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September 6th, 2009
04:42 AM ET

School Speech Controversy: Your thoughts

We've had so many responses, we're posting this again.

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

The White House says the speech will urge students to study hard and stay in school.

Some conservatives aren't convinced, and fear the President will use the speech to advance his political agenda.

Educators are caught in the middle. Some have even decided not to air the schoolroom speech.

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

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soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. linda

    The conservatives will complain about anything. Its becoming just background noise. They are losing their way.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:15 am |
  2. Frank

    Imagine if oh,say George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy decided to address the students on Tuesday. I am positive we as parents would be proud and happy to have that kind of Presidential knowledge address our children. Any President – no matter whether we like or dislike them – has the right and duty to motivate minds for the greater good of the world. We should be thankful we live in a country with such freedoms.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:19 am |
  3. Jerri

    Former Pres. Bush did the same thing when he was in office and nobody had an uproar about it. So why now? Could it be that some people, not necessarily parents of school age children, are afraid that president Obama will give children good advice about staying in school and in turn cause them to respect him? When I was in school, I would have loved to have had the president take the the time to speak to me. It just might have helped me become more politically, community active. It just might have helped me become more interested in working together as a country to help make our country better.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:29 am |
  4. AnnMarie

    When would be the time to subject children to the President of the United States and instill some American pride? This is ridiculous. It's refreshing to have a President that is eager to make a difference and get children motivated about being in the classroom and how it affects their future.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:37 am |
  5. Laura Denniser

    Okay, SERIOUSLY, I AM SICK AND TIRED of hearing about President Obama's "speech" to children in school!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The last time I checked, the politics of this country are a part of our childrens' social studies curriculum..... We need to be teaching our children about the workings of our government and exposing them to our political leaders more. I find it sad that our children know more about Bin Laden than they do about their governor or mayor. While President Obama was not my first choice, he is still my president and our childrens' president too. Personally, I APPLAUD his intention to reach out to students and make them think about responsibility and accountability.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:38 am |
  6. Shannon

    The 'supplementary teaching' materials proved that this speech had a much more sinister, indoctrination objective than what we'll see on Tuesday. Its easy to re-write a speech in 5 days (when people started objecting). The speech actually delivered now will be harmless, but its a sign of the level of mistrust of this President that parents are pulling their kids out.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:39 am |
  7. Bob Athey

    Barack Obama is an American sucess story. What better person to speak to school childre? I would love for him to speak to my children... and I'm a Republcan!

    September 6, 2009 at 6:41 am |
  8. Anne

    Dear TJ, As proud parents of a wonderful School Teacher and ones who would be also proud to have their childred listen to the President. It is an honor to have him take the time to talk to our children about staying in school and furthering their education towards their future. I for one am totally appalled at the content of some of the negative comments that I have heard and the politicising of these comments to infuence others towards their beliefs. As proud Americans it is our duty to teach our children about the respect that the President deserves and anytime he takes the time to help them progress in school we should be honored as well. In no other time have I seen this type of comments coming from mostly the opposite party and it is a shame this is being used as a political ploy because they do not like the fact they are now the minority.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:42 am |
  9. Claire B.

    I think it's wonderful to have a President so committed to the education of youth. This was obvious as he ran for office. Some of these women who are actually crying with fear over their children hearing words of encouragement from our new President make me wonder. What planet are they living on? Perhaps they've been listening to Fox News and the right-winger hate mongers a little too much. Perhaps there is racism involved. By the way, I'm a white 70-year old female and mother of two grown children, and I think our President is the best thing that's happened to this country in a long time.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:42 am |
  10. Josh

    Many people don't trust President Obama, for valid reasons. His past record (to the extent public) verges on radical left, his past associations confirm that radical left record, his campaign was almost farcical in its generic sloganeering ("Yes we can", "Hope and Change"), he has tried to rush legislation without giving the Congress or the public time even to read it, he regularly states obviously conflicting positions almost simultaneously. Many Americans are fairly put off by a President who appears to be a dishonest leftist idealogue and don't want him propagandizing their children while they are a "captive audience" in school.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:46 am |
  11. Robin Moore

    We have an American Taliban. It is the religious far right. Just as the muslim extremists are a small percentage of the population, so are the far right wing religious zealots. Both groups want to impose their own religious standards on others. Both are willing to use violence and lies to get their own way when everyone else votes them off the island. Terroristic tactics, whether they are blowing up things, bringing guns to a presidential appearance, starting and spreading truly horrific lies that demonize someone are basically a tantrum because they can't have their own way.

