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September 5th, 2009
05:09 AM ET

School Speech Controversy: Your thoughts?

Next Tuesday President Barack Obama plans to deliver a TV and web address to the nation's school children.

Aides say Mr. Obama will stress the need to work hard and stay in school during his webcast. Earlier this week the White House sent some suggested lesson plans and handouts to teachers to accompany the speech.

Many conservative parents don't think it's that simple. They're convinced the President will use the classroom speech to advance his political agenda. Some schools have already decided not to show the President's speech.

What do you think? Leave your comments below. We may air some of them this morning in the CNN Newsroom.

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soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. Sammy Carr

    TJ – you are great!

    Obama will get healthcare passed and sooner rather than later.
    The stock market is rising, and economic indicators are also rising.
    After 8 years of GW, it takes time to dig out of the avalanche he put us in.

    Have a great Labor Day guys!

    September 5, 2009 at 6:09 am |
  2. Nabeel Ahmed

    Nine tenths of education is encouragement and I think it's sad when a speech by president encouraging children to work hard, do their homework, respect their teachers is turned into a political debate, even before it's been delivered. I think we should let him do the job that we have elected him to do and support him for the right reasons and not oppose him for the political ones.

    September 5, 2009 at 6:10 am |
  3. Jan

    I wonder what the President would think if the shoe were on the other foot and President George W. Bush were making a speech to President Obama's children's school and asking them to write how they could help President Bush when he was in office.

    September 5, 2009 at 6:13 am |
  4. Ray Baisden

    We elected Barack Obama to be president. Presidents past have often addressed young people, and it is entirely appropriate that they do so. Obama inspires and gives me hope. He will speak well to the children in school. The naysayers are playing nasty partisan politics.

    September 5, 2009 at 6:14 am |
  5. Kenneth Skelton

    For years Children have been taught to support the country and the office of the President. Now that we have the first African American President Parents are keeping their children out of school for the fear of the affect this "black President will have over their Children. Just seems like another case of "White fear" gone wild. For God and country used to mean the president too.

    September 5, 2009 at 6:14 am |
  6. jason elms

    This is ridiculous. The Republicans won't let Obama make a simple speech to kids without making it some kind of wild conspiracy. George Bush and Ronald Regan both addressed the nation's youth so unless the GOP has a problem with learning (and they might) I'm at a loss to explain why they are throwing yet another hissyfit.

    Jason in Utah

    September 5, 2009 at 6:14 am |
  7. Laurie Menard Moreau

    The parents of this generation are paranoid. Why do they think that the President could "get away with" some sort of political agenda in this arena? Why do they think that a child would even "get" (understand)some political agenda? Are they worried that their children would not have an opinion that mimics their own? The chilren that are being "targeted" are not even close to voting age!

    September 5, 2009 at 6:14 am |
  8. Peter

    There is no problem with Obama speaking to school children. There is NO crime asking school kids what they can do to help the President of the United States Dwight Eisenhower did it.
    The far right wing and the millions of closet racists in this country are livid they lost the last election and are trying any thing to destroy our President.

    September 5, 2009 at 6:15 am |
  9. Araya

    I will continue to support our Pres. No matter what. But he needs to get tough and make Dems and especially Repubs, understand that he is the President and change is going to come whether they like it, or not. Bush did it...he did stuff nobody liked, but did it anyway. President Obama has to stick to what he believes, no matter what.

    September 5, 2009 at 6:16 am |
  10. Gary

    For the first time in 47 years I feel I have a president that does not think he is BETTER than me, yet all I see on the news is criticism of this man!!!!! If all you parents did a BETTER job of teaching your OWN children it would not be neccessary for him to do it for you!!!! Sorry but I see no political ambitions from the president concerning his attempt to further the education and well being of your children!!!!!!!!

    September 5, 2009 at 6:17 am |
  11. Leadinglady

    We expose our children to movies about warlocks and witches, etc. We exposed them to questionable music artists, sports figures, etc., and nobody questions the influence some of these people have on our children. Why are people so afraid of President Obama? Is it because he is a black man?

    September 5, 2009 at 6:20 am |
  12. Angela Williams

    I was considering keeping my daughter home on Tuesday. But when I got word the White House was releasing a copy of the speech and I spoke to her teacher who said she would use no materials sent by DoE, I changed my mind (assuming nothing political was in the speech on Monday).

    Then the entire county school system was closed because of illness.
    We will be watching at home together, like it should have been to begin with.

    September 5, 2009 at 6:22 am |
  13. Kate Cordell

    I don't even know why this is controversial. President Obama is the President for all of us. Why wouldn't parents want their children to hear the message of working hard and staying in school? Other Presidents have spoken to our children and George Bush went into the schools. I didn't hear any debate about that. And, I didn't like President Bush but I felt he should be able to speak to our children.

    September 5, 2009 at 6:24 am |
  14. Brady

    I wonder what the reaction would be if a President McCain were doing the same thing.

    September 5, 2009 at 6:24 am |
  15. President''s Speech to School Children

    I am not in favor of parents making the decisions about what is taught in schools. Teachers are educated professionals who are capable of determining appropriate curriculum content. Education includes history, government, social studies, and current events. President Obama's speech is appropriate for these subjects. The parents who oppose the President speaking to students are attempting to force their own political agenda. I do not want my child's education determined by parents who are only concerned about their own children. I want teachers and administrators to determine what is taught in schools. If a parent wants to control their child's education then they should home school or send their children to private schools. Public education is just that – for the public. And the President is the most important representative of the public. Children should be taught to respect the President.

    September 5, 2009 at 6:26 am |
  16. Larry

    Could it be that the president is being summoned to the classrooms by the children to explain to them why the kids are being forced to pay

    back $9,000. for every $4,500. that the president is giving away, when the presisdent borrows the $4,500 at 4% for 30 years. Can the

    president explain why it's ok to even make a 30 year car loan? Can the president also explain why the kids are forced to pay back a 30 year

    car loan when the kids don't even get a car?

    September 5, 2009 at 6:26 am |
  17. Patti

    I am against obama talking to students. Check out the video of lowlife hollywood pledging to obama some kind of indocternation, kind of SICK. I would not like to see this put on children , remember obama works for us he is not a KING, This is why we left England. Please end this lust for obama he is no better then Joe the plumber.

    September 5, 2009 at 6:31 am |
  18. Leslie C.

    I think it is sad that there are people in our country who are so paranoid and fearful of our President. In my opinion, we had much more reason to fear the policies of George Bush. If for no other reason, parents should allow their children to hear the out of respect for our President. I truely believe that President Obama wants what is best for our children and our country and I will be very happy for my children (ages 12 and 5) to hear his speech on Tuesday.

    September 5, 2009 at 6:32 am |
  19. Steven

    It does not matter what President Obama does, conservative/republicans will not agree him. Conservatives have, quite frankly, lost it, mentally, emotionally, you name it!!!! The human toll of reaganomics is coming home to roost and the unthinkable has happened...... an African American has been elected president and Congress has a Democratic majority, together, they are attempting to turn this nation back into a society that has the welfare of all citizens in mind, not just the wealthy, powerful, privileged few. So, conservatives, you just keep on lighting your hair on fire and running around in circles screaming your lungs out about everything the President does. You all refuse to take responsibility for the failures of conservative philosophy, and offer no new ideas to make this better a nation. You have gone from a vocal political minority to an angry racist mob to a pathetic caricature of a political party, to now a bad, third rate, side show comedy act. R.I.P. republicans

    September 5, 2009 at 6:35 am |
  20. Larry

    With an income of only $2 Trillion per year, can the president explain to the children how he intends to pay off the $12 Trillion in debt when he allows congress to spend more than they take in?

    September 5, 2009 at 6:40 am |
  21. Larry

    Can the president explain to the children why he doesn't feel that the children should have the freedom and the right to abuse their own debt, instead of congress doing it for them?

    September 5, 2009 at 6:45 am |
  22. Larry

    Can the president explain to the children how raising taxes on doctors is going to lower healthcare costs? The children are having a hard time understanding how raising taxes on job creators is going to create more jobs instead of continuing to destroy good private sector jobs.

    September 5, 2009 at 6:51 am |
  23. Cheryl Rhett

    It does not matter what positive action the president tries it will always be taken out of context. The republicans have a set agenda "DESTRUCTION" at any cost even by the usage of our innocent children. It seems that republicans are trying to set an early precedent for the next presidential election.

    September 5, 2009 at 6:56 am |
  24. Pamb

    My main concern about this speech and handouts is that it doesn't seem age appropriate to expect PreK and kids up to about 9 ot 10 years old to understand lessons like that. I don't think that children that young are up to doing the 'lessons' and no one said that we have to do that part.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:02 am |
  25. Kathy

    I cannot believe the furor over this issue. This president is trying to bring the message to children of the importance of education and staying in school, which unfortunately, many parents today do not stress. What message are those parents who say they will keep their children at home "if the president addresses them" sending to their children? I think it is disgraceful that we do not honor his position as president and his true concern for our children.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:02 am |
  26. Larry

    Can the president explain to the children why the congress has never been able to lower the cost of anything, even a first class stamp?
    The children don't understand why congress taxes healthcare providers when congress knows that higher taxes makes everything more expensive.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:05 am |
  27. Tom M.

    It is a beautiful thing that our president will address America's youth. Never before have we collectively objected to the elected leader of our nation talking to us or our children, not even when the Bush Administration handed them over 6 trillion dollars of debt that they and their grandchildren and great grandchildren will have to pay.

    Everyone should know by now that the widespread objections to every effort of President Obama are orchestrated by Republican sore losers who gift wrapped the problems of the past eight years. Why should anyone listen to them now? If they prefer clueless leadership, let them replay the infamous reading of My Pet Goat.

    God bless President Obama.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:07 am |
  28. Larry

    Can the president explain to the children why the congress has never been able to lower the cost of anything, even a first class stamp?

    September 5, 2009 at 7:09 am |
  29. Larry

    Can the president explain to the children when America will be debt free so Americans don't have to waste millions of dollars every single day on interest on the debt?

    September 5, 2009 at 7:13 am |
  30. Ivan R

    I watch everyday as people suffer with the economy situation. Sadly a lot are suffering the results of bad decisions over time. In 2008 I saw the storm coming. I had just made a choice to leave the auto sales industry (luxury brand), took a job at half the money but at the same time started making adjustments like selling one of my vehicles and keeping the one with the lowest debt and one older that is paid off. Made a plan to eliminate my consumer debt at the time at about $17k, now just at about $7k including my only car debt. I have continued with my savings plan and also apply one extra principal payment to the mortgage that saves me thousands of $$ every month. All of this on a middle class salary. It is not easy but it is possible. If you cut back on debt then you can battle the situation a little easier, Look for advice and don't panic..

    September 5, 2009 at 7:14 am |
  31. Glen Johnson

    Sounds like 1984 to me. I don't approve.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:16 am |
  32. Larry

    Can the president explain to the children why congress isn't forced to read and understand bills before they vote on them?

    September 5, 2009 at 7:17 am |
  33. Alix Jackman

    I firmly support President Obama speaking to the school children. Of all the Presidents who have spoken to school children, and several have in the past, this one above all has a message for this generation. Working hard, being responsible, fighting to succeed, education, family, eating well and exercising...for heaven's sake what can there possibly be that would be inappropriate? Nothing, unless you are among the disaffected who are still whining and lying.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:18 am |
  34. Steven T.

