Obama Address to Children Sparks Controversy

by at . Comments

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?


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.

Barack Obama

I think I'm a pretty cool dad.

Barack Obama