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Some students have option to hear Obama's address

Friday, September 4, 2009

Barack Obama
A back-to-school address from President Barack Obama -- scheduled for Tuesday -- has stirred emotions nationwide.

The Obama administration recently scheduled the conference, which is set for noon Tuesday. The address will be aired live on the White House website, www.whitehouse.gov/live/, as well as C-SPAN. The message will also be aired on C-SPAN radio.

Some school districts in Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia and Wisconsin have elected not to show the address. Other districts across the nation have said they will offer the chance for parents to not have their children watch it.

Clay Community School Corporation administration Supt. Dan Schroeder said showing the address is up to each building principal.

"It's voluntary if students want to see it or not or if parents want their (child) to see it," Schroeder told The Times.

Schroeder said corporations were notified earlier this week of the address, which is expected to last no more than 20 minutes.

"From the information I got, it's going to be an educational presentation about studying hard, working hard and following what the school has to offer and the importance of a diploma," Schroeder said. "I don't think it's going to be a political message."

Schroeder said he hopes no political message is mixed in.

Dan Schroeder
"I think if he sticks to education, to our nation's children and youth, about persisting and succeeding in school, challenging students to work hard and take responsibility for their learning, I think that's a tremendous message that can get some positive results," Schroeder said. "And I like that. We want to make sure that is the message and that's all of the message.

"If it is an educational message, it would be good for (the students) to see it. If it's political, I don't think this is the proper arena. There is a lot of good that can come out of the president leading the charge for better education. But hopefully, it's not a message about politics. It should be an educational message."

Clay City Junior/Senior High School Principal Jeff Bell said he has received phone calls from parents who have expressed concern regarding the address.

Bell said he has stressed to those parents that watching the address is not mandatory.

"We're just proceeding with a normal school day," Bell said. "It's not going to be mandatory. The (students will not) have any assignment. The (students who) want to see it will have that option. But it's not going to be part of the classroom procedure or lesson plans. They won't have to watch it."

Eastside Elementary School Principal Mary Ray, however, said she does not plan on providing access to the address.

"I didn't feel like I had enough time to get information to parents to say yea or nay," Ray said.

She added she has already received phone calls from concerned parents stating they were pleased with her decision.

One parent, she said, stated she didn't feel like a school setting was the appropriate place for an address.

"The main reason for not showing it was I felt like I didn't have enough time," Ray added.

North Clay Middle School Principal Jeff Allen agreed, saying time would be an issue.

However, Allen said the school would tape the address and view it later, deciding whether it "supplements our curriculum."

Allen said he has received phone calls from parents as well who said they preferred their child not watch the speech.

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It is more than just watching the speech but it is about who surrounds the president as his advisors. They are radical:




These are just a few reasons why many Americans are concerned about Obama.

-- Posted by kamiaidesu on Fri, Sep 4, 2009, at 9:45 PM

Clinton is responsible for NAFTA, Mexico gained our jobs and plenty more as a result, just wait till Whirlpool gets rid of the 1400 workers from Indiana next year, lets see what that does for the unemployment figures for the state and of course the jobs are going to mexico, not that there aren't enough of them here if they want them to have the jobs, Obama is going to follow clinton's lead, sell out America for a price,

-- Posted by Edward Kane on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 4:43 AM

Back to the subject: Parents would be wise to either view it themselves so they can help their child understand, or opt out. NO ELEMENTARY child should watch, they are to young to understand the manipulations of our current political system.

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 5:26 AM

Wouldn't the appropriate thing to do from the government's standpoint be to air a national address by the president, or make it available online first, then, we as parents would be able to make an informed decision as to the content of the message being sent. I know the way I want my child to be educated and I don't want to make some knee jerk reaction about a harmless presidential address if it is indeed an educational reinforcement. On the other hand, I don't want my fourth grader coming home and telling me that President Obama said this, and if you don't agree then you are part of the problem. I have no idea what the president wants to say, but I do know that the political machine has a way of ambushing voters with propaganda, on both sides, and I just don't want impressionable children to be subjected. Why not let parents have the opportunity to view the address first? I guess it just makes too much sense for Washington.