    I find it interesting that many of these conservatives who oppose President Obama's speaking to students on Tuesday have forgotten that President Reagan did the same thing back in the 80s. Mr. Reagan used his speech to push for his tax cuts!!

    September 5, 2009 at 7:20 am |
  35. Stephen Lee

    This is the perfect example of the political pessimism and nit-picking that is destroying this country. Rather than look at the good side and the potential positive influence, people look for political ideologies and negative influence. When Obama tells students in school to study hard and stay in school and that is somehow twisted to illustrate the delivery of "propaganda" then there's something wrong. People need to stop over reacting and send their kids to school.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:20 am |
  36. John Coleman

    When Bush did this it was considered a good thing.
    (Remember he was "visiting schools" on 9/11.)
    Why the sudden controversy over our President visiting schools?
    I believe this is a non-issue being exploited for political reasons.
    Just another example of the political right trying to create negative press.
    More Rush Limbaugh (ignorant hate speech) type politics.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:20 am |
  37. Doug on the Outer Banks, NC

    It's another "nontroversy" created by the right-wingers.

    The lesson plans I observed are designed to make students think – which should be considered a good thing.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:21 am |
  38. Paul Hudnall

    What's the problem? The President of the United States talking to children about the importance of an education? The President is going to tell the kids to stay in school. I've heard people saying Obama is going to brainwash the kids. How ridiculous! These people need to get over their racism. Politics of FEAR is still alive and well in the US.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:23 am |
  39. McCartney Forde

    President Obama can't speak to them, but they can watch Spongebob and Hannah Montana all day? Puh-leeze! President Obama has accomplished so much in so little time that his critics are trying to say anything to discredit him. All he's saying in his speech is stressing the importance of hard work and staying in school. What's wring with that? Past presidents have made similar speeches and no one made a peep.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:23 am |
  40. Chad Watson

    I think it's a great idea that President Obama is going to address the nations school children about the importance of education and staying in school. President Obama is very popular among young people in America, and I think he has a better chance of influencing them to stay in school, than would an older, more traditional President. Kids I know are excited to talk about President Obama and for him to address them is an excellent idea. Republicans are just looking for something to complain about when they are against him speaking to kids about staying in school. I would think even Republicans want kids to stay in school.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  41. eleanor finn

    I think its wonderful that the president is speaking to the children. This is another ploy for the republicans to be abnoxious. I hope they don't get away with it.I was a Independent because of the horrible way the Republicans are acting I'm now a Democrate

    September 5, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  42. Jason F

    Last time I heard, the majority of American school children are considered American Citizens, and that means Barrack Obama is THEIR President as well. Unfortunately some people are more concerned with his race and his party than his accomplishments or his being the Commander in Cheif. When he took office, he beat odds, has been battling a sour economy that was not his doing, he established and followed a timeline for withdrawing from Iraq. He is a great example to students – future politicians, business leaders, minority Supreme Court Justices – to stay in school and work hard. So what is wrong with the President of the United States speaking to the students of the United States. Or maybe Palin would have been a better role model. She did great with her daughter... of course Obama isn't a grandfather yet so he and Michelle must know something about how to talk to kids

    September 5, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  43. L J Scott

    All this hoopla about Obama's speech to students is ridiculous! I would like to remind people he is the PRESIDENT of the U.S.! This is not unprecedented but the reaction is. I believe this reaction is two-fold: 1st it is racially motivated and 2nd it is being perpetuated by a small group of radical right wingers trying to create controversy in order to bring this president down. You (the media) should not even be giving this fringe group a voice! Where was the outrage when "W" committed war crimes and abused his power? It was there you just didn't report on that!

    September 5, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  44. The Real Issue

    The Real Issue my fellow Americans is the fact that our Presidential leader believes in expressing his philosophy and thoughts about education to our youngsters. This is A plus. A plus because he believes that all students can learn and that all students need motivation. The President needs to be the motivator in doing just that, not a former president of the last 8 years who tied learning to a single group of tests and identified schools as failing because some of the students were of various economic classes that slowed the pace of learning at a level for most students. The No Child Left Behind bill has left millions of students behind and has caused increases in dropout rates because money has been devoted to testing instead of the improvement of an expanded curriculum that allows students to learn essentials that increases brain power (i.e. Theatre, music, dance, science, liberal arts, etc.). Schools also must have more days and longer hours like other industrialized countries for our students to compete successfully.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:25 am |






    September 5, 2009 at 7:25 am |
  46. Gene

    I think an epidemic of stupidity and ignorance has overcome the republican party. Watching these Town Hall meetings and Tea Parties has convinced me that we have a few sick minds who are leading a lot of weak, feeble minds. It is my understanding that the President's speech is supposed to be about hard work and goal setting. This is something that any good parent should encourage in their kids. The parents that are protesting are the ones that are inserting politics in the classroom–not President Obama.

    Albany, Georgia

    September 5, 2009 at 7:25 am |
  47. Larry

    Can the president explain to the children why congress always makes the American dollar worth less the forcing people to pay more dollars for the same services? The children know that when people are forced to pay $6 today for something they could buy for $5 yesterday, it makes the dollar worth less. These are the very same dollars the children are working for and saving.This happens EVERY time congress raised the minimum wage. People are being forced to pay more for the same thing.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:27 am |
  48. Mark Needelman

    Sitting here in Canada, we watch incredulously as your Republican Party rants and raves insanely and incessantly. They invent untruths on a daily basis, throw out false, reckless statements about health care reform, which incidentally works, albeit not perfectly, here in Canada, and now try to portray President Obama as some kind of ogre, attempting to covertly influence young children's minds by giving a speech encouraging them to do well in school and in everyday life. It almost seems that if they scream loud enough, they might drown out the fact that it is their Republican Party, under George Bush, that put the United States into it's present predicament. The devastated economy, thousands of foreclosures, huge unemployment numbers, were created by an unscrupulous Bush government hell bent on lining the pockets of it's right wing buddies. This will take tremendous amounts of time, money and effort to reverse these negative effects, and unfortunately the Obama administration will probably not be able to accomplish this in one mandate.
    What is frightening is the large number of Americans, mostly white and Republican, that actually suck down this B.S. and believe it. The good intentions of a well-meaning individual to pep-talk a group of school kids on T.V. should not be allowed to be twisted into some sort of evil, underhanded and unethical deed.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:28 am |
  49. Jim in chicago

    Seems to me that this is just another way for the right to try and tear down the president. Thank God we have a president who is trying to excite young people about the adventure of learning. And as for the controversy over the questionnaire that would be asking students what they thought the president was trying to convey with his speech or other questions that encourage them to think about topics the president presents in his speech, how us that any different than prepared questions a teacher presents to students after reading some literary work like Romeo and Juliet, for instance? I've never heard the right calling that brainwashing as they are now. We have a president who wants to reach put to young people and encourage their curiosity and help stimulate their thought processes. And that is ALWAYS a wonderful thing!

    September 5, 2009 at 7:28 am |
  50. Charlotte

    Why is it that in 1991 George Bush could speak to the children of America and encourage them to stay in school, but in this day and age parents think the President of OUR United States of America is trying to brainwash their children rather than help them? As a parent myself, I too will strongly enforce the importance of a good education to my child when she starts school. I don't understand why reinforcement from a man we teach our children to look up to is such a bad thing, and why before the video is even released.. before these people even -watch- the video they assume he is trying to brainwash. He's obviously not that bad of a guy or he wouldn't be President. Give him a chance before you freak out so bad you have a coronary.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:29 am |
  51. Simone in Georgia

    This is another GOP and Rush Limbaugh and his friend's cheap tactic. Filling impressionable, naive and hypocritical listeners with fear words like Socialist, Nasi, Muslim and Obama hate white people which are words that run fear in America's heart. They are preying on the fears and uncertainty of the America's. I grew up listening to President's like Reagan and Bush 1 in schools without any objections or "concerns". Those speechers were politically motivated and brain-washing and parents didn't have any say whether they can be played in schools or not. President Obama provided his speech and you are still not satisfied. If it was a different President regardless of the party officiliation it would not have been a problem. Different strokes for different folks. GOP plan to say NO to everything that President Obama presents regardless of the benefit to Americans and the future is sacrificing the development and advancement of this country.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:29 am |
  52. Vic faris

    I believe that it is an honor to have the President of the United States, the leader of our country speak to our children. These children are our future and should enjoy the opportunity that they are getting. He's the leader of the free world and I'm sure has something important to say.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:29 am |
  53. Thomas Webb


    September 5, 2009 at 7:30 am |
  54. karen

    Too much exposure dilutes the message. Obama should concentrate on running the country and leave the motivation of school children to their parents, where it belongs.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:30 am |
  55. Noel

    The President happens to be making the speech at the school where I work. Let me tell you that the educators in that building are constantly trying to encourage our kids to study, take AP courses (for all kids), look towards college, get good grades, etc. Our teachers work hard to TEACH/EDUCATE – close the achievement gap! We have been working hard to empower our kids. Now we have the honor of having our newly elected President come to our school and speak to our kids? The idea that President Obama is going to "brain wash" our youth is depressing and just plain sad! You naysayers should see the EXCITEMENT in our kids voices as we have been preparing all week for the big speech!! Our building is old and has major issues all of the time. The other schools have been renovated and/or are new buildings. We are scheduled for a new building in 10 years because of the recession. Our kids are walking a bit taller and smiles beaming on their faces. Do you get it? There's a feeling of PRIDE!! Like wow, the President choose us even though we don't have a bright and new shinny building? Maybe the President will help us make a difference in the kids that we will be educating this Fall and thereafter!
    I think it's an historic moment and I don't get how this has become such a major issue when other Presidents have addressed our youth in the past! JFK – I still remember those inspiring words! Let me just tell you we have a lot of support from our parents at my school and are happy to know that he choose our school to make his speech! This is a once in a lifetime thing! I hope he makes our kids think about being better citizens, more responsible, taking ownership of your education, resolving conflict without fighting, you know things our parents taught us!

    September 5, 2009 at 7:31 am |
  56. jim

    This president and his administration are trying to enact so much on such a slim, slim majority. Saddest of all is their always-dismissive, frequently-hostile response to those who disagree with them.

    The more they try to enact – and the more they try to "help" everyone, the more Americans revolt.

    Giving this speech is just another place where Obama overreaches because he can't...just...shut...up!

    September 5, 2009 at 7:32 am |
  57. Jessy

    Whatever your opinion of Obama's speech, there is no question that it is unprecedented. The comparison to addresses by Reagan and Bush to children is not accurate. Both of those addresses were given to a specific group of children whose parents chose for them to be there and the addresses were televised, meaning any child could see them in their home IF their parents allowed them to. That is, it was an individual's decision whether to listen to them or not. This address by Obama is an attempt to have all children listen to it by force, because they are required to be in school.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  58. Ann-Marie

    "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." John F. Kennedy

    This phrase came to mind as I watched the right wing once again skew a perfectly inspiring moment into an ongoing circus. The Republicans are turning our political scene into a soap opera. We are a country. As much as I hated the previous administration I accepted him as our president and sought to see the best in his leadership.

