Skip to comments.Local School Districts Pass on Obama's Speech
Posted on 09/04/2009 6:40:17 AM PDT by An American!
School districts across Texas are pondering whether they'll have their students watch a national address by President Barack Obama next week.
The speech on the importance of education is aimed directly at the nation's school children at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Obama has asked school districts to carry the live webcast.
Districts in North Texas have received complaints about the speech, and most are not broadcasting it to their students.
"There appears to be a curriculum associated with the speech," said Fred Moses, chairman of the Collin County Republican Party.
Parent Bobby Lochner said he wouldn't mind his children hearing a speech on education -- if that's all the message is.
"On the surface, and if it's kept to at that -- as just talking to the American people and the importance of education -- obviously that is very important," he said.
Many districts are making Obama's speech available, but are not requiring students to watch it.
The Dallas Independent School District will broadcast the speech live on its cable channel. Principals will decide if they want to air it live.
And the Fort Worth Independent School District will have the speech available live at all of its high schools, but students will not be required to watch it. Students who choose not to view it will be offered alternative activities.
In Plano, the school district will record the speech and have the video available to students for later.
PTA council president Cara Mendelsohn said Obama is "cutting out the parent" by speaking to kids during school hours.
"Why can't a parent be watching this with their kid in the evening?" Mendelsohn said. "Because that's what makes a powerful statement, when a parent is sitting there saying, 'This is what I dream for you. This is what I want you to achieve."'
Other districts in North Texas are posting the speech on their Web sites and making it available for social studies teachers to use at a later time.
In a letter last week to the nation's school principal, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the speech would challenge students to work hard, set educational goals and take responsibility for their learning.
The Department of Education has a list for teachers of suggested classroom activities for before, during and after the speech posted on its Web site.
The suggestions for grades 7 through 12 include discussing the words "responsibility, persistence and goals" prior to the speech and discussing what in the speech "resonated" with students. Click here to read all of the suggested activities.
For grades prekindergarten through sixth grade, the suggested activities include building "background knowledge" by reading books about Obama and presidents before the speech and writing down "key ideas or phrases" during the speech that students find meaningful or important. Click here to read all of the suggested activities.
Gov. Rick Perry called the Obama's plan for the speech "disturbing" but said he would not advise parents to keep their children home from school Tuesday.
Perry said the speech and its suggested activities were another example of the federal government trying to usurp state and local input.
"Nobody seems to know what he's going to be talking about ... why didn't he spend more time talking to the local districts, superintendents?" he said.
The speech will be streamed live on the White House Web site.
The following is a list of how various school districts are handling the speech. Districts are listed alphabetically:
Allen ISD: Speech will not be shown to grades kindergarten through third grade but will be used as part of the social studies/government curriculum for grades 4 through 12. Arlington ISD: Making the speech available for students and parents on its Web site. The speech will also be available for classroom use as deemed appropriate to the district's curriculum. Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD: Social studies teachers will have the option of broadcasting the speech to their students. Dallas ISD: Speech will be live on its cable channel. Principals will decide if they want to air it live. Denton ISD: Speech will be available on its Web site for anyone to view, but will not be broadcast to students. Duncanville ISD: Social studies teachers will have the option of broadcasting the speech to their students. Fort Worth ISD: Speech available live at all of its high schools, but students will not be required to watch it. Students who choose not to view will have alternative activities. Frisco ISD: District will record the speech, and teachers can choose to use it at a later time. HEB ISD: Speech will be recorded as a podcast. It will be available to social students teachers who want to use it in class and to everyone on the district's Web site. Highland Park ISD: Any teacher can choose to broadcast it. Keller ISD: Speech will be available live. Teachers can show it if they want to. Lancaster ISD: District will record the speech, and teachers can choose to use it at a later time. Mansfield ISD: Speech will be recorded, and teachers can use it at a later time. Plano ISD: Speech will be available on its Web site for anyone to view, but will not be broadcast to students. Richardson ISD: The speech will be available on Wednesday, the day after, and optional for grades kindergarten through 12. Parents will need to give permission for students in grades kindergarten through 8. No discussions or lessons will be offered afterward. Districts not listed did not return calls requesting information.
Districts in other states such as Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia, Wisconsin have decided not to show the speech to students. Others are still thinking it over or are letting parents have their kids opt out.
Stay away from our children!
The school district we used to live in the principals told the parents that they would not disrupt the school day with the speech. However, they would provide a link on the school website so that parents and their children could watch if they wanted to later @ home. The school district we are now in we haven’t heard a peep from on their plans, so we are calling today to find out. I have a bad feeling they plan to show it. :(
What a narcissist’s wet dream!
The most dangerous place in the world is between a parent and their child. Amazing how some people forget this.
OTOH, there is a public service taking place here. A lot of folks had their eyes opened with this last blunder.
Thankd for posting.
NObama...get away from the children
Our local school district in Missouri will not show it.
It's a Hollywood infomercial for Obama. I'd suggest the first school district's plan to the second school district.
Have any other presidents directly addressed school children?
Reagan (1988) and GHWB (1991) both did this. I guess politics knows no bounds...or hypocrisy.
Obama has forgotten what it was like to be a kid. Even in the schools that air his platitude-laden speech the kids will take it as an opportunity to nap, whisper with their friends, doodle in their notebooks, etc. The kids only hope that they do not have to do any work during the speech and they pray that there isn’t any extra homework associated with the speech.
Amazing, the research the MSM can do when they want to.
I heard a quick news bit last night (so, not sure I heard it correctly as was drifting off to sleep), but was surprised to hear that Lt. Gov. in Missouri said if parents want to keep their kids home on September 8, it was okay by the State of Missouri. Now, THAT surprised me, not that I’d ask permission to do so if I felt it necessary.
I still don’t see what the big deal is (as other presidents have addressed school children at a myriad of events), as it will go in one ear and out the other for most children. I haven’t heard of one child who has had his life “changed” by an address by the President of the US — the NEA is a different story. The follow-up is the poison pill.
If those two did, why can’t Obama?
“Reagan (1988) and GHWB (1991) both did this. I guess politics knows no bounds...or hypocrisy.”
At least Reagan was an American patriot. Any attempt to “indoctrinate” on his part would have been about the joy of living in the greatest nation on earth.
It’s not even so much the speech (although it would help if we could all preview it). What’s particularly disturbing is the “Classroom Activities” suggestions for teachers to do both before and after the speech. They not-so-subtly nudge students toward the president’s political agenda and get them to focus on what they can do for the president. They also promote collectivism.
Quitman, Texas ISD has opted completely out of this event, and the Pasadena, Texas ISD has stated they will tape it and make it available for those wanting to see it at their own convienience...
What we need to watch for is the reprisals...Those school districts giving the WH headaches may very much become cut off from certain things in the very near future...
You can forget your grants, and other things doled out by the Feds because of this...
Thats what I would do if I were snubbed like this...
Thats what liberal/statists do to those that do not respect their authority...
Seems the heat was turned up to 'boil' over the whole issue.
My district, as with most suburban districts around Columbus have nixed it, too.