-- Posted by almostfootballfree on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 7:48 AM

I hear a bunch of fear mongering here...

No president we have ever had has been perfect. Obama will [and IMHO already has] made mistakes. He is however OUR president just like the son or daughter one might have make a mistake they are still our child.

We allow local religious leaders into our schools to talk about making choices with regard to their physical and social health when their views are not necessarily exactly the same as every family's in the community. The majority of voters supported this man or he would not be our president today. Even in the city of Brazil he received the majority of the vote.

While I didn't like much of what George W Bush did with regard to invading Iraq, he was still our president.

What an opportunity for the kids to have a pep talk from the leader of our country. He's addressing THEM. Might it not be great if some paid attention and heard his message?

Yes parents listen too so they can provide rebuttle to any comment that they might disagree with at dinner table conversation that evening. Discourse is what this is all about. We listen. We discuss. We form our own opinion. we have learned. Keeping the student from listening doesn't teach them anything except that they grow up having been eliminated from a learning experience.

Last spring [08] Chelsea Clinton came to Brazil. I'm sure her mom wasn't everyone's candidate but what an opportunity for students to experience how our country works. Again our country isn't perfect but it's ours. Teach the kids all about it so they know how to function within it.

Those who keep their kids from viewing this address are preventing them from an opportunity to learn. Especially those involved in education. That's censorship. Shame on you. NOT what a teacher is supposed to do. Let parents explain to the kids what they liked or didn't like about his speech. That's their job. It's the teacher's job to provide educational experiences. Not to decide which things are the politically correct things to learn and which are not based on their own personal beliefs.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 8:09 AM

Almost football free:

And we as parents don't also have an underlying agenda when we try to have our children form values that are like our own?? Kids need to know that there are multiple views on issues and it's ok to have a different point of view on things. We need parenst and teachers to teach the student how to think for themselves and not just memorize things we tell them for when they get out on their own they will form their own opinions on things. Why not give them both sides of issues and teach them how to decide for themselves. Afterall you have a lot more contact time with them than the president does. If you are afraid that 20 minutes of alleged "brainwashing" is going to undo what you've taught them over the past years, you either haven't spent enough time with your kids discussing things or maybe aren't quite sure yourselves of what you've been saying.

Give the kids credit. Most won't even listen if I know the classroom situation and others will not have their minds "warped" against your own ii that short of time span.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 8:16 AM

What is wrong with instilling the values in our children that are based on morality, courage, and patriotism. That depends on an education at an early age to give children the tools necessary for them to succeed and to make objective decisions based on their knowledge of all of the facts. The wonder of being a child is not having to worry about how our country is being run or the serious issues we as adult citizens face. That is for adults to be concerned about, there will be plenty of time for them to make a change in the world as they get older. If you can show me evidence that this speach has any educational value then it should be allowed to be previewed by objective adults first, to protect our children from a political agenda. I believe most of the open minded adults can agree that if the children want to see President Obama there are plenty of opportunities. You can find his abundance of speaches and commentaries on the television, internet, radio and printed media daily. If they want to know about his life all they have to do is go to Krogers, Wal-Mart or any bookstore and they will find a large selection of material on how great the President and his wife are. Or they can watch the home shopping network and buy his books, commemorative plates, shower curtains, bumber stickers, magnets, signs, t-shirts etc... Enough is Enough

-- Posted by hope4county on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 9:47 AM

Obama to release school speech:

The transcript of Obama's school speech will be available on Monday, so parents and teachers can review it. Monday is also Labor Day, and school is not in session on that day.

And to freedom1:

White House Debunks Reports It Will Fly China's Flag on South Lawn


-- Posted by Guest215 on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 2:46 PM

WOW! Mixing education and national politics seems to be akin to throwing gasoline on a campfire!

