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1. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 03:45 BST
For the last week or so, we have heard in the press about how the GOP and conservatives were outraged that Obama was going to address K-12 students on the first day of school. And some parents even refused to send their kids to school today because they were afraid of brainwashing.
As it turns out, all of their paranoia was for nothing. The speech he gave was free of politics and was basically an inspirational pep talk to the youth of the land. So were you offended by his speech? And at the same token, do you think partisanship has divided us so much to the point of being silly about a "non-political pep talk?"
Edited on Wed 9th September, 2009 @ 03:48 by Turbo_Genesis_64
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2. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 03:51 BST
WhaAAaaaAAT? Who were the retards who were offended? I don't really like Obama, but seriously, who freaking cares? Talk about brainwashing. Parents don't want their kids to hear about politics other than the parents' own opinions? Al Gore came to my school back when he was VP, and nobody cared. Kids don't even listen when big people go to their school. I couldn't tell you what he was saying. I think he was talking about flag burning, but I don't remember, because I, like every other kid there, was not listening. "Cool, the Vice President is here" and "Why would you burn the flag? That's stupid" was all I was thinking.
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3. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 04:03 BST
Sigh. That (the fear of the Obama talking to kids thingy) was just worthless political nonsense on the part of some. I mean, damn, what exactly were they so afraid of?
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4. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 04:05 BST
Unimpressed? Yes. Offended? No.
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5. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 05:26 BST
T-Gen, tell the whole story if you know it. Otherwise you make it sound like people causing a stir for the sake of causing a stir - which has been known to happen, but not in this case in my opinion.
Allow me. The way I understand it, the President had prepared a speech which included a call to action for the children to write to him with ideas on how he could move forward with some of his policies. Now dude, I don't care, Republican, Democrat, Independent, Green, whatever... there is no way it's cool for any president to solicit the impressionable minds of youngsters to advance any agenda, in any speech - let alone one delivered during school hours outside the presence of their parents, who, if nothing else, should be there to answer any questions their children might have. That is what the furor was all about. And once that piece was removed, virtually no one had a problem with it - although supporters tried to make hay out of the flap by continuing to talk about it as if were still going on (ahem...), thus attempting to marginalize anyone who had taken an opposing viewpoint.
I'll give him credit, he's no dummy. Apple did the same thing by donating tons of computers to schools to get students familiar with them so they'd be more likely to become customers when they came of independent consumer age. No denying it's a smart strategy, but let's leave it to the lesser evil (in this case) of commercial enterprise, not politics.
Aside from that solicitation, and to a lesser degree, the timing of it outside home hours, I welcome the the President (any president) to encourage my nation's children to persevere and strive for scholastic excellence.
Edited on Wed 9th September, 2009 @ 05:58 by Vendetta
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6. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 09:32 BST
You do realize that some schools refused to show his speech? And plenty of parents took their kids out of class at the schools that showed this lunchtime scheduled speech?
What bothers me is that some Republicans will crucify someone for not wearing an American flag lapel pin, but these same people want to put their kids in a bubble where all they can watch is Fox News and pretend like we don't have a black Democrat President. Their patriotism seems phony.
Edited on Wed 9th September, 2009 @ 09:37 by Turbo_Genesis_64
7. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 12:16 BST
Yup, I realize that. As I'm sure you realize that there were many schools which would not allow a parent to be present for the speech to answer a child's question, should he have one. WTF? So c'mon, get over it. It's politics, and kids should be left the hell out of it, not used as pawns to create a stir to be leveraged as a marginalizing device.
If the Prez wants to talk to children, cool. Let it be an early evening address so they can watch it with their parents around. Is that really so hard? Relax with your whacked out Chicken Little, sky-is-falling, race-baiting BS dude. It's getting stale.
Edited on Wed 9th September, 2009 @ 12:16 by Vendetta
8. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 13:14 BST
So kids need parental supervision to hear a speech from the President of the United States of America? Sad...
9. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 13:26 BST
That's an interesting way of phrasing a parent's desire to be there for their child during a presidential address. It's not really accurate to use the word "need" here to paraphrase what V said... more like "should have the option of having". What I'm curious about is why kids were forbidden from being with their parents.
I have not been following this at all, but given Obama's past support for very questionable educational lessons for kindergarteners, I wouldn't call the worried people retarded.
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10. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 13:46 BST
First: I'm a parent of two children. A 9 year old in fourth grade and a 6 year old in 1st grade. My initial concern with Obama's speech has already been adressed by Vendetta in post #5. I guess we will never know what else, if anything, was changed about his speech based on all the hooplah that was generated by it.
Here's a different approach, and one I had considered when I thought about yanking my kids from school: Last year, during the election, my daughter would come home telling me about how good and great Obama was and how McCain was evil. YES..."EVIL"...those were her exact words and when I asked her, she said that she heard that at school. So, even if Obama's speech was completely innocent, what spin would the school, teachers, or her classmates have put on it?
Fortunately, my children's school chose not to air the speech, which quite frankly floored me considering it's parent base.
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11. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 14:02 BST
Ummm...are parent's generally present during most of the school day? Do we let parents come to school all day, every day, just in case a teacher says something they disagree with? Yeah, I can see a school not wanting a bunch of parents coming in, because it would probably only be the ones who massively disagree with the speech and could cause a disruption that would keep the school from going back to regular classes (i.e. they feel the need to take their child out, give their own rebuttal in the cafeteria, whatever). Probably those schools didn't want the speech to be a long, drawn out discussion, so kids could have math class right away or whatever. It's not like students who have any questions can't ask their parent's like 3 hours later when they get home from school. I'm sure parents can go on FoxNews.com and stream the speech and bring up any points of disagreement when they get home.