    There is a reason that the ten commandments specifically forbid one particular type of untruth. Bearing false witness. Just as thou shalt not kill leaves few loopholes, so does this. Both the Taliban and the religious right are breaking the fundamental tenets of their religion in order to make other people live according to its rules. Different symbols, same MO. Both wrong.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:46 am |
  12. Gary

    I honestly don't see what the big deal is. I would completely understand having an issue if our President was planning to talk about joining gangs and commiting crimes on the street. What a way to drag out any negativity possible on something that is definitely needed today.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:47 am |
  13. Shawn D.

    My kid's school district has choosen not to show the speech. My wife and I had considered keeping the kids home so they could view it love, but decided against it since the message of the speech is stay in school. President Obama's speech to the NAACP involved creating a focus on education and this seems like he's doing his part.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:47 am |
  14. Adriana

    I am from Argentina, i've been living in this country for almost 9 years and i can't understand how people is taking this, really its an honor that the president gets the time to talk to schools, people should be proud and show their kids the respect that the president deserves. My daughter is a junior in Hoover high school and she is waiting for that moment.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:48 am |
  15. Robbin

    When is our nation going to come together as one?

    September 6, 2009 at 6:49 am |
  16. Ray Nava

    Of course the Republicans would object to a speech urging students to stay in school. It affects Republican recruiting. Uneducated citizens tend to uncritically accept Republican propaganda.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:49 am |
  17. Patsy Walker

    Honestly, I think President Obama should spend his time talking to the
    people of this country . The topic should include some real commonsense strategies on how to deal with this economy.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:50 am |
  18. Sweat

    Since President Obama took office, those on the right, the tea party members, the birthers and all their supporters has made it their mission to attack EVERYTHING our President has tried to do to improve this country. Anything Mr. President says or does, they criticize and attack him. It's obvious that their only motivation is that they are upset he won, he's African-American and they hate the thought of it. They will do anything and everything to bring this good man it lies, attacks or anything. This "Confederate" mindset is dangerous and practically unpatriotic. Despite how far this country as come in civil rights, we are really seeing these people's true colors. And the leaders on the right, be they in public office or not, are the culprit of this dangerous and borderline illegal, if not illegal at times, behavior.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:54 am |
  19. sue

    what message is being sent to our children when it is said that the PRESIDENT may not speak to our children as he may try to brain wash them- shame on those negative voices. the world must be appald.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:56 am |
  20. Manny

    The problem is not the President giving a speech to students, but the actual lesson plan that the DoE released to educators that precedes it. Obama won't be the first president to address students directly, but no other president has accompanied their addresses with questions like "How can I help the President?" I thought that, we as citizens, must help the "Republic for which it stands". Besides when President George H.W. Bush gave a speech to students in '91, Democrats did the exact same thing that the Conservatives are doing right now. To me, it looks like a complete hypocrisy. Democrats can do, but not Conservative. Come on give me a break!

    September 6, 2009 at 6:56 am |
  21. Bd

    Isn't this just ridiculous? They had Georgie run around touting his "every child left behind", and no parents raised a fuss. The Republicans are good at brainwashing as indicated by the idiots that buy their partylines without thought. I doubt even they with their fear tactics can brainwash school children in a one hour televised speech.
    Of course we are talking about republican kids, genetically their parents are easy to frighten and brainwash so maybe it takes all of 20 minutes to brainwash their kids LOL. That's what we get for letting morons listening to Faux news (propaganda network) vote. This was an innocent attempt to let school children know that the President expects them to get a good education... for God and Country. Not his words.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:58 am |
  22. Patricia Jarrett

    I raised children to respect the presidency, listen to all sides before forming an opinion and to further their education. Now I know what the far right stands for....ignorance, closed minded ideology and hatred.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:58 am |
  23. Mark

    It really has gotten rediculous. Are the republicans against staying in school? It's getting hard to take them serious on ANY subject. There are substantial issues to debate, but death panels and socialism seem to be the chosen "cause". The leadership vacuum in the GOP is evident.