I, for one, have to agree with our Superintendant and principals on this one.

As Dr. Schroeder stated, if an address by the titular leader of the nation is about education, challenges students to excel in education, and take responsibility in their education; it could be just the ticket to encourage at least a few students to do better than they would have without hearing it. If the President is making an opportunity to make a political statement to the students, he would be wasting both his and educational time that could be better spent and, at the same time, "barking up the wrong tree"!

Of the remarks made by the building administrators, I like Dr. Allen's idea and understand Mrs. Ray's concern. I think that previewing and taping it is a good idea. If it is going to be a positive reinforcement for education, we can always show it at a later date or time, if not we have it but we don't have to show it and can throw it in the trash.

I'm going to have to watch it. While I respect President Obama and his position as the, so-called, head of our government, I actually do not think that he is going to be able to relate the same message to such a varied audience as comprises elementary through high school students. He might be President, but he IS NOT Bill Cosby!

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 4:38 PM

Guest 215 - Thank you for the information that the transcript will be available on Monday but I think that Mrs. Ray would agree with me in saying that that is not enough time for an objective evaluation.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 4:42 PM

This is not the first time that a president has addressed our students. George H Bush talked to students about working hard and staying away from drugs. Ronald Reagan's speech was much more political. He talked about the evil of taxes. I think a pep talk from the President is great. If you have concerns read the script on Monday. I don't know how much time you need to read a script and see that it is political or not. The feed will be available on c-span's website after the speech. Watch it with your children and discuss it with them in a positive and meaningful way that will help your child grow.

And Leo...working hard, staying in school, and having a goal of getting your high school diploma is something that should be in place and talked about before a child reaches high school. To say this isn't relavent for grades k-12 is crazy. I think it's even more important for elementary students.

And the Bill Cosby comment was stupid...What's up with that?

-- Posted by kphillips on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 7:28 PM

Kphillips -- LOL, do I know you? Your nom de plume appears very much like someone I know. However, I cannot see the person remarking that something is stupid.

Actually, I agree that "working hard, staying in school, and having a goal of getting your high school diploma is something that should be in place and talked about before a child reaches high school." I never said or implied that it is not relevant at all ages from K-12, but, frankly, I do not think that President Obama or his writers can tailor a 20-minute message that K-12 students can relate to and understand fully that would hold their attention. As I said, I'm going to have to watch the presentation to see what kind of job he does with it.

The comment about Bill Cosby, to me, is not stupid. While he is an entertainer, he also can and has used his talent to deliver some very effective messages in such a manner to reach children and young adults as well as spanning generations.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 10:21 PM

Almostfootballfree -- Well said.

While the transcript is going to be pre-released on Monday, that isn't going to leave much time for "the school system to open a forum for political debate and discussion", which would be at a school board meeting or at building-level meetings as our different levels of education in each building house different audiences. Meanwhile, our building administrators are left to respond to inquiries.

I loved your question, "Don't you think an entire team of intellectuals will be pouring over the verbiage of the address, crafting each phrase carefully and concisely as to impart the political views they hold so dear, or more importantly, to make sure that there is no blatant political statement?" I am absolutely sure that there is a team working on this, although I am not sure that they are intentionally trying to impart political views. That the speech will have or be seen to have a political viewpoint is unavoidable.

In the human communication of ideas, the originator of the message must consider the audience. I have a friend whom I usually greet with "hi, Jack!" at a vocal level to be heard over a running tractor, something I most assuredly do not do in a public venue. Over the course of discussion here, I've come to the conclusion that the President's speech is more to later be able to say that he did something than to try and accomplish anything by doing it. His intended audience is just too broad in age, culture, socio-economic class, social strata, and other demographics. Anything that he says isn't even going to register with most of this audience, and a lot of the ideas are going to be misinterpreted. I would be very interested in getting feedback from the audience of what they got out of his speech and the questions that his speech raised in their minds, an exercise that I have been through in both high school and college classes on both orations and written communications. LOL...........when you get feedback of that type, you say "huh?" a lot. You think that you conveyed your idea with perfect clarity and do not understand how anyone missed the point.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sun, Sep 6, 2009, at 10:32 AM

Obviously the comment almostfootball free wrote and that I responded to has dissappeared!

