A meandering blog with no clear topic. You will find me talking about knitting, building, kids, social and economic issues, Alaska, and lots of other stuff.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's disgraceful...

Yesterday, President Obama gave a speech aimed at our school children. The text of it can be found here. It is completely non-partisan, not political in any way. He is simply encouraging students to do their best, and get an education.

Our President says to our kids,

"Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.
I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.
I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.
But 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. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself."

I can't find anything in this that I don't want my children to hear. There is nothing partisan. Nothing subversive. I don't understand why people objected to this.

He also says:

"And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.
The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.
It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other."

I can't find anything wrong with that either. As far as I can tell, there is no logical reason whatsoever for all the commotion about this speech.

And there has been a huge to-do about this speech. People talked about it on the news, threatened to keep their kids home from schools if the schools showed it, accused him of trying to start something akin to the Nazi Youth Corps. I think it would take more than a 20 minute speech to brainwash every kid in the country.

I found out last night that none of my kids saw his speech at school. I called the schools, and they report that their phones had been "ringing off the hook" with parents upset about their kids possibly watching the speech. One principal told me I was the only parent he received a call from supporting the kids watching the speech.

I am sorry, but I find this absolutely appalling. I don't give two figs whether Obama is Republican or Democrat, whether he has made mistakes in office (after all, no one is perfect) or any of that. He is THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. I think the fact that schools have opted to not show a speech made by the leader of our country to the children of our country is embarrassing, disrespectful, I don't know what.

I don't even know what to say, except that I am ashamed that we can behave this way.


Loris mom said...


As you know from past experience, I agree with almost everything that Obama had to say. He was preaching individual responsibility. Did I ever let you get off with blaming your teachers when you failed a class?

My problem is in setting the precedent that indoctrination of children is OK. I don't think I like this. What comes next? Sieg Hiel?


Aonika and Richard said...

Hey hunny bear... :)

You know that I was all up in arms, but it wasn't really about the speech, it was about the video from HARPO - (the end particularly). I had decided to let the kids see the speech and then discuss it... then the school didn't show it. I ended up showing them the speech online and then discussing it.

I think that people would have been less frantic about it if it had been publicized and published a little sooner than the night before. But , hey, it's a little late for that. :( It was a good speech though.

I still feel that parents should be the ones taking the initiative in their kids lives and telling them that they EXPECT them to do well in school. Seems that too many parents have gotten lax with their part in parenting... you know all about that, huh. :(

Anyway, LOVE YOU! :) You rock my socks off girly!