    September 6, 2009 at 6:59 am |
  24. James Fuller

    The refusal to listen to a message urging students to study, stay in school, and earn their diploma delivered by the President of the United States is idiotic. Only the Right wing fringe could find something sinister in that. The Right Wing fruit loops have taken over the media and I can't believe that CNN isn't calling them on it. Fox Noise has nothing good to say about anything the administration does. This is a not so subtle form of racism and Glenn Beck , Limbaugh, Hannity and Dick Cheney need to be challenged by supposed news outlets. CNN is so worried about being called liberal that they lend credence to these far right nut jobs. Glenn Beck on the Fox News show said that the President hates white people. My God, the guys Mom was white. What an idiot.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:01 am |
  25. Leon

    It is clear that there is an education problem in this country. High school graduation rates are dropping across the country. The problem with that trend is that our collective educational competencies are diminishing while technology demands require higher education capabilities be more common. It is mind boggling that there is resistance to having President Obama deliver a message to support education.

    We are already seeing signs of the weakened position of this country. It shows in the economy, technology and the production of many consumer goods. We are failing in the area of intellectual competency. More jobs are being lost to other countries. The growing technology capacity found in developing countries should be an indication. We as a country are not only losing ground but are casually allowing this gap to widen as we see school test scores go down.

    In the mid to late '60s, the high school drop out rate was around 30%. That percentage has increased steadily. In many school districts there is a 30% retention or graduation rate. So let's not talk about this issue. Don't support the conversation from President Obama, and get ready to work for folks in India, Korea and China. It is clear that they are moving forward at a rapid rate. Pay attention because our failing schools are helping them move forward.

    Don't lose sight of the larger issue. We have a problem and why shouldn't the President speak to that issue? The arguments are missing the point.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:02 am |
  26. Bd

    As someoneelse stated the Republicans like any good Fascist group does not like education. What was the first things sacrificed by California (Republicans). Child welfare and Public Education. Do you sheep not see the truth about the Repulican party? There color is red... McCarthy's favorite better dead than red.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:05 am |
  27. L J Scott

    These people are the same type people who if they lived in Jesus' day would forbid their children to listen to the Sermon on the Mount! The irony: most of them call themselves Christians. If Jesus were here today he would say to them the same thing he said to the Pharisees "HYPOCRITES!" Not that I am comparing Obama to Jesus. But Jesus hung out with tax gatherers, rallied for the poor, fed the multitudes and healed the sick. Where do you think Jesus would have stood on the Health Care issue? And when he said "we are ALL children of God" I don't recall reading "except for blacks"!

    September 6, 2009 at 7:06 am |
  28. Javan H.

    I find this whole debacle to be hilarious. "I don't want the president to impose his socialist fascism onto my children–I'll keep them home and so that they can watch iCarly and Hannah Montana all day." Just like how Democrats had similar protests with Bush and Regan in the 80s, it's hypocritical for Republicans to turn around and do the same when it comes to Obama.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:10 am |
  29. Carlos

    Of course people will be skeptical on his intentions of his speech. I, personally, am not afraid of what he has to say but for the sake of those who oppose him should be aware of what he is going to say to our children. I believe by not letting our children listen to what our country's leader has to say is promoting our children to become ignorant and less patriotic.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:10 am |
  30. Donna

    People are really coming out of the woodwork. No matter what President Obama does, its going to be criticized and shot down by people who just don't want an African American to be president. The controversy over this upcoming speech is absurd.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:10 am |
  31. M.Nicol

    Yes, the President can speak to U.S. students the same way that former presidents have, on CNN, etc. in the evening news. Teachers have their own lesson plans required by each district and the President/government should stay out of the schools' curriculum.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:11 am |
  32. Carol

    In contrast- please play the "back-to school" message delivered by Ronald Reagan. Why are republican presidents immune from these controversies?
    I still believe these controversies we are witnessing today are race related....