    The ability to be inspired is a higher level function and critical thinking is required to face complex issues. The Republicans are proving once again that they prefer a stupid populace or perhaps that they simply are stupid. Teach the kids to stay home when something they may not agree with is happening. Wow what a message. If they were serious why not set up debates or discussions? But no they prefer to teach kids to just pout.

    Mr. Obama is leading us through a very difficult time. We should all be trying to see how we can contribute, not how to drag our feet.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  59. Marsha Lee

    The president was elected president of the United States and not just one party. Since when do we not at least respect the office and teach our children to listen respectfully and think for themselves – isn't that what education is about. We should be proud that President Obama wants to take time out of his busy schedule to encourage our young people. Those on the far right should be careful that they not "cry wolf" too much. It may come back to bite them.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  60. MIKE

    I would hope the President would spend Tuesday working on his health care reform proposal. Let Van Jones address the children.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  61. Theresa

    ....And the wheels are in motion. Excessive layoffs, fears of the unknown, and preying on the racist fears of many Americans. This is a sad time in American history and I'm embarrassed to be a white American. You all forgot the walks of this man and his upbringing. Starting out his political careers as a community activist and grinding without sacrificing his morals and self respect. His grandparents raised him to stay in school and overcome all adversities to better himself and his country. That's all he's trying to convey to our children....and you all with the help of sharks like Glen, Rush, Hannity and pathetic Cain are the ones that poisoning our children's mind. What you are doing is disrespective to the Presidency, but you all don't care because this time its a black man and he doesn't deserve the same respect? You all should be ashamed of how you are acting?

    September 5, 2009 at 7:46 am |
  62. Bryan

    Honestly, has anyone really read this? Nothing even needs to be said about it. It complete insanity. You elected him. You have to let him do his job. How would you like it if you got a new job as a manager and you had half of all your co-workers telling you how horrible of a person you were. Can you imagine how horrible that would be. Probably, yes. Now try to imagine that 10,000 fold. Put yourself in a position where you have half of a country -you- are -leading- telling you how horrible you are. Wouldn't it kinda ware you down.. Make you want to quit your job? Or if nothing else make you want to fire them, because, let's be honest, nobody wants to sit there and listen to how horrible they are. He does it on a daily basis with a smile on his face and the pride of this country in his heart. He never doubts us, why are we doubting him when we are the ones that put him in office, made him our leader? The President made an oath to this country and our people to make America the best it can be. I do not believe he has any intention other than to do exactly that. Better America and help encourage people to be all that they can be. I hope the children listen to that speech and take it all it. Maybe the next generation can give us Americans a better name, because right now I am just plain ashamed with some of these so called "adults" in America throwing temper tantrums because they're afraid someone else will get through to their kids because they don't know how.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:47 am |
  63. Stephen Lee

    The President of the United States doesn't need to "shut up," Jim. Republicans who just hate on him need to just shut up. Ultimately, this objection to Obama's speech illustrates the lack of vision on the conservative side. They've lost sight of the vast academic achievement gap and the drop-out rate that is a greater threat to this nation than H1N1. So if you have something against the President talking to students who are statistically more likely to drop out than graduate, then by all means keep on hating.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:50 am |
  64. Laurie Hanna

    I believe that states, such as my great state of Texas, who have prematurally opted out are doing exactly what they are {wrongly} accusing Obama of doing by not even giving us a of choice what we can/cannot see/hear. -Although i believe thre is nothing wrong with the broadcast, so many are saying "don't force us" that I would hope that some would find a solution. An example would be to record it and show it in an AFTER school event if you must. Then we can decide on an individual basis and it won't interrupt the school schedule. That solves all the complaints and allows us the rights I THOUGHT we had in the constitution.

    This would also allow parents to attend with their child(ren) and have a discussion about the subject matter afterward.... If you do not teach your child how to deal with opposing views with the proper tools, you are NOT helping them. To me, this is like saying "they don't think like us...let's run away and ignore them....." and it just doesn't seem like good life tools to me.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:53 am |
  65. Mildred Monette Henry

    This is "much ado about nothing". For the President of the United States to be concerned about, and involved in, the education of our future leaders is admirable. From day one, he has sought input from the citizens of this country. Why not see what the youth are thinking? However, to satisfy paranoid individuals, inflamed by the media, I understand the focus was slightly changed to goals and objectives. Now what is the fuss all about? We actually see all levels of government interested in all of the citizens. Unbelievebly, there was even controversy over lesson plans. If everyone used lesson plans, we would do a much better job of educating.

    I am a 76 year old educator, worked from nursery school to graduate school, and we need to stop bickering, acting like brats and crabs in a barrel, and get about the business of educating and employing our youth, and salvaging our country. President Obama cannot wave a magic wand and correct all of the deterioation we have permitted for years and years. Let's get real!

    Incidentally, I, and everyone that I know, have never been contacted for any of the rating polls, and when I have tried to vote on-line to vote, I could never get through.

    We should also keep in mind that many of the persons being helped
    by, and support the administration, do not have the technology to respond to these kinds of polls. Are trhe resulrs biased? Is the deck stacked? I think so.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:55 am |
  66. Steven

    In response to Jim, wake up and try a little reality check!!!
    1 – President Obama was elected by a significant majority, both by popular vote and electoral vote.
    2 – being dismissive, hostile, and all of the other emotionally unbalanced behavior toward differing views is a clear description of what we have all seen from conservatives since the election of President Obama.
    3 – Try doing something different, you know, like thinking clearly about how to solve some of the problems facing our nation?
    4 – respect for the office of the President, and the man holding that office, regardless of party affiliation, is a corner stone of our society. The level of vitriol, hate and bigotry towards this president is unprecedented in our history and any analysis of it leads to only a couple of conclusions. The conservatives have gone stark raving bonkers and their their core "value" of bigotry is screaming back the surface.

    September 5, 2009 at 8:03 am |
  67. Anita B Adams

    I believe that those who are in opposition are just afraid that their child(ren) may appreciate something President Obama has to say. There may be a few children who could become motivated by what the President says. There is, I believe, paranoia over the President being successful in reaching young people with encouraging words such as to reach high and to be accountable. This is just another form of prejudice. The children will hear what is said whether it is firsthand or after. This will be the talk of news programs and talk hosts. It is unavoidable - you can't keep "ears" covered. It is better to hear and discuss rather than trying to defend!

    September 5, 2009 at 8:06 am |
  68. Betsy Schindler

    I do not blame my conservative, Christian-right friends for not wanting their children to hear the President speak… If they allow their children’s eyes to be opened out there, they just might find out how un-Christian many of those right-wing values really are… Yes they are right in protecting their children from the truth so that the children can become brainwashed themselves and kept oblivious- just like the parents have been brainwashed by right-wing talk hosts and other conservative war-mongers of all that is rational.

    September 5, 2009 at 8:09 am |
  69. Kent Morlan, Esq

    All America has to do to be number one in the world is to produce the best 18-year-olds but we are not doing so. I grew up in a poor rural community and became an attorney because I got a good basic education which made it possible for me to go to college and law school. The President is the President because he obtained a good education for himself.

    Forty percent of Oklahoma children, where I live, do not finish high school. As a result they are crippled economically.

    We need to do everything that we can to keep kids in school and give them good educations.

    September 5, 2009 at 8:13 am |
  70. MAMichalik

    All I can say – what a sad day for our country – when the President of our Country cannot give a speach to our chidren to encourage them. He might be the only one giving them encourgement for the start of a new school yeaar. These people are trying to do everything in their power to weaken our support of our President – they will be the only ones who will lose out.

    September 5, 2009 at 8:15 am |
  71. NatCat

    To keep your children home from school because of a positive speech from President Obama is ridiculous at best. This is why we are so far behind academically. Parents should not keep their children home but do the opposite. The students should go to school, listen to the speech and then come to their own conclusion as to what the message is. As an educator, I am saddened by the ignorance of the parents' potential actions of keeping their children home to "prove" a point.

    September 5, 2009 at 8:17 am |
  72. Shelly Fradkin

    My children will be opting out. This speech should have been shown on TV (or online) during primetime like most of his other addresses, not during the school hours. It should be shown at home where their parents can have control over what their children hear and see. I do not trust our President to stick to the script. I do not. My husband and I will watch it first and *if* it is deemed appropriate, we will watch it with our children.

    Imposing an unannounced, unplanned speech with a curriculum that has not been approved by the school board is a disruption of their early school year, it has added political drama that has no place in our elementary schools, and has added an unnecessary burden on our teachers.

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry said it best: “While President Obama talking directly to school children could be a memorable moment in their young lives, I am troubled that local school boards and superintendents were not involved in the process ... I hope schools will provide a suitable alternative for students not participating in this event. I also hope that this is not an indication of the federal government further encroaching on states’ authority over education.”

    Before his “next” speech, I ask that our school district please review how many children opted out off this event and the feedback that is given by the parents of the children in the district before making the decision to allow him in our classrooms again.

    September 5, 2009 at 8:20 am |
  73. Janice Kelly

    When a President of the United States wants to encourage young people to stay in school and some of the american people are so scared it might further send their political party into a larger downward spiral then they need help. Which is more important encouraging people to get a good education for bettering their lives or that it might adversly impact their conservative party. When did the american old people get so stupic????????????????

    September 5, 2009 at 8:21 am |
  74. Jim D

    How can any parent trust a president who suuounds himself with communist, socialist and radicals.

    Why does Van Jones still have a job and why does Acorn still get taxpayer funding. I am sorry this president lost the trust of the American people.

    September 5, 2009 at 8:23 am |
  75. Linda

    By depriving their kids of this experience, those parents are giving their kids a lesson that they should hate and not listen to someone their parents hate. That is far more dangerous than listening to President Obama. President Obama is not an evil person and his intentions are obviously good in wanting to carry on the presidential tradition of encouraging kids to do well in school.

    September 5, 2009 at 8:30 am |
  76. Janice Kelly

    I am neither democrat nor republican, but it just seems that no matter what party is in control the other party tries its best to further undermine this country. Have we really dome to this "If you don't believe like me your wrong!!!!? to the point of diminishing a Stay in school speech. I thought this was America and we are a melting pot of individuals. Even if the President does give his speech the children of the parents that have been having a political fit will not hear any of the "stay in school" parts. Are we so scared the other side might have valid points that we have to create choas to override any good that might come from the other side. This is so rediculous. and yes I misspelled STUPID at the end of my other blog. Sorry I was typing to fast and didn't pay attention..

    September 5, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  77. cicely123

    Jim @7:32am – your kidding right? George Bush took your country to war with a country that had no involvement with 911 and did so after winning the election thanks to a decision by the Supreme Court. He didn't even have a slim majority. You are freaking out about a 'stay in school' 'work hard' speech? And if you are not really freaking out about the speech and more about health care than your priorities are still whacko. Bush sent young American's to die in an war that was a war of CHOICE. You should be calling for his head and that of Cheney. Let's not even mention that Bush and Cheney and their crew almost caused a economic depression. Let's not even talk about all the war profiteering they encouraged with their defense contractor polices. Focus man. Stop listening to GOP talking points and start thinking. I am not American so I am not a democrat or a republican, but I have a brain, I can read, and it isn't hard to see that the Bush/Cheney admin will be judged by history and hopelessly flawed and ideologically driven in the extreme.

