Teachers Cheated My 7th-Grader By Not Showing Obama's Speech
A matter of respect?
Should the teachers have had the choice of whether or not to show the president's speech, or should they have simply shown the speech out of respect for the president?
California...not so liberal after all
I can't express how appalled I am by the sixth- and seventh-grade teachers at my son’s public middle school who apparently bent to the pressures brought on by weak-minded people who influenced them not to show President Obama's back-to-school speech; a speech filled with words of encouragement to American children to set goals, study hard and become responsible citizens of our country.
After having read the text of the president’s speech on the White House website Monday to see what all the fuss was about, I was so looking forward to discussing this message of encouragement with my children today upon their return home from school; I was looking forward to hearing what they discussed in class. I believed our schools were taking advantage of this real-time, historical learning opportunity.
The first disappointment came when my third-grader returned home and she said her teacher only showed the speech without any discussion. When I went to the school to speak with her teacher, she said they did have a brief discussion about the importance of staying in school and working hard.
More significantly, I was infuriated upon finding out my seventh-grader (or any of the sixth- and seventh-graders, for that matter) didn't have the option of watching the president’s message because of the teachers’ decision not to show the speech (eighth-graders got to watch). Over the holiday weekend, we had received two calls from the schools saying the children would be watching the speech; I confidently assumed my children would participate in watching along with their classmates and our nation’s youth.
It’s bad enough that right-wing talking-head fear mongers have influenced too many sheep in this country to believe their lies. Then, without any basis of fact, these followers simply spout the anarchist talking points raised by the conservative propaganda machine and ranted by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. It’s bad enough that too many small-minded communities/school districts across the country refused to show the president’s speech. But now, it’s outrageous to find out my own child’s school teachers decided it would be easier, less inconvenient, less bothersome, less controversial and less confrontational to not show his speech. Whatever the reason, you excluded my child from this moment of historical magnitude. You cheated him out of an opportunity to discuss the message of the speech and hear the opinions of his peers.
In online forums, some parents complained they feared this speech would “indoctrinate” children to support the president’s policy positions. Look back at President Reagan’s speech to school children. You’ll hear his positions on communism, democracy’s influence on the world, trade policy, the war on drugs and more. Never did President Obama raise issues outside the premise that if students work hard, they can become successful citizens who ultimately make our country stronger. I ask my son’s teachers, what was the problem with Obama’s speech? Aren't the values represented in his speech the ones teachers say they impress upon students on a regular basis?
One friend tells me the teachers simply don't like change and watching the speech would have upset their tight teaching schedule. My mother's opinion is it comes down to people's prejudice against our president and the lack of respect thereof because of his color. Surely, there must be a sensible reason somewhere in the middle.
After calling the school, the principal said the teachers may show this speech another time. My son didn’t want to wait and asked to watch my recording at home. This 12-year-old quickly interpreted Obama’s message: doing well in school ultimately helps your community. I’m confounded why conservatives find this an antagonistic premise.
I truly hope teachers choose to show this speech soon; not only to encourage students to strive for and achieve higher goals, but to show some respect to the office of the presidency and the exceptional role model Obama represents. Moreover, after eight years of listening to the bumbling fool who made a poor attempt to fill that great office while setting a poor example for our youth, I would have thought our educators might welcome an opportunity to show youngsters, a president can be intelligent and speak using coherent sentences.
The many children at my son's school have already missed out on being part of history; they can't say, "I was there when our president spoke to our nation's children." Instead, they are relegated to learning about this speech, this historic moment, as something that happened in the past as they listen to a history teacher drone on about "this president did this, that president did that." The teachers' choice at my son's school, and many others across our nation, stole that experience from too many students.
Teachers, how can you expect our children to do their best (as is expressed on a banner hanging in the school’s gymnasium) if you refuse to show them our best role models? I truly hope teachers won’t completely bend to the will of obtuse fools. Rather, I hope the teachers have enough fortitude to show Obama's inspirational speech of encouragement posthaste and ignore the erroneous trumpeting of those who seem determined to dumb down Americans.