    September 6, 2009 at 7:11 am |
  33. Jeffrey Clarke

    CNN is afraid to call out racism when they see it. Racism in America is alive and well. A black President who can not speak to white children in America without his text pre-screened for approval is simply amazing. A black President who must first have his speech proof read before he is allowed to present it to the nation is amazing. TJ you are doing well in the organization fitting in nicely afraid to speak out. You will go far in your job. Racism live on.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:13 am |
  34. Gary D.

    I teach elementary and I don't believe the little kids care or understand. The problem I have is that it appears to be required that we have our kids watch it. Middle school, yes, high school yes, k, 1st and 2nd graders, no.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:14 am |
  35. Mary

    The Right lost big in the last election. And stirring up controversy about our President's speech to school kids is their way of getting even? It is no wonder the Right lost and remains that way.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:14 am |
  36. Cailisha L. Petty

    I am embarrassed to be an American right now. Peoples careers were ruined when they made even a single claim that appeared to against Bush and the war. People are speaking out against President Obama as if trying to get healthcare for all and speaking to children about staying in school is sinful and evil. It seems to me that thier ignorance and position should not even be a story. Hopefully, the children of these people with limited intellect will not suffer from the same disability as thier parents and be able to think for themselves, and not end up following the script of radio and tv personalities.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:15 am |
  37. Johnathan

    President Bush 1 and 2 and President Regan all did the same thing. How many of your if you had school age kids protested then?

    September 6, 2009 at 7:16 am |
  38. Pat

    When we oppossed the war, Republicans snarled, " if you don't support the war, you don't support the president and you are unamerican". Now these very same Republicans are yanking their children out of school because the president wants to talk to them about the importance of education – what happened to supporting the president and being a patriot? What a bunch of hypocrites. If they want to be upset about something, they should be upset about how they are being manipulated by the far right!

    September 6, 2009 at 7:16 am |
  39. Giacomo Falconi

    From the day Obama was elected right wing racists including your own Lou Dobbs have been trying to undermine and destroy him. The media along with the general trend has become more and more stupid and has helped the republican extremists in their campaign to bring their dream of a north american taliban type government to fruition.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:16 am |
  40. Jim Green,

    The controversy over the school speech—is the controversy!

    Why on earth do you in the media provide a forum for a bunch of right-wing loonies—like the “Tea Party Express” and expect that what they are saying makes sense to anyone who is rational?

    99% are racists—never voted for Obama, will never vote for Obama because he is black—and have the goofy notion that if they can make America crash and burn—this will undo the Obama presidency -

    They are a bunch of un-American lunatics and their goofy ideas “gather steam”, as you say, because you in the media pretend they have something to say—THEY DON'T! Unless we want to start celebrating racism in America—SO HOW ABOUT A LITTLE TRUTH ABOUT WHO THESE PEOPLE ARE?

    We have plenty of problems to solve in America—so why don't you in the media get behind President Obama to help solve them—rather than being part of the problem?

    Jim Green, Seguin, TX—Democrat candidate for Congress, Dist 21, TX, 2000

    September 6, 2009 at 7:16 am |
  41. GoodE

    I beleive that Obama is correct for trying to stimulate the young minds of America, not just the economy. I hope the focus of education is not in the basics. Hopefully our nations leaders have now figured out that they need to restructure schools learning criteria. We are loosing our children to the ignorence of addiction, not so much to history, math, and science. "Just Say No", not why is fuel to curious minds of america. How do quench the curiosity of wonder? Try it out and without guidence it leads to lies and opinions on the expierience instead of facts and outcomes.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:19 am |
  42. Gail

    I think it is great that President Obama is taking the time to speak to our young people. I was amazed when I watched the clip that was on this morning about the mother who was in tears because her children would have to listen to "THAT" in school. President Obama is encouraging our children to work hard and to get an education. As a mother, grandmother, and educator it scares me more that her children will grow up listening to her.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:20 am |
  43. Karen Walker Kology of Lakeland, FL

    Being a teacher of twenty two years, I cannot recall anything creating so much interest and parental involvement. Now, if the parents will re-direct their enthusiasm towards helping their children learn their multiplication tables and reading with them daily, and spending time talking around the dinner tables the educational advances would be dazzling!