    September 5, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  78. Michael

    This is about as petty as it gets in politics. I think these activist conservatives need to go look in the mirror – they have something they need to wipe off their face – it's called prejudice, ignorance and hate.

    September 5, 2009 at 8:35 am |
  79. rfbarnes

    Please be more clear about those lesson plans. You make it sound like the only suggested classroom activity was to write a letter about how you can help the president. There are numerous suggested activies, and each of them say "You could..." They are suggestions. It was one inartfully written question, in one section of the lesson plans. So this uproar is about one line out of several pages of suggested activities. Nothing mandated and nothing required. I'm a teacher and the lesson plans were appropriate and there were a lot of great ideas there. This isn't unprecedented. I remember lesson plans supplied by the government for the Challenger launch and the ensuing disaster. And like most teachers I knew, I looked them over and proceeded to develop my own lessons based on the needs and level of my students.

    September 5, 2009 at 8:36 am |
  80. Helen G. Green

    I am a Texan and when I learned of Gov. Perry's political comments and other negative comments regarding the president's speech to the school children, I was disappointed and ashamed of what we have become in this country with politically ill-prepared adults leading such a disgusting protest against the leader of the our country.. MY GRANDCHILDREN WILL BE ATTENDING SCHOOL ON TUESDAY TO HEAR THE PRESIDENT'S WORDS. TO DO DIFFERENTLY WILL NEGATIVELY AFFECT OUR CHILDREN AND TEACH THEM TO DISRESPECT THE ELECTED LEADERS OF OUR COUNTRY. IT TELLS MORE ABOUT THE PARENTS AND OUR GOVERNOR THAN THE SPEECH COULD EVER DELIVER.

    September 5, 2009 at 8:40 am |
  81. Rediculous.

    A complaint the right has about the speech is any political message it might contain ... so who is really politicizing this? Those who are raising all the commotion, that idiot from Florida (Rep party head), the narrow minded conservatives. The striking thing to me about conservatives is how they rammed whatever THEY wanted down our throats just a short while ago and could care less what the bulk of America thought, and it was their president and congress that brought us this recession ... now that demand bipartisianship and suggest change? It is bizarre, but not surprising. Contemporary conservatism is antiquated, narrow minded, militant, driven by self-interest, and not really republican. They are not concerned with WHAT the speech might be from Obama, but WHO is giving it and that is really all this is about.

    September 5, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  82. Mike Armstrong TX.

    I think it's been a long time since we had a one term president and the signs arnt very good for a second term.

    September 5, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  83. Jack Perna

    Why was it okay for GW Bush to ask all American school children to each send one dollar to the White House for Afghani children and for them to listen to one of the best speakers in the world, who happens to be our president, is a problem? This is all so political it is ridiculous!

    September 5, 2009 at 8:57 am |
  84. Eric

    I've been watching this story since it came on CNN. I'm not sure why we have all these parents in the US saying that their kids can not watch the President give a speech. I've heard these ridiculous comments comparing President Obama to "North Korea's Communist Regime" or even photos of him in a Hitler photo. Most of these parents are dictating how their kids will believe, and they won't let them make their own decision about politics. This video from the president won't even be about politics, and if it was, what's the big deal? Are parents afraid their kids will be "brain washed" by a video? I'm a Soldier, and I have been serving my country for four years, and I plan on serving my country my whole life. I'm willing to bet most of these parents haven't done anything for their country, and there is more ways than just being a Soldier. I have a new Commander and Chief, and I support that no matter who it is, regardless of my own political opinion. Maybe people should realize that sitting at home and complaining will not make "change"

    September 5, 2009 at 9:00 am |
  85. Nicole Pennino-Costa

    My district in Port Jefferson, New York sent out a memo on Wednesday announcing an assembly so that all students may hear the President's message. That assembly was then cancelled on Thursday without an explanation. I plan to use my new smart board to stream the president's message live to my class at 1pm. I find it an outrage that we are no longer allowing ALL students to hear what our Commander and Chief has to say at this historic moment. Obama is a true example of the American dream, how anyone can be anything through hardwork and perseverence! If we cannot give due respect to our president while he is speaking, how will our students learn to respect their parents, teachers, administrators or anyone else for that matter?

    September 5, 2009 at 9:05 am |
  86. joanne steward

    I'm getting upset hearing all of these complaints about our President making a speeh to our children. Did we have all of this controversy when previous Presidents spoke to children???? PLEASE ASK!
    I am convenced that it is not the message – it is the messenger!!!

    September 5, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  87. Jasmine M

    I am 14yrs old and ill be a freshman on tuesday. Where the president will be talking at my school. To me i am excited and honored his coming. I mean this is a lifetime opportunity. I think with all these people saying his brian washing us is NONSENSE! Period. Why would people bring politcs into this. Theres nothing wrong with him talking to us about eduaction, or not dropping out of school. George .W bush and his father did they same thing by talking to us young kids about education, and nobody criticize them. I bet you if John Maccain would have done the same thing. Nobody would say anything about it or take there kids out of school. BUT WHY IS IT SUCH A HUGE PROBLEM WITH OBAMA , WHICH IS WHAT I DON'T UNDERSTAND!!!!!!!

    September 5, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  88. Tom Joad

    School Superintendents who are choosing NOT to air the President's speech to encourage kids are simply cowards, especially since many presidents have done this in the past. Remember where Bush was on 9/11? If some parents want to keep their little anarchist home, let them. But, don't punish the vast majority of the kids who want to be a part of history. Who better to learn about the power of education from than a multicultural product of a single parent home who rose to the highest office in the country? It's a double standard PURE AND SIMPLE! If my children's school even considered not playing the President's Speech my children would be changing schools.

    Every parent whose child attends a school who has decided to not air the President's Speech should keep their child out of school that day in protest OUT OF RESPECT for the PRESIDENT THE NATION ELECTED. People don't seem to understand you mean business until you hit them in the pocket.

    Enough of the foolishness!

    September 5, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  89. polondia

    TJ. Can this be racism rearing its ugly head again? If following the logic according to history, their were rows over a President giving speeches to school kids. George Bush II was the last one. We gor "No kid left behind" legistlation from it.

    However, given America's racial history, it's becoming established that anything Obama will do, will meet with controversy, with racial attachments. Somehow one can not ignore that fact in America.

    Louis Farrakhan, was right when he said, 'what would we do if the power was (in America) the head of a black man.' It will become more obvious as time passes, I think.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:12 am |
  90. Janet - Owasso, OK

    How could it possibly be anything but positive for the President of the United States to encourage school children in this country to stay in school, work hard, and study hard so that they can be successful in school and life? Shame on any parent or teacher who would discourage their child from listening to that. President Obama is not going to use a speech to American school children to push a political agenda, however I'm sure a log of right-wing nuts posing as teachers will use it to push their political views onto their own captive audience - their students!

    September 5, 2009 at 9:12 am |
  91. Tina

    Every parent wants their child or grandchild to succeed in life; to stay in school, to get training or a degree and become self supporting in their field of choice. Thank God, we now have a President puts the spotlight on our most valuable resource - our children, Now we have a "lunatic fringe" coming out of the woodwork. They need to crawl back in their holes. I am so proud of our President!!! Mr. President...please continue your efforts to help all of America's children succeed in life. Where were these lunatics when our previoius President was sitting in the classroom "reading" to children when he learned that New Orleans was flooding underwater - and simply continued reading and didn't react, The world saw it on TV. Where were these lunatics when a previous Vice President sat in a classroom and couldn't spell "potato". The whole world saw it on TV. Let our President do his job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 5, 2009 at 9:12 am |
  92. Uche

    I am a teacher and I feel very angry and frustrated with the entire media hullabaloo going on with the anticipated speech to schools by the President. At first, I thought I was missing something. I really feel sad that the right wing politicians will not stop at anything, in their quest to destroy the current President. Talk of giving a dog a bad name to lynch it. With the Health insurance, their buzz words were death panels. Now, they have coined a new one, lesson plan for his anticipated speech. Can’t we have a meaningful discussion in this country without the right wing fanning their ambers of toxic misinformation and dirty politics? Sorry for crying out loud. They really make me sick. The danger here is that if they are left unchallenged they can do some awful damage, through their mind-bending media technique. Do I say God have mercy on them? No. Those who sow wind, reap whirlwind and those that sow whirlwind, reap thunderstorm and that is exactly what my wish for them is.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  93. Lois R Marks

    How can you be afraid of communication? Many students need to write because it allows them to think outside of the box. It saddens me that we spend so much time on this crap and people are unemployed, homeless, etc. It seems that this president wanted change, but it is obvious that many just want the status quo.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  94. Drew

    The republicans are re-branding themselves the “Paranoid Party”. They continue to ignite fear across America. Now they are afraid to allow the president to speak to the youth of America. I say, let him speak…..let him engage the young people. Allow the young people to ask questions……at least I know they have not been influenced by lobbyist.


    September 5, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  95. Vic

    I live in Canada but closely follow what's happening in the USA.
    I was thrilled when Obama won the election. It felt like times were really changing.
    I felt proud for all African Americans.

    It's truly saddened me over the months with all the hate that has been spread about this man.
    It was there while he was running for office & has only gotten worse since the election.
    I've been shocked at people I thought I really see the racist garbage they spread.
    I can't believe their minds are that closed & full of fear.
    It sickens me to watch it.

    They want to say it has nothing to do with race....when their actions shout otherwise.
    We watch..we see.

    I hate to say this..but the USA has never been well liked around the world.
    This hate towards a black president will only make it worse.

    I just shake my head at all of the hate. It's sad.

    I'm glad so many of you do support your President.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  96. CAROL

    The American Taliban forgets that Reagon used the very same schoolTV network to address ALL school children to discourage kids from trying drugs. These people are nuts and you are giving them too much attention. I have not seen one broadcast of parents who are in favor of the President's speech. Are you not journalists who are supposed to give a BALANCED report of any event?

    What is happening is that the American Taliban starts a little fire and then the media swoops in and fans the flames into a wildfire. STOP IT!

    September 5, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  97. Simon

    I think that President Obama should have the respect that the office deserves, even if some of our citizens disagree with him. I have never seen people behave so disrespectfully and rudely toward a president - and I believe the right-wing hate-spewing media "stars" are to blame. Conservative parents who refuse to let their children listen to our president are in effect teaching them the politics of intolerance and hate. To those parents: You are "drinking the right-wing Kool-Aid" without even thinking about what that potion will do to you, your children, and perhaps more importantly, your country.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  98. Toye Smith, Bridgeport CT

    This is just ridiculous. Are we seriously talking about the SEPARATION OF SCHOOL AND STATE here? Hello? First it’s the church. Lately the Capitol Hill and the Town Halls have been nothing but disaster. The media commentaries are so slanted; they make me want to puke. WAKE UP PEOPLE!! How else are we going to have a sensible discussion of our differences like race, class, sexual orientation, and politics if every venue is out of bounds? Our Schools remain the only hope for an enlightened debate of our values as a people. Don’t let the detractors take that away.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  99. Camille

    Why in the world would parents think the President would use school children to advance his political agenda? These are the parents who apparently use their children to advance their own adult needs and agendas and are projecting their behaviors onto President Obama. I feel sorry for these children who are being raised by people that are silly and overreacting.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  100. Rico

    I think that is a wonderful strategy for the enrichment of our youth. It worked well for the Nazi's.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  101. Ralph Patch

    As if President Bush didn't try to push his pollitical agenda when he spoke to the schools. These are right wing nuts who would complain about anything Obama does. Let them stay home and help their parents burn a few more books!

