Last week, I kept hearing rumblings about the President addressing the nation’s schools tomorrow. A speech broadcast to a vast majority of our children. A lot of talk shows have been addressing the issue, a number of friends have become alarmed, and in general it seems like conservatives are panicking about the supposed insidious plan to brainwash our kids…
My first reaction when I heard a radio host advising people to keep your kids out of school that day was “Seriously? This can’t be the first time a president has given a speech to school kids.” I was right. Most recently, in 1991, the first President Bush gave a speech telling us (I was in school at the time) to work hard in school and stay away from drugs. Reading some quotes from back then, it’s interesting to see the charges from the left accusing the President of being politically motivated and attempting to sway young impressionable minds (just like the far right is doing now).
The funny thing is… I don’t remember that speech. No recollection of the great brainwashinig event whatsoever! (maybe that was part of the programming…) And I’m fairly certain that my kids won’t remember this one. But even if they do – I don’t think that’s a bad thing. The speech contains a good message for kids to hear. Basically: ‘You are responsible for you. Work hard. Don’t give up.‘ Here’s a link to the speech – please read it yourself before locking your children away.
I’m not a fan of the way Obama has been running his administration. I don’t trust the people he is choosing to listen to. And to be completely blunt, I believe that success for much of his agenda will be failure for our nation. But I’m not going to cower in the corner, covering my kids’ ears so they won’t hear the voice of Obama. I’m not going to send a note to their teacher to let them opt out of the first day of school just because the President is speaking to them. Actually, I haven’t even checked to see if our school is showing the speech because this is really a non-issue for me.
I want my kids to think critically. I want them to learn to recognize crap ideas, whether they come from a smooth talker with a nice white house or a beer guzzling biker with bug juice in his teeth. I don’t want them to be afraid to disagree with ideas that don’t seem right to them – regardless of the source. I want them to be salt and light wherever they go and whatever they may have to debate. They can’t do those things if they’re in some educational bunker where I never let them hear an idea I don’t agree with.
Let your kids hear the speech. Talk to them about it. Help them make the most of the educational opportunity they have in this country. I came across this response you may find interesting as well (thanks for the link Grace).