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sun, Sep 6, 2009, at 10:34 AM

freedom1 - I didn't see anything in almostfootballfree's post that I would think offensive to anyone. I have noticed that some of the longer posts have a tendency to disappear. Several of us have had the experience. I don't think it is a case of censorship but I do think that the computer system has a word limit on comments.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Sun, Sep 6, 2009, at 3:48 PM

even I knew my comment was too long-winded.

-- Posted by almostfootballfree on Sun, Sep 6, 2009, at 6:22 PM

Let obama pick on somebody his own size-----------

Its a cheap manipulative move, under the cover of the usual tactics we're seeing out of this president and his group. Only a left winger could see this as a good thing,

-- Posted by Ombudsman on Sun, Sep 6, 2009, at 8:00 PM

It is a great idea and the children should be given the opportunity to watch our President.

-- Posted by scwh1974 on Mon, Sep 7, 2009, at 3:46 AM

This too may get removed as I too have had comments removed for being "unappropriate".

I'd like to comment on the Bill Cosby thread.

He made the bulk of his money in entertainment arena but has a PhD in education I believe and has done a lot of work in education as well.

His latest book, COME ON PEOPLE should be read by anyone wanting their kids to get the most out of the available education offered. While it's targeted audience is the black population as it tells them to get over their feeling sorry for themselves because of how they were and in some cases still are treated and succeed in spite of it, I think anyone who is in situation where they feel oppressed can get alot out of it on what choices to make in order to be successful in spite of their past. we have plenty of white kids in this community who are treated certain ways because they had a family member who never made anything of themselves. This book could really make a difference in their lives.

It is my hope that the president's speech takes the same tone.

Call me an optimist.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Mon, Sep 7, 2009, at 8:31 AM

In the same vein as Bill Cosby's book, COME ON PEOPLE, I could recommend Tony Dungy's book, UNCOMMON.

I have a grandson whose educational performance was well below his potential. He did not care, period. His main goal at school seemed to be to get out of class last year. He was proud of the fact that he had found a way to take the standardized tests given on the computer in the minimum time by selecting any answer and hitting the "enter" key. He told us he took one of these in under two minutes. Of course, the results made it appear that he couldn't read at anywhere near grade level.

He expressed an interest in the book, UNCOMMON, so I bought it for him. Over the course of the summer, I required him to read a chapter a day -- they are short -- and write three sentences about what he had read using "good" English and spelling. He did this fairly well and I noticed substantial improvement. He seems to be doing better at school and I am waiting to see if his grades there show improvement.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Mon, Sep 7, 2009, at 12:37 PM

The President's prepared remarks for his School speech are on the web at http://www.whitehouse.gov/MediaResources...

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Mon, Sep 7, 2009, at 1:10 PM

I read the president's remarks, and have absolutely no problem with the tone, content, or intent of the speech. I whole-heartedly encourage all of our children to view the address if given the chance. Again, I am not anti-Obama, I just wonder why all of the controversy wasn't averted in the first place by releasing this speech when he announced his intention to deliver a message to the kids. Everything could have been spun as an absolute positive, instead we had to have an argumentative tone to a positive event. Promoting animosity surely isn't a political motive on either side....or is it????

-- Posted by almostfootballfree on Mon, Sep 7, 2009, at 3:54 PM

I just think its kinda ridiculous. I dont see any reason to take time out of the students day for such nonsense. Maybe in 2012 Huckabee will be our shoe in to get things back on track, and he will have something intelligent to talk about. If God cant be in our schools, why should O'bama?

-- Posted by The Crabb in AZ on Mon, Sep 7, 2009, at 9:19 PM

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