    September 5, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  102. Kristi Williams


    I spent most of Friday on the phone with my daughter's school to ensure that she has an opportunity to watch Obama speech Tuesday. My daughter is in the 10th grade, I contacted her AP World History teacher to see if she was going to play the speech and she said no because in her opinion it is not serious enough to interrupt her lesson plans. I truly wished that the media would open a platform for parents who want their children to watch the speech on Tuesday, I still made no progress for my daugther to watch the speech so I may pull her out of school in order for her to see it. You know I remember when my class watched the shuttle take off then blowing up, but in Oklahoma the kids are not allowed to here president Obama encourage our youth to stay in school. As mother, where is my say in this? I understand I live in Oklahoma and is a very red state but this is just racist in my opinion.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  103. Sharon

    Any help the president could give in motivating our children would be appreciated. Leaving it up to the parents would be great except I have met a lot of them and motivating there kids is not always priority one. Sure there are some amazing parents out there but a lot of kids barely get dressed and fed let alone sent to school with supplies or attitudes to succeed. Having the elected leader of our country speak to them about his own personal struggles to get his education and what will help them in getting the most from their education can only be a good thing. Requiring parent permission for students to see this speech, as in our district, is ridiculous.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  104. Barbara C

    No, the motivation of students does not lie soley with parents- the bills are paid by all of us and the government- so they should be looking to get the biggest bang for the buck!

    This man who wants to talk to your children about their work at school, and their responsibility to community service, is the president! What happens to a republic that has no more respect for the offices of the republic? As a history teacher, I can tell you it isn't a sign of a healthy state. Now that's the kind of health reform we DON"T want.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  105. sharyn

    Are the people who are so upset about the president's address just as concerned about the curriculum in the schools? Are they well versed in what is being taught on a daily basis in civics and social studies and a variety of other classes? – particularly the personal bent that some teachers have in teaching these subjects. This influence can be infinitely more damaging than an address from the president who is promoting staying in school, personal responsibility, etc.

    I am not even an Obama supporter but I admire him trying to reach out to the younger generation and acknowledging them. He's a parent with young school age children and has an ear to what is going on in this younger generation.

    However, I am passionate about parents getting involved in what is being taught in the schools – working with it and not always necessarily against it. Most of us have no idea what all our children are exposed to in their schools/studies.....SNH

    September 5, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  106. david rosati

    The problem is not the presidents speech to students, it was the adulation that occured in the lesson plan that was to accompany this video. As you well know, the WH changed the contents of this lesson plan. The bigger picture here is the press. And it is not just this administration but all administrations. They created the polarization and the hyper activity of partisanship. Because the media is a pro-democratic media, this sensitivity will continue to persist with not only this administrations, but all future administrations. This particular President is an elected official and is responsible for the scrutiny that occurs for holding this office.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  107. Sunbeam

    Protecting our children from politics or partisanship? How does that help our youth prepare for adulthood? Politics and partisanship are all around us, and it becomes the task for the teacher to put this into perspective. Sure it's OK to tape the presidential speech, but only to allow our educators to prepare and make this a teachable point, no matter what the president says.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  108. Jose Vinagre

    President Obama is one of the most inteligent leaders we have had and when you have parents who can't recognize their illiteracy in a country that offers free education, how can they question an educated person? Then they are questioning the school system that supposedly is responsible to educate their children.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  109. Doug

    The schools insult our intelligence by wanting notes to have our kids "opt out" of hearing our Commie President. I'd rather see a note required to "opt in" to hear Dear Leader and write letters saying how they are inspired by and will help Dear Leader. I have no problem if parents send notes allowing the disruption of their kids education by listening to PeeBo, Castro, Bil Ayers or Rev Wright. It is great to see some entire school districts "opting out" – this is restoring some of my faith in our educators.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  110. Charles Kopack

    I don't think that the republicans seem to want to pass up ANY opportunity to hurt the President. Just like George W., if they can't find a real issue, they will make one up.

    More republican paranoia, and another bit of proof that the 'conservatives' are out of touch with reality.

    Any chance to help motivate young people should be taken. What can be wrong with trying to get them to stay in school, study hard, and behave.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  111. Janice

    It is sad to think that anyone can "walk up in' our schools and talk to our kids without permission. But parents must give permission to listen to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. What’s next – will they try to delete him from the history books?......

    September 5, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  112. Julie

    I'm a teacher working at a very large district around Austin, TX. Our school administration received emails about parents not wanting their children to watch the President's address to school age children that they sent out a blanket email blaming our inability to show the speech on our computer band width. This is a tragedy for our children. We were able to cover the election and even have a school wide election and show the inaugural address. The worst part is now that there is fuss both ways, we have been told that by law the school can and has requested us to send administration all emails received and sent regarding this issue to the administration office. Some in the district are in fear of reaction from the administration taking it out on teachers for not agreeing with the decision and more over lying about the real reason. It is sad that we are not doing what is best for our children because of fear of community reactions.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  113. Kathy Arnold

    I am a teacher in a school of at risk students. I am amazed and disheartened at the controversy over this address. I feel that it shows a disrespect of the office. (What does that show our children.) If this address is truly unpolitical in nature, what can be wrong with such a role model telling our children to work hard and you can make a difference. You can be anything that you want to be if you put in the effort and believe in yourself. I feel that the president is just doing what he said he wanted to do, and that is to be a more accessible president. Yes he wants health care signed, but maybe this is just one little step to bring the office of the presidency closer to children and not an opportunity to push his views. (Remember this is the first school year of his presidency. Could it be that he would have done this regardless of what was going on politically?) I was never a fan of President Bush, but I would have welcomed such an address by him as a parent and as a teacher. I would never have showed any disrespect. Maybe parents should stop and think before they come out in such a negative way. Children need to have a respect and appreciation for the office and for our political system and offices. It may not be perfect, and the people may not be perfect, but it is still the best system in the world. Children don't need to know everything that is negative. They need positive things to hang onto at a time like this. As a teacher of the most vulnerable children in our country and a mother of three, I say this address is a great idea!

    September 5, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  114. Larry

    Can the president explain to the children why some states are so well managed that they don't impose an oppressive income tax on their


    Can the president explain to the children that good managers spend LESS than they take in.
    Can the president explain to the children why they can't have good management in congress? Can the president tell the children when

    congress will be good managers and spend LESS then they take in so they can use some money to pay off the debt?

    September 5, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  115. Leon J Wright

    Students and Teachers should always here the President of the United States talk about Education. Our students of elementary, high school, college, home school, charter school and other locations; are privileged to learn Civics from the top. Educations needs serious tweaking so lets adjust our past with updating our present so we can move forward into the future smarter than the past!

    One question for the President:

    Can he look at requirements for new teachers in background checks, finger prints and other documents when it comes to transferring to other states. Currently, teachers are not on the same system. We need a common default alignment. Is this possible in the future?

    September 5, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  116. Anita J. Marshall

    It is an honor for students to hear a speech from the President of the United States. Those parents who are protesting the speech are, in my opinion, motivated by a Conservative agenda that is widespread and that is fracturing this country. I watched the build up of this agenda during the Clinton years when they persecuted him and now I see it going after Obama. I also watched it support Bush era policies that were detrimental to our nation's economy and that we are now paying for and suffering from.

    It is time for the election to be over. Mr. Obama is our President and ALL Americans should be behind him and support him. This has been the model through most of American History, up until the Clinton years. Slowly, the evolving monster in the Republican Party has built up into this creature that doesn't allow government to work as it has in the past. That's why voters overwhelmingly said NO to the Republican Party in last year's elections. And yet, still, the Republicans push an unpopular agenda through those who are determined to support them even at the expense of our nation.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  117. Chris Karp

    Obama should not do it, he could caught short during another national tragity with a blank look on his face like BUSH did on 9/11. This is the kind of straw grasping that results from screwing-up so bad you even lose the the ability fillibuster. The GOP's got nothing but to obstruct, delay and make Mountains out of Mole hills

    September 5, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  118. Marlene Ladner

    As a former teacher, I applaud this President for wanting to speak to the children about the importance of staying in school. Those who are taking offense are sending the wrong message to their own children, an unpatriotic one !
    Other presidents have done the same & were shown the respect due the office of president.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  119. Gmainia

    It is sad that when I hear of this latest republican outcry
    and town hall rallies,
    I see:
    I see Central High in Little Rock Arkansas,
    I see The first Black student trying to enter Mississippi State Univ,
    I see Sit-ins at the Woolworths counters in Greensboro, SC,
    I see Marches in Selma Alabama and other southern cities,
    I see water hoses and police dogs attacking minorities,
    I see MLK’s assissination,
    I see President Lincoln’s assissination,
    I see pictures of people smiling at Lynchings,
    I see slavery,
    I see slavery by another name,
    I see HATE towards our President
    and even worse:
    I can FEEL it!
    And sadly….
    It makes me want to HATE back!
    I’ll pray,
    But I will NOT BACK DOWN,
    NEVER will I back down to COWARDS!

    September 5, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  120. Tom Joad

    School Superintendents who are choosing NOT to air the President’s speech to encourage kids are simply cowards, especially since many presidents have done this in the past. Remember where Bush was on the morning of 9/11/01? If some parents want to keep their little anarchist home, let them. But, don’t punish the vast majority of the kids who want to be a part of history. Who better to learn about the power of education from than a multicultural product of a single parent home who graduated from Harvard and rose to the highest office in the country? It’s a double standard PURE AND SIMPLE! If my children’s school even considered not playing the President’s Speech my children would be changing schools.

    Every parent whose child attends a school who has decided not to air the President’s Speech should keep their child out of school that day in protest – OUT OF RESPECT for the PRESIDENT THE NATION ELECTED. People don’t seem to understand you mean business until you hit them in the pocket. And, doing so in this economic climate would send a message.

    Enough of the foolishness!

    September 5, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  121. Charlotte

    Why does the president need to provide a lesson plan and educational materials to go along with his speech?

    September 5, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  122. Ewura-Adjoa

    I agree with President Obama, this generation needs a positive role model like President Barack Obama to highlight the importance of education.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  123. Nathan Lepper

    The President, any President, speaking to our kids to encourage them to work hard, learn about the US, its history, and its Constitution, to strive to do their best, and to be good citizens is quite admirable. However, if there is an underlying political agenda in the material presidented, then certainly parents can be justifiably concerned. The government does not have ultimate authority over what kids should and should not learn...that's the duty of parents. I am willing to give the President the benefit of the doubt...but it seems the details behind what he plans to address have left significant questions in the minds of many.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  124. Kevin Hall Show

    This is another example of those who hate our president overreacting as if everything he does is evil and dastardly. We get it, you didn't vote for him and you don't like him. Now get over it. For the love of God, this is a speech to tell kids to do well in school. At some point we need to stop paying attention to the crazies who allow themselves to get worked up over absolutely nothing.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  125. Erin

    I'm a high school teacher- please give me a lesson plan to follow a speech! The government hasn't give me much else for my classroom but policies and restrictions. My students are very aware of their political world and are also capable of having a valuable discussion in which all views are presented.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  126. Jeanne J. Rose

    Just another futile strategy to bring down the Obama administration. Conservatives and Republicans are so agitated they don't have the power to kick working people around they are rabid. Puzzling is the number of gullibles out there who swallow everything whole.