    September 6, 2009 at 7:25 am |
  44. Mary Ellem Smith

    It is about time that the President of the United States placed a focus on children in the United States. I applaud the President's initiative to speak directly with students. Students should receive a sense that the government cares about their well-being and encourages them to play an active roll in their own futures.

    If Republican's are angry, perhaps they can not imagine making such a speech without an ulterior or perhaps they are just angry because they did not think of it first.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:25 am |
  45. terry

    Doesnt anyone out there get it? Alot of us don't trust the president. For good reasons. First his past, (he still wont produce a verifiable birth certificate), second, his past associations with radicals, (even his admitted own pastor)third his consistant atempt to ram things thru congress and us (the American people)down our throats with out even the chance to read and UNDERSTAND, nor vote on. Whats to say that he wont do the same with the children? I guess if you wanted to sway some votes at a later date, you should start convincing them why they are young, (reminds a few other dictators and supreme commanders of the past.) He is going to have to convince me first.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:25 am |
  46. Joyce peat

    I think it's a positive thing that the President wants to do. Why would the he mention healthcare, our kids can't pay for anything and those or the decision that we make for our family. The President really is not allow to say anything without it being turned into something stupid. We elected an intelligent man to lead us out of some of our nations problems, so what's really going on in America.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:27 am |
  47. Al

    All the parents that are up-set and those that are tearful, need a big hug from their kids as a way to reassure them (the cry baby parents) that every thing will be alright, then they need to grow up !! When I was a student it would of been a honor to have the President speak to me. I guess the education level has changed somewhat since then....Need I say more.????

    September 6, 2009 at 7:27 am |
  48. michael rocchins

    He is the President of the United States. That still demands a level of respect. If he want's to address to our students, let him address them. If he want to tell them to stay in school, get an education, go to college and become the future engineers, doctors, nurses and teachers of America, let him. If he starts to preach Socialist teachings, then criticize him; then pull you kids out and hide behind the uneducated propaganda. As his supporters, we must stand behind him.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:28 am |
  49. Rick

    The controversy surrounding President Obama's intended speech to America's school children is ony the latest phoney endeavor by the right wing nuts of America promoted by CNN. If CNN did not constantly promoted these unamerican ideas by repeatedly announcing their crazy views, they would not be able to cause division in this country. It is clear they are still fighting the civil war and believe the soutn will rise again. Sad, sad and CNN promotes this unamerican stuff. As each day goes by CNN is closer to the wild man Glenn Beck in the promotion of these ideas of division.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:36 am |
  50. Sheila

    Some one needs to talk to our children. It seems as though some of the parents aren't. I think the president should send an address to parents and challenege them to help keep their own children in school. Better yet, maybe the government should hold the parents more accountable for their own children's education.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  51. LIz F

    What parent would not want their child(ren) to be encoraged to get a good education except those still fuming about a lost election. Education is a top priority for Pres. Obama, he constantly talked about it on the campaign trail. These critics figure if they can slander and demonize Pres. Obama it will separate us from him. That does not work for me, it makes me more observant to what he says and see the critics for what they are: angry, divisive, racist and full of hatred. In 4 years they will have a choice to make a difference and perhaps they should find some opponets with more than the two coherent phrases of the last opposition, "my friends and you betcha."

