President Obama's Speech to American Students
For those not aware, President Obama's Department of Education is encouraging schools across the nation to play a speech to our kids during class time on September 8th, 2009. I strenuously object to this idea. Here is my letter to my kid's school principal on the matter:
We spoke on the phone earlier today, and I thought that I would provide you with a more detailed explanation as to my objections to the speech that President Obama is encouraging schools to show during class time. In addition, I wanted to correct my source of information. It is not whitehouse.gov, it is www.edu.gov that has the 'menu of classroom activities' on display.
I have several concerns about this, and I will list a few of them.
1. The menu suggests reading books about Barack Obama. We don't believe that the federal government should be in the business of suggesting any kind of reading material for anyone.
2. Several of the questions bother me. One is 'Why is it important that we listen to the President of the United States and other elected officials?' My husband and I don't agree that the federal government should be suggesting to children that listening to our elected officials as if they were authority figures is acceptable. We hold a different view, and that is that our elected officials work for us - not the other way around.
3. Another question is: 'What is the President asking me to do?' Our response is this: Why is the President asking us to do anything? Our children are being raised with our values and beliefs, we are capable of imparting those values to them, and we have chosen a school that holds and promotes the same values that are important to us. Our children already know that getting a good education is important - we don't need the President to tell them.
Furthermore, our beliefs and values do not coincide with those promoted by the Obama Administration. We are pro-life, Libertarian, Christian, and family oriented. We believe that President Obama's speech is an unprecedented intrusion into our children's learning environment.
Some have suggested that this speech can be used as an opening to discuss political events. My children do not need to view this speech as an opening to such. Our family is very politically active, we have many discussions with challenges presented to many sides of one issue and our children are included in many of those discussions. In addition to that, we always encourage our children to consider many different sources of information before forming conclusions of their own.
I hope that this email has made things clearer to you than they were before. I appreciate your time and attention to my concerns. I would appreciate it if you would let me know if any of the teachers are planning on using this video during class.
When I spoke to my principal about this, she shared that the Diocese had sent the information to her and she had subsequently distributed the material to the teachers. She was quite surprised that I objected. If I hear that they are showing the video, or if I don't hear anything at all, my kids are staying home on Tuesday.