    September 5, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  127. Brian

    This just shows how sick the extremists have become. Stepping out of bounds like this was unthinkable before this President. The far right's willingness to lie so blaringly in the media to further their agenda has reached the level of propaganda displayed by the likes of Ahmadinejad.

    These people scare me.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  128. heisenberg

    It seems that CNN picks up our comments to validate its political position.
    There is a trend in the way that commentators and self appointed
    speakers for the administration head pick and choose the posts here to validate what they want and think about the issues,
    This is very serious

    September 5, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  129. Tammy Ewing

    I absolutely cannot believe the controversy over the President speaking to our children. Any opportunity for our children to be valued and inspired should be utilized. Don't we have enough other issues to be concerned with. This is ridiculous!

    September 5, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  130. Yudda

    On your newscast this morning a video from a "teabag party" the camera panned past a sign with something about sending Obama back to Kenya. Obama could be delivering a speech on honoring the flag and praising motherhood and apple pie and they would still protest. It's not the message, but the messenger! Let's face it: the extreme right would sacrifice their own kids to defeat this president.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  131. Lorenzo

    The United States HAS to be the laughing stock of the world! Here's the political agenda – get a good education and stay in school. Whether you are on the left or right how could this message be misconstrued? President Obama realizes how US school rank in comparison to other countries and if parents realized how far behind our kids are, not only would they want President Obama to speak to our kids, but invite other world leaders to share what they are saying to their students. It's about time America acknowledge the "elephant in the room" which has nothing to do with socialistic views! I don't remember parents complaining when teachers teach the Gettysburg Address.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  132. Tim Woolsey

    I think the question that is larger than whether the President should address school children is why CNN and the rest of the media rush to publicize the views of the extreme elements in this country on both sides.
    The media seems – at times – to be able to foster serious debate, but a good deal of broadcast time is spent giving a huge amount of publicity to the "death panels" crowd – the angry mob that compares Obama to Hitler. It seems to me as if this gives a huge amount of power to a very few people. Can you please explain this to me? Is it about money and ratings?

    September 5, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  133. kfrederick

    In all my years, I have never seen such animosity to a simple gesture of a President of the United States making a public statement to school children! The last time I heard folks try to link social issues with socialism was when Dixiecrats and those opposed to the civil rights movement said MLK Jr.financially backed by communist. All we have to do in inject powder kegged labels to start a frenzy? This is the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES for God's sakes. He was elected handily by the majority of the nations voters! Whose brainwashing who? We all are being indoctrinated with the ideals of this great doemocracy: free speech, support of country, get a good education, stay physically fit, conserve enegy and resources, Nobody screamed brailnwash when JFK aske what Americans to "do for your country." What gives?

    September 5, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  134. Marlette Lousin

    This is a democracy in which President Obama was soundly elected. The greater majority elected him to be our leader. Perhaps these few people who think our President is trying to indoctrinate their children should live in a dictatorially led country.
    If anyone would stop to think about what is being done they would realize the real effort to indoctrinate youth is being done by all the extreme right groups who are yelling about everything that is trying to be done to improve our country.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  135. Vida Boateng

    Sometimes children value education from a role model . President Obama is definetly a role model , he cares about the youth of the United States. Most of the killings & illegal activites are done because those people have dropped out from school & have no other way of making money or passing time with a job. I acknowlede President Obam's effort in trying to make a better future for America. Ultimately the younger generation will lead this country & we need to train them in the right way.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  136. Nathan

    President Obama is the president of all people, regardless of age. G.W. Bush wanted to read a story about a goat to children for a photo opportunity on one of the most horrific days in recent history. President Obama wants to speak to and encourage our children. This isn't "No Child Left Behind," this is a true case of caring for and thinking about our children. These are the children whose government has failed them. They will pay the price for our governments bickering, game playing, and lies. As the adults of this country, let's allow our children this opportunity to be inspired by our president, not a goat.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  137. Dr. Charlie Flynt

    I'm a 62 year-old born and raised native white southerner who's bee teaching young people for almost three decades. I am convinced that what we have here is simply white people not wanting their children being talked to by a black man in authority, even if he is the President of the United States. I am embarrassed by this behavior and the whole thing makes me sick!

    September 5, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  138. RJ Koser

    How rediculous these people are! A tempist in a teapot. However, these people reflect the birther, town halls with guns, tea party atitudes. You can disagree on policy or not like a particular president, but there seems to be in these these different groups a desire to somehow imply that Barack Obama is not a legitimate president. Where did respect for the office go? And these are people who claim to be patriots. In times past these same people would be waring sheets. Underlying this is racism. They can't see a black man as Commander-in-chief. So we have one manufactured controversy after another. Right and left talk shows, right and left cable news are not news shows, but rather entertainment masqerading as news.
    How dumbed down have we become! (PS I'm white)

    September 5, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  139. Gmainia

    HOW and WHY is HATES Voice Sooo LOUD? How can such a small portion of our nations population have such a BIG voice?

    The saddest part is our President listens to them by issuing apollogies and explainations! I believe this to be sickening, saddening and EXTREMELY OFFENSIVE!

    The most Powerful Man in the World should not have to Coward Down to these Hateful Beasts (less than Human types). It pisses me off when the Administration backs off a stance or issue. This is flexible Leadership yet somewhat weak. And they are laughing and seen this obvious weakness and are exploiting it.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  140. Concerned Viewer

    I want to know why on Saturday morning, top of the hour 10 am et news, the big story of Van Jones, the advisor to the Presidents radical past with videos is not even mentioned?
    Not one mention of this very crucial news. Why is that?
    I was giving CNN the benefit of the doubt and listening to them.
    I heard they dont give all the news, that they are pro administration and wont show anything negative.
    Well......where is this news?
    FoxNews is the only place to go for it, good or bad.
    Hey...I tried, I gave them a shot.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  141. jeffery reeves

    They say a childs life begins in school. I think that is certainly true for my life. All the travisties that a child can face in a public school, such as gangs, racism, cruelty, drugs, and yet the only topic that makes people angry, is the negative thought of mr barrack obama trying to lobby for the the health care plan. I beleive that is not the case. I beleive the man cares about children's future in america, and there are people blind-sighted by there own selfish solely motivated hatred for the development of a healthcare system that will create a difference in alot of lives.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  142. Maryann

    After reading some of these comments, I ask myself the question, "Why does everything have to be a Black and White issue?"
    It seems that liberals have to make this a "color" issue because the President is Black, or more accurately, part Black. It has nothing to do with him being Black; this should all be about the political issues surrounding the debate.

    Yes, past president's have spoken to school children, but they also addressed the children about studying hard and staying in school, or listening to their parents, staying off drugs, etc. But, for a president to be desperate enough to try to persuade "children" that the projected social health care is good for the United States, this is pure ludicrous.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  143. Barb L.

    Not broadcasting a sitting US President's speach because it might have something in it that someone doesnt like smacks of banning sciecne lessons on evolution because someone doesnt believe it. What happened to free speach and thinking, and sharing ideas and thoughts and discussing various points of view? This is what schools should be all about. It sound like to us that parents are keeping their kids fromn being free thinkers and having independent discussions from THEIRS! MAkes one wonder what our country will be like in another 30 years.,.,.,.,

    September 5, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  144. AC - Nashville, TN

    This is another sad day in American history. Let the conservative bigots keep their children from hearing a speech about staying in school from the first African American President of the United (or should I say the divided states) of America. So called "concerned parents" are acting like children themselves. What a bunch of loosers to not want thier kids to hear encouraging words about staying in school by (whether or not they like it or not) THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!!!

    Maybe they would rather their children beome illiterate, closed minded, racist, morons like them. My son's teacher will recieve a note Tuesday giving him the permission to hear our President speak "life" into his young life. May God continue to keep and bless President Obama!!!!!

    September 5, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  145. Concerned Viewer

    Maybe this president needs an approval of his speech to our children because, maybe just maybe, people dont trust him.
    Look how he blamed the police officer a couple months ago, he was wrong, he didnt have all the facts.
    We need to know ahead of time exactly what he will be saying to our children.
    Time will prove if he can be trusted.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  146. Robert

    The question you must ask of the over-the-top, anit-speech folks; when was the last time you were involved directly with your child's teacher about what is being taught daily? Interestingly enough, most that I have spoken to are extremely verbal against the Presidents speech, but never have time to be in their child's classroom nor do they know what is being taught and now they are sure this one speech with forever damage their children.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  147. Denise

    I have taught in the Public School System in this country for 29 years. I see no problem with the President or anyone else giving a speech to children that would encourage them to stay in school. The problem comes when along with that speech, a lesson plan is forced on teachers to train/inform the minds of children to think a certain way. This, in my opinion, is propaganda and has no place in our schools. For example, if the President can present his agenda and ask "How can you help me?" , why can't I invite the Pope to speak to our children about Christianity and have the teacher implement lesson plans from the Vatican.The lesson /speech would end with "How can you help me reach my goals?"

    September 5, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  148. Mynia

    So are the same people that are having fits about our President talking to children about the importance of education the same ones out fighting at town hall meetings about providing healthcare for all Americans? Do they not see the relationship between high school drop-outs and low paying jobs/public assistance? If my daughters' schools opt not to show it, I will be recording it for them to see and discuss as soon as they get home from school.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  149. JD Polk

    Have we as a Society really lost our Democracy through Technology?
    What I’m saying is: Did somewhere over the 100yrs of the advancement
    of tech did the "powers that be" not the Fed Government...but the
    controllers of all Media. Change the dynamic of what we justify as
    our concerns and beliefs...This my fellow countrymen is a very, very Sad
    Commentary. As we can no longer rely on what we see and hear as being the

    September 5, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  150. Lee

    I don't understand what the problem is ? All of those pundants complain that the president is taking from our youth with his programs. so what is wrong whit them giving all of the politicvians some ideas to work with. Old saying out of the mouth of babes comes the truth. They may have some better ideas to help there future. To compare the presidents speech to something out of N Korea or Iraqis foolish. The congressman should relize in those countries they don't have a say.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  151. linda

    The Republican party is transforming itself into the "party of the stupid".
    It appears to me they are only represented by "know nothingism and juvenile smears on Obama. Can't someone in this party step up and show the American public they have just one intelligent leader. Using these destructive "bubba" voices to represent them will soon be the source of their demise.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  152. JD Polk (solarmanjd)

    This entire argument has no place in our Society...and is as stupid
    as the Idiots that claim there is no man-made Global Warming....