    September 6, 2009 at 7:41 am |
  52. Joanne Crooks

    As a high school math teacher I see students who not only give up on school by dropping out, but also the students who don't live up to their academic potential. Unfortunately, many teenagers idolize singers, actors, and athletes as a result of their fame and fortune. As a country we need to find a way to turn our focus to those who have worked hard and been successful, and I don't mean the small percentage who have made millions. We need to focus our attention on recognizing people working hard to get good grades, stay in school, and become contributing members of the community.

    Through his speech on Tuesday, President Obama may be able to have an influence on some of the young people in schools that do not have positive role models in their lives to succeed in school. At least that is my hope.

    As a geometry teacher I know I don't have enough time to get through all the curriculum required in a semester. I can't afford to take away from instructional time and will not be showing the speech during my class. However, after receiving more information on Monday I may be able to share this with my students during class time. It is my hope the speech will be viewed by students at my high school during their social studies and other appropriate classes at my high school.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  53. Mike

    Americans should be embarrassed LOL!!! I can't believe that people are loosing it because of the President speech asked the question: How can they help the President? I think that's a great idea as the childrens solutions, I guarantee, are not polilical unlike their parents who appose the Presidents speech. I get a kick out of parents going on TV crying over the fact that your President is going to address your child. I'm sure these parents would have loved to have Georges W. who lied about WMD's to attack another country for their oil speak to them instead. Now there is a great role model for them.One parent also said that political choices are made by the family. Last time I checked you go into the ballot booth by yourself. I guess the only brain washing going on around here are some of these radical parents brain washing their kids. Proud not to be American. Don't get me wrong, I love Americans just not the Hate spreading, country dividing Republicans who are not outraged at this whole spectacle saying nothing for polical gain. Remember the only way they can win the white house is to devide the country which benifits no one except the Republicans the filthy rich.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  54. Bev

    I'm a Canadian and am absolutely horrified at the way some people are reacting to their President talking to their children! I've been following American politics closely for years now and I just don't understand all the negativity towards your President. Who better to talk to them than a President with 2 young children of his own? I'm also thinking that racism is playing a part in this attitude.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:43 am |
  55. kate

    What will be next......screening whether the children are being taught by a democrat or a republican. Where does this idiotic behavior stop?As far as I am concerned it is very poorly disguised bias and hatred towards a remarkable President. He has an extremely difficult job to do, fixing the chaotic mess the previous administration left behind, and yet can still find the time to give the children of America an extremely important message: Stay in school, get the best education you can, then go out into the world and give back to our society. Maybe some of these naysayers should go back to school themselves, and get an education.

    September 6, 2009 at 7:46 am |
  56. Doris Ewing

    President Obama is our president,no matter what others try to do against him He and his office should be respected. . I wonder how many children are being raised by a single Mother and Grand Parents after the father has left the picture? How many kids have no hope of making something of them selves and have the attitude I can't. We have a living example in the White House of a man who has over come many obstacles and is a Father trying to set an example to his children and our children and grandchildren. He can inspire, he must be allowed to give the children goals for their future! The people who object to this must truly examine their motives. God help them!

    September 6, 2009 at 7:47 am |
  57. Janine

    What is wrong with these people? We've turned into a bunch of whining prima donnas. These people need to get a grip and try living in reality. I think this has gone way beyond beyond.

    Stop the insanity please!


    September 6, 2009 at 8:09 am |
  58. MJ Lee

    I have to wonder what kind of parent wants to teach their child to not support the President of the greatest country in the world?

    September 6, 2009 at 8:15 am |
  59. Monica

    President Obama is the President of the United States. He was elected by the people, the American people. If he is hidden from our children, we are teaching them that there is no value in leadership or in the unity of America. Part of President Obama's mission is to bring hope to Americans, including children. Think of President Roosevelt's fireside chats, which during a similar economic time gave hope and information to a people. We need to listen and unite as a nation, so that we can stay strong!

    September 6, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  60. Susan

    This entire conversation is insane! I would like to remind people that he is (after all) the President of the United States. If all those"ney-sayers" truly believe that Barrack Obama will ""destory their kids and our country, than I (and a lot of my friends) would like our tax dollars pulled out of education and put where it could do some good ... say, for instance, health care for all!

