On Presidents and Schoolchildren

“Why are you conservatives objecting to President Obama speaking to schoolchildren?  Its just a speech about education?”

First off, I have to throw down the obligatory intellectual honesty alert: when George Bush Sr. spoke to the nation’s school kiddos, the Democrats launched an investigation and held hearings.  (Hat tip to Ace of Spades HQ).  So if people questioning the President’s motives about this is overreacting, what in the world would you call INVESTIGATIONS?!?!!  But moving along…

My objection to the speech isn’t the content.  In fact, the content of the speech is rather innocuous: do good in school, personal responsibility, etc.  But remember last week when the announcement was made the text of the speech wasn’t available.  So that was my first concern when I heard about this.  Remember, this is a White House that has never left campaign mode, and its a valid concern to worry about what the President might say to children.

Also released last week was the Department of Education’s suggested lesson plan that accompanied the speech.  The one that scared the beejeezus out of me was “Have the children write a letter stating how they can help the president”.  Seriously?  The children should not be enlisted to help the president, they should be enlisted to learn.  Combine that suggestion with some Kool-Aid drinking teachers, and you wind up with stuff like this.  Anyone remember that from the campaign era?  You have to be careful with kids, parents don’t like it when they are pulled into the political arena without their consent.

Which brings me to my last point.  The biggest issue wasn’t the speech, or the lesson plan.  Its the cram down.  When your kid is in school, you don’t have much say anyway over what they are taught.  As a parent, you have several public schools that are taking your tax money, doing a poor job educating your children, and now subjecting your kids to a speech from a president that you don’t agree with.  And there were several schools that provided no opt out option.  Fox News covered the Broward Schools superintendent and their no opt out policy.  Intellectual Honesty time: if George W. Bush, at one of the lowest points of the Iraq War (maybe after the mission accomplished backlash), had gone on the air to address school kids and liberal parents were not allowed to have their kids opt out of it, you know the proverbial fecal matter would hit the blades of the oscillating air cooling device.  I’m just sayin’.

So, to sum up: concerns about content, concerns about lesson plans and what the teachers may do with them, and the government cram down.  My question is what is crazy about those concerns?


One thought on “On Presidents and Schoolchildren

  1. brian d says:

    What about the fact that the president (or anyone in the federal govt) has no business addressing schools? Education was intended to be left to the states.

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