Obama Address to Children Sparks Controversy

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In a move generating more discussion than Michelle Obama's hair, on September 8 President Barack Obama will deliver a "historic" speech, in what the Department of Education describes as a direct address to students across the U.S.

Obama's speech to school children will air live on the White House website.

Some say this is a new and different approach to emphasizing the importance of education. Other parents and conservatives are calling it brainwashing.

In an interview last month, the president said "I'm going to be making a big speech to young people all across the country about the importance of education."

"About the importance of staying in school; how we want to improve our education system and why it’s important for the country. So I hope everybody tunes in."

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent a letter to the nation's principals, inviting schools to watch the speech and included suggested classroom activities.

The President

Jim Greer, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, was among those to criticize the idea, saying it "does not allow for debate on the President's agenda."

"Rather, it obligates the youngest children in our school system to agree with our President's initiatives or be ostracized by their teachers and classmates."

Katie Gordon, a spokeswoman for the Florida Republican Party, who said the party's "beef" is with the accompanying lesson plans, which suggest topics, questions and "guided discussion" to follow President Obama's speech to children.

The Cato Institute, a public-policy research foundation, issued a press release entitled "Hey Obama, Leave Those Kids Alone," criticizing his "buzzwords."

We're sure Jon Voight has some good things to say about it as well.

Overall, reaction covers the spectrum, from critical to supportive. What do you think of President Obama's planned address to children?


dear MR PRSIDENT, frist of all j begin bys sending you greetings from UGANDA otherwise how are you those ends let me hope you are fine back wise jam also fine. sir my main intention of writting to you is to request you for some assistance if possible that is due to unavoidable circumstance j had to stop in senior four and j passed well but since jam an orphan j have no one to sponsor me and j continue with my studies till j finish my advanced level [senior 6]and if possibly make it to an higher instititon of learning. here in UGANDA jam one of the unfortunate people[childern] who comes from the northern part of UGANDA Which has been disturbed for alongtime by WAR that has really made some of us ORPHANS who are very innocent. sir mr presidents j beg to stop here let me hope you will bear with me and consider my situation, j wish you the best in all you do. hoping for your response when you reciene my letter. Thanks you faithfully.OTIKA SUNDAY. Telephone +256772828511


So Ray, was your hysteria over the "brainwashing" worth the pay you lost and your kids missing out on their studies? Any "whoppers" in there?


Getting past the Democrat vs Republican tug of war is the biggset part of this countrys pronblem. I will vote for the person that will get back to the basics of what this country is founded on. Our forefathers were much smarter than we give them credit for and the Constitution was not written to be analyzed. Lets not forget they came here to get away from the type of Government we are quickly becoming and Obama is leading the way with more Government control without regard to what the people want and that`s not the type of person I want my children listening to, no matter what the subject is. He wants to send a message of encouragement and setting educational goals to my kids but the last time I checked I believe that`s my job not the Governments.


He's THE President! It's his prerogative to make addresses. George W made addresses when he was president. It's ludicrous to be so divided as a nation. This is very sad.


For all those that feel this will corrupt your children. Do you read their text books, do you involve yourself in the TV they watch, do you approve of the video games they play, do you talk to them about role models they have in sports, do you allow them to dream about bettering themselves and their world? We as parents are responsible for encouraging our childrens goals and dreams. If you are concerned that 1 hour of listening to our president will corrupt your children then maybe you should invest more time in your children.


Zena, What you fail to realize is how deep the rabbiot hole goes. I am one of those "poops" keeping my two children home. I am staying home from work to do so. They will watch his speech, but 1) I will be there to correct him (he's told more than one whopper before) when he mentions the need to fight global warming (BS, research with something other than CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, Ect..). 2) I will be participating in sending a clear message to the White house that I, not they, am the one that will shape the mind of my child. Schools are funded in daily increments based on attendance. Money talks. (That's called CAPITALISM) I know you liberals can't understand it, but your lack of brainpower is not my fault.


Republicans and haters, give it up. This is the President of the United States. If you're such a poop that you don't want your children to be addressed by the President, then call them in sick. We had to endure President Bush for 8 dreadful years. You can just go along for the ride and QUIT COMPLAINING.


Lesson plans analyzing the President's speech does not have to be propaganda. There are more important skills that can be learnt, like dissecting arguments and helping the kids develop their own views about how they feel towards the ideas put forth in the speech. I dont see the big deal about this.


It is a sad day in America, such a great country, when the leader wants to speak to the children and he's shunned for it. I agree with Michelle that the message should be delivered in Prime Time as to avoid all of this drama. I can see how parents who don't like Obama may feel but at the same time what does this teach our children about our country's leader? That you shouldn't listen to what he has to say? That he's a bad man? I think children should be taught to respect the President of the U.S. Maybe the man is up to no good etc. but it's also bad from the parents side as well to say to their kids "stay home" "you can't listen to our president speak". It sends a bad message too.


Really??? Your kids don't learn about politics in school. What is taught in history class then? If it was Bush or McCain giving the speech would you let them watch it then? Just curious.


Barack Obama Biography

Barack and Michelle Obama
Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America. He became a Democratic U.S. Senator from Illinois in 2004, and has... More »
Honolulu, Hawaii
Full Name
Barack Hussein Obama II

Barack Obama Quotes

I do think in Washington, it's a little bit like American Idol. But everybody is Simon Cowell.

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