Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What's Wrong With Obama's Speech to the Students?

There has been much much criticism and speculation surrounding President Obama's speech to America's students. What will it be about? Should he being doing this? Should parents be mandated to have their children listen to the speech? With the exception of one school district (Broward County, FL) Obama's speech was optional in most school districts.

My observation of the speech? It was great. Like many of his previous speeches, this was another outstanding speech by the President. Now that we've heard what he had to say, will all the commotion be over? I think not..At least not for me.

I feel better now that I've heard the speech and seen that it was not a partisan speech. It was a great message for students to hear. My problem, as it has always been, is with the manner in which the administration went about preparing for the speech, and the timing of the speech. Sure, other Presidents have given speeches to students, but never on the first day of school (for many schools) and never with so little advanced warning to school officials to prepare. It kind of gives the impression that they wanted to rush this, much like health care in Congress, and not give parents or faculty the chance to make a choice.

I also have an issue with the administration advising teachers on different activities they could have students do to prepare for the speech. This is where the indoctrination argument comes into play. It is also very disrespectful to teachers across America. Basically telling them how to come up with a curriculum as if they, as professionals, cannot, or are too incompetent, to come up with a curriculum on their own.

To want students to write about how they can help the president is wrong, immoral and just plain indoctrination. Had my daughter been old enough for this, I would have sat down with her and taught her why we should do all we could to stop some of the things that this president wants to do with America. And to speak to kindergarten students? C'mon, their minds are so impressionable at that age. He knew what he was doing, and it wasn't just for encouragement. High school and junior high students are one thing, but 5 year olds?

If the president wanted to address students he should have done it at a different time, without the accompanying curriculum (indoctrination) suggestions.

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