids to do well in school no matter our political affiliation. The President of the US encouraging kids to stay in school, study, and set goals is a good message.

I spoke to my kids about the difference between respecting the President and supporting his agenda--two very different things. We should respect the office of President, even if we disagree. (I will say it was next to impossible to respect Bill Clinton after he desecrated the Oval Office with his immoral acts).

We do not need to support Obama's policies nor do we need to pledge our servitude as many Hollywood celebrities have done (and I would object to the schools showing that video), but I think his speech will be fine and I didn't see any Nazi-esque elements to it and I am a staunch conservative.

The best we can do is teach our kids our own values and teach them to vote and to make a difference in this country by being informed.

Sorry for the long post. . .

Julie Young said...

I agree...very well said :)

Andrea said...

Our school district didn't show the speech. The letter they sent home said it was because of short notice and having to rearrange schedules, but I strongly believe the real reason was because we live in such a conservative area, and they were afraid of the number of complaints they'd receive. My husband heard today that our district will be showing it next week. Apparently they found it to be exactly what it was supposed to be.

Zoie watched it at home with Matt the night it aired and even though much of it probably went in one ear and out they other, she seemed excited about it. She retold the story about Obama's mom teaching him at 4:30 in the morning so he would be able to get the same type of education other American children living overseas received.

The biggest issue I had with the situation was what Lara noted about people not educating themselves. Many hateful comments that I read were posted by Christians, and I was shocked that those people could not love (or at least respect) others based on political parties (or race or whatever their reasons).

I read the educational materials, and found absolutely no problem with them. Especially when I looked around a bit more and found that a lot of people were misunderstanding the intent of one sentence. The USDE reworded the offending sentence, and the materials were still available for teachers to use if they wanted. I thought it was nice of them to prepare some discussion questions so teachers didn't have to take the time to come up with their own. And the teachers didn't have to use the material-it was just there for ideas and help if they wanted it.

Anyway, I loved your post. Sorry to take up so much space. :)

Sherrie said...

Thank you for all your comments and opinions regarding this subject. I am glad to know I am not the only one that was wondering what on earth all these good people were jumping to conclusions about without even educating themselves or doing any kind of research into what was going to be said. I am glad my kids got to hear the speech.

Erin said...

I asked my first grader what he learned from the President's speech, and he said, "He told us to do our very best in school." Sounds like great advice to me!!