On Tuesday, Sept. 8, many kids were waking up before noon for the first time in months. They were going back to school. This year, however, their first day started out a little differently. Many watched and listened to President Obama on TV as he delivered some remarks about getting an education and doing well in school.
However, some of the students didn’t hear the message. Some school administrators opted not to show the speech. Some parents decided to have their kids pulled out of classrooms while Obama made his remarks.
There was controvery before the remarks even aired. Many conservative parents were convinced that Obama would use the chance to force his politics onto their children. Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer released a statement that accused Obama of using taxpayer money to “indoctrinate” children.
Much of the controversy was stirred before the remarks were given.
We optimistically hope that now, after people have heard the speech, some of Obama’s critics will realize that there was no political agenda in the speech. It was simply the President telling kids that they have a responsibility to do well in school. How can someone argue with that?
No, Timmy, you really can be a rapper, so forget the books and hit those streets.
We applaud Obama for his efforts in reaching out to the business sectors and health communities, but we are especially pleased that he has chosen to focus on young people. He sees that they are the future of this country and, if adults don’t reach out to them more often, this generation will get lost.
We do need to start kids on goal setting and aiming high at an earlier stage. Obama delivered his remarks eloquently. “Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need,” he said. “… But you’ve got to do your part, too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down — don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.”
We appreciate that he didn’t appear to be speaking down to young people.
We don’t know why conservative parents are so suspicious of an encouraging stay-in-school speech. Even though our country has two main parties and everyone has a different point of view, we should be proud that the President tries to speak to everyone.
A lot of parents these days have a tough time keeping control over their kids, but if the President can change the way kids see thing and inspire them to take action and work a little bit harder academically — isn’t that good? ♦
View a video of Obama giving his remarks at www.whitehouse.gov/video.