Honestly, conservatives cried the "You have to respect the president, because he's the president," and "If you disagree with the president's decision to go into Iraq you hate America and our troops." However, when Obama does something they don't agree with 100% all of a sudden the respecting him just because he's the president went out the door. (It seems many conservatives, and to be fair, many liberals too, have trouble with the concept of respectfully disagreeing).
I wonder how many of these parents actually take the time to actually ask their kids what they're learning in school on a regular basis, and how many are, just like my father, pissed off because fox news tells them to be. I'm sure many do, but I'm sure many of the ones who did, wouldn't have been so riled up without the fox news propaganda machine. They would have probably done the logical thing and when their child got home from school had a discussion about what they thought over the dinner table.
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12. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 14:12 BST
Ummm...are parent's generally present during most of the school day? Do we let parents come to school all day, every day, just in case a teacher says something they disagree with?
Parents are generally allowed to attend school assemblies. It's usually encouraged.
And parents are supposed to attend kindergarten orientation.
Edited on Wed 9th September, 2009 @ 14:16 by clicketyclick
13. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 14:37 BST
Politics is a very sensitive subject. I can understand the need for parents to be there, just as much as a parent is supposed to monitor what their kids watch on TV. Regardless what sort of show it is, you should have an understanding of what your kids are watching. So even if the speech was motivational it'd still be controversial because it is in fact political.
As for any sort of race thing, I know my grandmother is a bit old fashioned as are other members of my family. They tend to say there wouldn't be any hooplah if he were white. We'll never know will we? It's politics, regardless there will always be raised eyebrows.
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14. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 14:42 BST
Going to school for a 20 minute speech is hardly going to school "all day, every day". The parent's are always encouraged to drop by at my kid's school. Hell, they keep sending sign-up sheets for help in the classroom because apparently a teacher AND a teacher's assistant can't handle a 20-25 kid classroom.
I take the time to ask my kids what's going on in school. It's usually our dinner conversation as it is a convenient time because we always eat dinner together as a family. Quite frankly, I am quite disappointed with what is going on in schools.
15. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 14:42 BST
When we had speakers come parents weren't invited (though I suppose they could have gotten visitor's passes and came). At my elementary school, parents were encouraged to rotate as volunteers, but really weren't supposed to be there except for other designated times (for example an awards ceremony, field trip as chaperones, etc.) When speakers came parent's weren't invited. I suppose if a parent really wanted to come and see a speaker or some other assembly that wasn't particularly meant for them to come, they could have gotten guest passes and showed up, I guess. It was never really an issue, because parent's just didn't come to those things. It could have been schools that didn't let parents come were worried too many would show up, and there wouldn't be space for them wherever they were showing this speech if a lot wanted to come. It probably seemed easier to let no parents come than have to find some way to only let enough who could fit come.
Were parents no longer allowed to come to kindergarten orientation, because of the speech? I'm guessing most schools still had it. I'm honestly guessing the schools that wouldn't let parents come, for the most part, did so because they needed or wanted to get back to instructional time, and felt that the speech was something that parents could have a longer discussion at home with their children about.
It was, for the most part, conservatives pushing for more instructional time, and state testing requirements. I wouldn't be surprised if schools that didn't air it were worried about losing too much time, BECAUSE parents were saying they were going to come in and with many so riled up, it doesn't seem unreasonable to think some might cause a scene. It's really a push to get everything required in by the time testing comes (since there's usually at least a month left in school when state tests are given), and test prep strategies need to be taught along with the curriculum.
I do think it's sort of sad when it's a big huge controversy when the president wants to give a speech to encourage students in the beginning of the year. Although there is a fine line to walk between encouraging students to get involved politically, take the time to learn about what's going on in the world, and make their own voices heard and pushing his own agenda, where I would agree this isn't the most appropriate forum. However, again, were things switched and it were Bush doing such a thing, I probably would have talked to my kids about it at home if there was anything I found hugely controversial in it, not gone into school just to watch it with them, or pulled them out of school on the first day where they would be missing the opportunity to get to know their teachers and classmates, and maybe even learn something. Again, I really do think if school's let in parents, some would have caused a disruption. The disruption could be as simple as drawing out the discussion when the teacher or school has other unrelated instructional activities planned, this could very well be completely civil, but still detracting from previously planned instructional time. If parents have been making huge scenes about it, schools could very well worry about the discussion becoming a heated argument, parents talking over the speech to "correct" it, etc. This probably would not be an issue at the average assembly.
16. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 14:46 BST
Here is the criteria for my local schools with regards to the speech (this is a direct quote from the school systems web site)"Schools may participate if: 1. The video webcast activity is aligned with the state's Standard Course of Study; 2. Parents of the students who might participate be made aware of the activity; and 3. Should a parent choose not to have their child participate in the video webcast activity, an appropriate alternative educational activity be provided separate from the event."
17. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 14:51 BST
If so Obama scratches his head, the right wing radicals and FOX News will whip up a shitstorm about it. They'll do anything to try and undermine him.
18. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 14:59 BST
We all strive for attention. That's what drives mainstream media is negative publicity so you're not too far off.
19. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 15:23 BST
Sadly, you're close to right. Especially odd is some of the scenarios Fox kept coming up with that the speech would be about. Most people are smart enough to pick their battles, while Fox news has long since lost their credibility.
20. Posted: Wed 9th Sep 2009 15:28 BST
Where are the moderators? Politics on a video game site? What's next?