No, you can't keep your kids at home on the 8th
On Tuesday, September 8, 2009, Broward County Public Schools students will have the opportunity to watch an online national address from President Obama on the importance of education. The Web address can be seen locally in Broward County at 12 noon on the White House Web site (www.whitehouse.gov/live), and broadcast live on BECON Channel 24.
According to Superintendent James F. Notter, there have been several calls into the Superintendent’s Office suggesting and/or requesting that alternative space and activities be provided for those students wishing to “opt out” of this activity.
“As one of the premier major school systems in America, we have consistently encouraged civics education in the broadest sense, e.g., Kids Voting, elected officials participating in Career Days, countywide broadcast of Inaugural address, etc.,” said Notter. “Therefore, providing for a separation from this Address does not align with our practices and responsibility to provide a well rounded, quality education for all students. This is the first time an American President has spoken directly to students on the importance of education and the challenge to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for one’s learning.”
Schools will have the option to record or obtain a copy of the Address for later educational use, due to individual school needs, such as, tests at that time, field trips, prior scheduled events, and other reasonable conflicts.
Now I've been critical of teachers and administrators in the past, and with good reason. Just as the news media is dominated by liberals, so are the teaching ranks. But what right do they have to compel your children to view something you find objectionable? None, as far as we're concerned, and we believe the parents have a legal standing on this with regard to their rights as a child's primary caregiver. Parents aren't just there to wipe little Johnny's nose, and to take care of the bumps, bruises, and scrapes little Sally brings home.
Parents are the first teacher a child has, and those parents instill in their children morals and a primary education that gives them the hand up they need prior to attending school for the first time. Teachers and administrators think they have some sort of control that is superior to a parent. Back in 2005, the 9th Circus Court ruled that parents had no right to sue a school over curriculum they found offensive. Then it was a history program that encouraged seventh grade students to role-play being a Muslim. So, in California at least,parents just give birth and rear the children, and have no say in what sort of curriculum is taught to their kids.
I know some are of the opinion out there that this isn't a big deal. Earlier today while I was listening to a local radio host, a caller pointed out that both Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush had addressed school kids. After doing a bit of research on that I found out that they had addressed kids in school, but not the way Barry is doing it. President Reagan addressed physical education classes, on behalf of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, which encouraged students to actively participate in sports activities. (I can't find where President George H.W. Bush addressed students.) Point being, given the teaching curriculum post-address parents are concerned that this address is political in nature, especially given the president's sagging numbers on health care reform.
If we had kids, our kids wouldn't be there on the 8th. To us this is a form of indoctrination and outright politicization of a literal, captive audience. Our children are already bombarded with liberal garbage by teachers nowadays. From history revisionism to global warming, teachers are busy pushing a political agenda on our kids, and parents are turned away all the time from challenging this form of indoctrination. We won't tell parents what they should or shouldn't do with their kids with regard to this address. But we would encourage parents that if they decide to pull their kids from school that day, do so, and inform the school as to why you are. If you choose to let your child attend school that day, if it's possible, attend the address yourself so you know what the president says to them.
For all we know, this could be harmless. Maybe he's going to tell the kids to study hard. Maybe he's going to tell them to get good grades. Who knows? But the concerns of parents upon hearing the news the president will be speaking directly to them shouldn't be poo-poo'd by teachers or administrators, and schools should understand if parents don't want their kids attending this address. They shouldn't be telling parents that there is no opt-out of this address. Broward County school districts are doing just that. For parents there, if you don't want your kids seeing this, then yank them out for the day, and when the school calls, tell them to pound sand. It's your right as a parent.
ADDENDUM: HT to Allahpundit for tipping me off to the Politico story that actually found out what President George H.W. Bush did in his address to kids:
Obama isn’t the first president to be criticized this way. O’Neill recalled President George H. W. Bush made televised address to students in October 1991 as campaign season was heating up. A handful of Democrats denounced Bush’s address as pure politics. Bush asked students to “take control” of their education and to write him a letter about ways students could help him achieve his goals, strikingly similar to Obama’s messages.
I hate to agree with Democrats, but that address was unacceptable, and just as unacceptable as Barry's will be on the 8th. The president doesn't need to address school children. (I forgive Reagan for his because his was targeted specifically at making sure kids stay physically fit and healthy through sports.) But Bush's and Barry's smack too much of politics. Also, I'd like to add I agree with Allah and Michelle Malkin on this: The address may be nothing. It's what comes after the address that parents should be concerned with.