    September 5, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  153. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    The message is clear the globes are off. I hope we will not end up with another president using scare tactics to control everything that goes around. I hope that republicans understand the meaning of their actions. It shows how the Political Agenda uses the Media. The School Speech Controversy has being turned into another topic to draw the attention of America from the Health Care Reform. How can a simple address from the President be turned to a dramatic volatile topic? It seems to me that the so call persons in charge of these organizations got their deal and message. What is wrong about addressing the nation’s school children? It seems to me that the topic more important in hand is not politics but the economy. It seems to me that there is nothing wrong about the President Obama talking to children about the need to work hard and stay in school. There is nothing wrong about the White House suggestion of lesson plans and handouts.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  154. Barb L.

    After reading many of the comments, it seems as though the news coverage, including CNN, is feeding the controversy and presently more of the negative than really exists out there- MOST of the commenst are –what's the ProBLEM here people? Nuthin! Most normal people are not negatively fazed by a President talking to our kids! The news media thrives on controversy that is purposely magnifired out of proportion., thats whats going on here.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  155. Mary Beth

    In 1960, President John F Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." This quote inspired a generation to become active citizens and to right the social wrongs of the time. I believe the writing assignment that has created this national uproar was designed to inspire our schoolchildren to become active learners and to accept responsibility for their learning. As a teacher with over 30 years experience, I found the lesson plans well-organized and engaging! Instead of criticizing President Obama, all educators should be thanking him for his support.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  156. William OKeefe

    I dont know why my comment was not added....but will try again...A speech from the President would be great if the country by majority felt that he was someone they wanted to be an example to their children...and really that is not clear...During this very short time this President has been in the limelight.....he has surrounded himself with questionable people in his administration and those he listens to....from Jeremiah Wright to the Emmanuel brothers....many of them foul mouthed people and admitted socialists....The old saying you can tell the character of a man by the company he keeps....strongly applies here....and the recent appointment of Van Jones....a foul mouthed socialist....radical makes it isnt one or two mistakes.....this has become routine with this cheats and dishonest politicians dont seem to bother him either.....Just as I would admantly refuse my children to be in the company of Van Jones...I would also opt out of my children listening to the man that though he could be a leader in this country....Obama

    September 5, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  157. Charlie Flynt

    I am a 62 year-old born and raised southern white educator. Other American presidents have directly addressed children on television, but there is one major difference between them and President Obama: they were European-Americans and he is an African-American. I sincerely hope that this thing is not another example of lingering racism.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  158. Carol Allen

    I have always raised my children to respect those in authority. I can never remember any other time in my life that our children have not been urged to listen to their President! I am a white woman 56 years old and is it because our children are too good to listen to a BLACK man? I am the first one who hates the race card being used but this is so obvious, I believe it is racist! You know I think it is a good thing that we have any president who actually has a education and was not just elected because he was well connected enough or rich enough to buy the Presidency.

    This all makes me very angry because of the lesson of disrespect we are teaching our children!

    September 5, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  159. Shae

    I wonder what other countries think of the opposition against a "Prep-Talk" to kids. As a child, I would have loved for my President to address me. I can't believe people are against a "Prep-Talk" to motivate kids to do well and stay in school.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  160. William OKeefe

    has nothing to do with race......has to do with the Presidents mentality....his agenda.....and those he surrounds himself with....and anyone who thinks that a persons friends dont say something about them are completely out of touch...

    September 5, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  161. lyn

    TJ, I am dissapointed that some people who don't want the President to talk to their kids is just one of those people who want our President to fail, our President is only trying to encourage the kids to stay in school and study hard, what is wrong with that? Do you rather a Drug dealer talk to your kids? Please people open your eyes and use your brain and stop listening to rumors, hatred and racist from the Republicans who only want our President to fail. " President Obama God bless you."

    September 5, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  162. William OKeefe

    I have not been to a town hall however ...just because you are a liberal who is opposed to any response that a conservative gives....doesnt make a protest wrong......after all.....Obama is where he is by organized groups......ACORN ...for example....Teachers are there for a reason.....parents are parents for a reason....because they give chidren direction....and guidance....and those are people that are examples to the children.....the children know those people.....Many children dont know this president....and many parents wouldnt want their children to....and that is their perogative....last time i checked this was a free country......Incidently you libs are never gave Bush a break....even the media would say.....their was nothing he could do that was right for you.....and you wouldnt want him talking to your children.....and you wouldnt have wanted Jerry Falwell appointed to a post in the wake up and realize how hypocritical you are

    September 5, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  163. mike johnson

    America, is this really the time for the president to take time away from our business at hand to talk to the students of the United States about working hard and staying in school. Really, when is the last time a student has quit school kindergarden through 6th grade. Junior high and High school students, on the other hand have a lot on their plate, to work hard and stay in school for many of their parents work swing shifts, split shifts, over nights and double shifts to which the students see their struggle and want more for themselves. Those students who go on to college already know the battle before them to compete in the ever shrinking job market. How many students graduate high school ever year? How many students graduate college ever year? Leave the elementary students out of it ,they have enough on their plate just being kids!!!

    September 5, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  164. Armand L. Archambeault

    Since the President has been voted in by majority, and has a good record of being outstanding in bucking the 'politics as usual', I give him my support for talking to the school children to help them stay and learn in school, especially to over-ride the parents belief systems, which are full of fear and do not wish to change. To live life is to change, and get out of the rut of religious thinking. This is hard for a child to do, with the oppression of the parents with their outmoded religious ideas of fear and doom in the name of love. I hope this helps someone. Love, Armand L. Archambeault

    September 5, 2009 at 11:41 am |

    Drew, the repugs have always been the Party of Paranoia. That's why GWB flew all over the country in AF1 on 9/11 trying to find a "safe place" ... these guys didn't pay any attention to the warnings provided to them by the Clinton administration and then ran around like Chicken Little when avoidable emergencies did occur. Paranoia, that's why during multiple repug "occupations" of the White House ... DC turned from being a beautiful place to visit, to something more similar to an armed camp.

    Most of these repugs (Georgie W, Cheney, and others) mostly weaseled out of any significant military service. And those who did serve, like John McCain didn't do so well. McCain with his "bottom of his class" military education status, and his admission that he was ignoring orders from his superiors and flying too low when he crashed tax-payer purchased aircraft on multiple occassions, including the crash that made him a POW. Amazing!!!

    These guys have a record of being dumber than dirt and they want to make sure "their" young don't hear from anyone who's actually SMART!

    September 5, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  166. Queen B

    As an African-American woman I am so disappointed with the actions of the people in this country who are showing such blatant disrepect for our President. Here is man who is wanting to speak with children about the importance of staying in school and education. Our young black youth are in tormoil, blacks have a higher drop out rate than whites and hispanics. How does this outrage towards this prominent black man send a positive message to our young black men who may want to aspire to be President some day. Why does the color of my skin or President Obama's make white america so un easy? If you remove the layer of skin from all us, we are all the same......

    September 5, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  167. Armand L. Archambeault

    When Republican conservative extremism decides to control our country, we are in deep trouble, as they have proved to us recently. This extremism is similar to the religious right's thinking that there is no right for anyone to think for himself if it does not fit the religious beliefs, which are unfounded fears from the religious threats of going to a fictitious place called Hell. Hell and Heathens are thrown about in the mind wars of religions as threats to those who do not think in the same way as they do. It is time to face this problem in our country. Europe has overcome this in a big way already.

    This is why the President should be allowed to talk directly and responsibly to our school children, who are overpowered by most parents' religious fears of allowing their children to listen to something that may change their children's ideas about life, which is different from what the parents have forced into their children's brains already. Love, Armand L. Archambeault

    September 5, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  168. lisa

    Presidential Address Notification

    Dorchester School District Two nor any district schools will be airing President O’Bama’s education speech on Tuesday, September 8th because of full instructional schedules and technology limitations. The district has not been required or mandated to air this address to our students.
    If a classroom teacher chooses to use taped portions of the address at a later date, where appropriate and in the context of state curriculum standards, district policy for video materials must be followed by requesting principal approval and by notifying parents regarding the option to request their child’s exclusion from the lesson. In addition, parents may utilize the district’s open-door policy to visit with their child’s class during the video.
    As a courtesy, many school media centers will have the online version of the speech available for parents to access at later dates.

    This was on the website of our local school district in Summerville, SC
    Notice his name is incorrectly spelled. I first thought this was another way to dismiss the President in this ultra conservative state, but then I realized the incorrect spelling may not have been political after all.This state usually ranks close to the bottom or even the bottom when it comes to getting a quality education.

    September 5, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  169. Judy S

    I can remember presidents' speeches as far back as Kennedy. We only have one president at a time. He IS the President now. It was the Dept of Education that was out of line. I teach school. Believe me a pep-talk to students is NEVER out of place. Those who think younger grade school children will be influenced by political comments that he may or may not make, are making it more of a controversial issue than it should be Students would take this in stride if there wasn't such a hub-bub. As a parent they should be grateful that he takes the time to encourage students. Bush 1 did when my kids were in school. I thought that was a good speech. Where is our respect for authority and the office itself. Maybe the 24-7 media has a stake in this picture?

    September 5, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  170. Chris Karp

    Obama should not do it, he could get caught short during another national tragedy with a blank look on his face like BUSH 43 did on 9/11. This is the kind of straw-grasping that results from screwing-up so bad you even lose the ability to filibuster. The GOP’s got nothing, but to obstruct, delay and make Mountains out of Mole hills
    (Forgive my eariler error ridden haste)

    September 5, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  171. Tanya Hedgspeth

    I think this is really a shameful moment for Americans. I have never seen anything like this before. I feel this has more with the color of his skin than anything. Which remember his DNA is only half black.

    I would really like to see what level of education some of these people have. Maybe someone should have told them to "stay in school".

    Get over it people and show/give the President the respect he deserves. I have never seen such outrage before.

    September 5, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  172. Suzy

    What happened to the days when we analyzed all sides of a situation and then shape our opinion based on the facts, our beliefs, our morals and our values? Students should listen to the speech and then parents should embrace the opportunity to have a discussion with their children. It is incredibly important to teach our children morals and values and then allow them to learn and think for themselves. We must stop fostering ignorance and empathy.

    September 5, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  173. coleen Corbett

    Hi Josh: I was just watching CNN and the controversy about the President and his speech to school children. Fill me in these parents are they concerned about a presidental speech and the underhanded message about politics the President may be inserting in this pep talk somewhere, yet have you read their sighs going against it. What happen to respect and civility in your country. I don't think they will find any kind of a rude or disrespectful comment like these on their signs in their Presidents speech. What kind of an example are they setting for their children. Words like idiot ect. are hurtful words, ones we tell our students not to use every day. Maybe they should take their cause home first and question what is really important to them, the way they raise their children to respect thier elders and superiors or hurtful comments that put someone down for no reason. I am a teacher and I am appauled to think that these parents are even given air time for their lack of disrespect. The Prime Minister may not be the most popular person to everyone here in Canada, but you can be darn sure if we were told the he was coming to our classrooms live, we would be the first in line and be thankful that he to is promoting education. This President can;t seem to get a break. We would love his kind, caring hardworking ethics here. Time for people to step back and decide if they are going to give him a fair shake at this "no one else would want this mess deal" or continue to balk at every step of the way which helps no-one. Maybe you should read a chapter out of Sen. Edward Kennedy's notes, argue respectfully, come to a compromise, cut your losses and move on to real issues. Absolutely Stunned in Canada with your actions!!!!!!!!!!

    September 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  174. Tim

    @Jan, no reasonable person would care if the president of out country made a speech encouraging students to stay in school. It doesn't matter what president in the history of this country.

    Sorry people but the ones complaining about his are either idiots or racist. Probably a closet racist but why else would this be such a big deal. He isn't pushing an agenda to non-voters.

    September 5, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  175. Carla A

    I am interested in knowing how many of these "concerned" parents are aware of everything that is taught in the school? Are these parents at all parent/teacher conferences? Are they looking at the history books to make sure their kids are not "indoctrinated"? Just asking.

    September 5, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  176. Carla A

    P.S, I would also wonder why, if the parents are so upset about a message to the kids at school, why they wouldn't put their children in private christain schools?

    September 5, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  177. Dodie ~ California

    Listening to these “Tea Party” or other parents is very embarrassing for me. The world is watching and now realizing how many people we have in the USA, whom are completely uneducated and ignorant!

    September 5, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  178. Robert

    I am a proud parent of a (17) seventeen year old Suncoast High School (Fla.) student. My son is a 3.90 gpa student ,participate in High School sports, active in Church and and volunteers at the local library among things. While most people – including me – would agree that he is a successful high school student I would welcome anyone , encouraging my son to do well in School and make plans for College. I particularly am happy that the President is doing this. The icing on the cake would be for him to do it at my son's school. Now, if the Republicans do not want a liberal President addressing their children then they might consider removing their kids from classes taught by so called liberal Teachers. Is this politics, racism or are these people just plain stupid.

    September 5, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  179. Renee J.

    It is very sad that a message from The President to our children is met with such criticism and disrespect. As a 49 year-old woman, I have been saddened over the past several years at the disrespect given to our Presidents, and I mean Clinton, George W. Bush and now Obama. I was raised to respect the office and person who held it. Even if I didn't believe that The President was doing the right thing, I would not consider being so disrespectful as I hear others doing. As a teacher at a high risk school, I can say that his message of staying in school is very important for kids to hear, those against it, have you seen the drop out rate? For those that say because they can't review what he is going to say ahead of time and that's why they need to watch it ahead of time and then decide whether or note they deem it appropriate, do you allow your child to attend any type of assembly at their school? As far as the "controversial lesson plans", anytime a student reads a selection or as in this case views a speech, these questions are to help with their comprehension of what is said. These thought provoking questions are for students to think about and then understand what is being stated. From there, they are encouraged to use their "higher thinking skills" to take it a step further. Sorry, I see no controversy, only a bunch of ignorant, disrespectful and sadly, bigoted people.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:28 pm |
  180. Renee J.

    It is very sad that a message from The President to our children is met with such criticism and disrespect. As a 49 year-old woman, I have been saddened over the past several years at the disrespect given to our Presidents, and I mean Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and now Obama. I was raised to respect the office as well as the person who held it. Even if I didn't believe that The President was doing the right thing, I would not consider being so disrespectful as I hear others doing. As a teacher at a high-risk school, I can say that his message of staying in school is very important for these kids to hear, those against it, have you seen the drop out rate? For those that say because they can't view prior to their kids and that's why they need to watch it ahead of time to decide whether or note they deem it appropriate, do you allow your child to attend any type of assembly at their school? Or this blatant disrespect is just reserved for the highest office? As far as the "controversial lesson plans", anytime a student reads a selection or as in this case views a speech, these questions are to help with their comprehension of what is said. These thought provoking questions are for students to think about and then understand what is being stated. From there, they are encouraged to use their "higher thinking skills" to take it a step further. Sorry, I see no controversy, only a bunch of ignorant, disrespectful and sadly, bigoted people.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:36 pm |
  181. Loretta

    So the president gave school children an assignment to help the president. So what, you mean we want students to think ??? Oh my gosh !! We made a bid fuss over Sotomayor becoming a Justice, hailed her as a role model. Now 4 weeks later people boo the President for having children think os ways to improve the country. No wonder so man young people are confused.

    September 5, 2009 at 7:37 pm |
  182. James of Houston

    For those of you who are unaware, listed below is what the teachers are asked to discuss with our students next Tuesday.

    Hmmm! This outline sounds like its more about Barack Obama than it is about discussing with the students their education goals and a history of the Presidency... Why am I not surprised!

    Excerpts from "Menu of Classroom Activities (Grades 7‐12)-President Obama’s Address to Students Across America"

    Guided Discussion:

    • What resonated with you from President Obama’s speech? What lines or phrases do you remember?

    • Whom is President Obama addressing? How do you know? Describe his audience.

    • We heard President Obama mention the importance of personal responsibility. In your life, who exemplifies this kind of responsibility? How? Give examples.

    • Suppose President Obama were to give another speech about being educationally successful. To whom would he speak? Why? What would the president say?

    • Is President Obama inspiring you to do anything? Is he challenging you to do anything?

    This sounds a lot like another campaign speech to me!

    September 5, 2009 at 8:03 pm |
  183. Rjones

    What a bunch of blind fools, support Obama and his socialist machine. when you wake up and see the light it will be too late. you will be in a socialist regime and have less if any rights.

    September 5, 2009 at 8:54 pm |
  184. Leon J Wright

    Dear Sir:
    Currently, I at the University of Phoenix, On Line, our biggest problem is that all students are from different states and countries. But we all have the same thing in common for teaching requirements, no set standard for requirements that are the same per state. Can you standardize the requirements for fingerprints and background checks so when teachers move from state to state their test scores , background checks and prints follow by the internet versus reapply each time per state and their different requirements.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:29 pm |
  185. wanda, Sacramento, CA

    Yes, Obama should speak to our children about their goals and staying in school as often as he can: Are you kidding me? There are so–so many things that go well beyond our control in regard to what our kids are subjected to. They hear countless things throughout their day that have influences on their developing minds; from negative people they encounter or hang with at school, teachers who push their personal and political agenda/opinions, controversial books their told to read (per grade requirement), demeaning song lyrics, violent video games, and countless inappropriate TV shows(under-rated). We send our kids to schools to learn. Most importantly, we want them to be able to hear things they may or may not agree with and make a judgment and/or decipher whether what they’ve been told is right or wrong. In this America with our first African American president, I really can't believe this is truly up for debate. With so many kids still failing ever more now to complete school, for whatever their reasons are, if my children are denied this potentially once in a life time opportunity, their school will hear my angry complaint!

    September 5, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  186. Dakota

    I think everyone is making a big fuss out of something that shouldn't be that much of a big issue. As a matter of fact it's a good thing it gives kids a side they might not hear normally. For the parents out there who say that Obama is "indoctrinating" the kids, would it not be reverse? They only want their children to hear their own view of things and not others which sounds quite like indocrination to me. Myself being a kid, i don't understand the reasoning behind parents not wanting to have their kids listen to the speech. There are many things that i disagree with Obama about, but i do listen and try to understand his views and because of that i learn that sometimes i'm wrong and need to fix my views a little. Of course i doubt that this speech will suddenly change anyone's opinion on anything, i doubt it'll do anything for most kids. They'll probably be tuning it out anyway, so i say what's the big deal? I doubt Obama's going to turn a 1st grader into a comminist in a single speech anyways.

    September 5, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  187. Sandra

    OUR President is addressing something I thought the whole country could agree on, our children working harder in school!
    BUT WAIT, there are parents taking their children out of school because of the President's encouraging message???? WHAT?
    Parents need to stress the importance of attendance in order for their child to succeed in school!
    The president is just being the president here, normal stuff, ....REMEMBER GEORGE BUSH READING TO KIDS ON SEPTEMBER 11Th????!!!!!!
    Presidents normally address school kids!!!!
    SO to take your child out of school for this is SELFISH!!!!! And will show the child that school attendance not that important!!
    I think the child becomes a victim here!
    We are witnessing ignorance and disrespect being passed on.....

    September 6, 2009 at 2:33 am |
  188. Larry

    CNN should first inform the public why this is a controversy and why it is national news. The public, by and large, takes the exigencies of citizenship and the welfare of county seriously. Does CNN? Do derelicts standing on street corners with signs reading “The end of the world is near – repent” merit public attention? Likewise, do social misfits with signs reading “socialist”, “Hitler” or worse constitute a national controversy demanding public debate and discourse? My response to your story is simple CNN; there is no controversy, just contrived cheap sensationalism. Yellow dog journalism is the correct appellation I believe and CNN a votary of baseness by reporting it as a legitimate controversy. True controversies exist only when opposing sides in a dispute have some merit, and those merits are suitable for honest discourse and negotiation. Adding to the national deficit at this time is certainly controversial and worth public input. However, a bunch of calumnious and nugatory idiots who reject anything remotely resembling adulthood is hardly a controversy. Calumny is not controversial, it is called bad behavior. Readers need not discuss it, assign weight to its respective attributes, or judge its merit and utility. It is merely a pernicious act of childishness and should be acknowledged as such by CNN.

    September 6, 2009 at 4:04 am |
  189. Bd

    Hey Rjones.. socialist regime? Look through the library and find a book on the 3 branches of Gov't. Then look up the Constitution.... take someone who can think for themselves. You Republicans seem to forget the VERY ILLEGAL and totally unconstitutional "Patriot Act" and the rush to give Georgie unprecendented powers to get us into that mess in Iraq. I guess that would be Fascism not Socialism.... My bad.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:28 am |
  190. Corey E

    oh geez, its ok for both bushes who are responsible for war and senceless deaths of honest young Americans to interact with our youth but how dare a black man speak with them about the importance of education. these parents are so sad and i feel so sorry for their kids.

    September 6, 2009 at 8:14 am |
  191. Steve

    I think it's stupid to turn something like this into a political debate. The children today need encouragement to do better in school, and who better to do that than one of the most influential people in America today?

    September 6, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  192. Laura Arnold

    These are turly troubling times when the President of the United states has to explain what material he will cover on a speech to the young people of his OWN country, come on people he is your President show aome respect if not for the man but for the position that he represents.

    September 7, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  193. sherri

    I believe the parents have the right to determine wheter their child should hear the speach. Our children need to spend every moment in school focusing on their studies that prepare them for the EOG that stresses them out. I also feel it is up to the childrens parents to encourage their children to stay in school and do their best. I would like for all of these people that have put this man up on a pedastool to think about life in the real world. Did he send some of his millions to bail you out this past month when you couldnt pay the bills NO. He makes enough money to really make a difference if he really wanted to. Why dont he visit these neighborhoods that are defending him and hand out cash instead of promises. He doesnt have to live as high as he does if he is really interested in helping the poor ans pitiful. Please get a clue he is like all of the other political figures--he is out for himself-

    September 8, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  194. marie longar

    Have any of you noticed after reading hundreds of these bloggs that the code word for Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly and Rush is Kool-aid. Congratulations to those four! They've turned their viewers into hysterical inane clones of themselves. They've introduced us to birthers, deathers and indoctrinators. They've preached nazism, socialism and racism. They preach freedom of speech, yet they don't want that for their president. They've brought their country, the country that they profess to love so much, down to new depths in the eyes of the world. They should be ashamed of themselves. What is wrong with the leadership of the republican party, that it lets these irrational dim witted buffoons speak for them? I would be ashamed to be a member of that party.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:08 pm |