    September 6, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  61. President While Black

    Apparently, the republicans want a President who reads to their children with the book backwards. I prefer an intelligent person to speak to my children, no matter, their background or political affiliation. Remember, it's not what your country can do for you, it's what you can do for your country.

    September 6, 2009 at 8:25 am |
  62. Kim

    I thought this was the "United" States. Obviously, we haven't progressed as much as one would think. I thought we crossed a major barrier when President Obama was elected, well some of us crossed and some are apparently still on the other side. I am confused...the people of these "United" States have decided they have to screen the Presidents' speech before he can address the children of a nation where he reigns??? Did I miss something??? President Obama did not force his way into public office; he was elected by the people, now you question whether or not the man we elected is capable of talking to our children. You people have the audacity to say that he is pushing his liberal ways and political views on your kids, poisoning their minds. The people who think that a 15-20 minute speech will damage your children need to check their parenting skills. If you have instilled in your child the proper values and morals and common sense, and if you've taught them to be a strong individual, and the difference between right and wrong, what are you worried about. Maybe you should watch and listen to the President with your kids so both of you can see an example of how education, determination, motivation, strong will, morals and values can impact your life. The possibilities are endless. Barack Obama became the president of the United States of America. Why wouldn't you want that for your child?

    September 6, 2009 at 8:27 am |
  63. Mike Armstrong TX.

    I think the whole speach thing is just a bunch of perinoid people jumping to conclusions about what the presidents intent's are . Or else this is an on purpose trend to rebell against a sitting president to show opposition.

    September 6, 2009 at 8:41 am |
  64. Phyllis Small

    Just becasue Obama is President doesn't mean he or any politician should be allowed to force anyone, adults or children to listen to their messages, no matter how innocent. Everyone should be allowed the freedom of choice to listen to what he, or I have to say and be allowed to turn either of us off if they dont want to listen. In this speach that freedom is being denied us by its venue – that is the issue – and if the president was white, pink, green, martian, or a Christian pastor no matter the color of skin or even the message, the point would be the same – no one should be allowed to force anyone else to listen to them – it MUST be a matter of choice for any and all of us to listen – I plan to listen, I want to see what he has to say. But I do not want our children to be FORCED to listen whatever is being said by whomever is saying it and their parents not be allowed to decide if they themselves want to listen or if they want their children to listen. Releasing the speach before the day of broadcast is merely a small step in the right direction, because if people had not gotten so upset and decided to keep their kids home, the children will still be forced to listen if they want to go to school to get their education, so his speach is actually doing the opposite of what it is supposed to do, encourage kids to STAY IN SCHOOL. Forcing parents to keep their kids out of school so they will not HAVE TO listen to President Obama yet miss the rest of their schooling for the day shows that his speach is not as innocent as the White House is saying it is. This speach should be delivered on TV where parents can decide to listen and have their children listen or to turn it off – that is the difference between this speach and the ones made by presidents in the past.

    September 6, 2009 at 8:44 am |
  65. Scott Stodden

    I've been waiting all weekend to answer a question regarding this situation. I feel that the people who do not want there children to hear the President's speech is ludacris. I dare anybody to say to there children "No I dont want you to hear the president" that is crazy and I dont believe the President would push his agenda on students. He's simply tell children to stay in school and dont drop out. Whats wrong with this America when you dont want your own President to tell our children to stay in school.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,IL)

    September 6, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  66. Charles J Green Jr

    I think it's awful that the President's upcoming speech to the kids are so controversial. Thanks to our many talk shows host, our President is now Alien, Socialist, and inhuman. Hence, the President is unworthy of speaking to the kids. This is horrendous.

    September 6, 2009 at 8:56 am |
  67. Larry Romain

    When parent's do not allow their children, to listen to, or help, the President of the United States of America, A man who has made it very clear how extremely important education is to the individual and America, I can't help, but, believe a lot of the parent's misguided actions and dialogue, are the fruits of groups, such as, The Birthers, Birchers, Teabaggers, Joker Heads, Deathers, Religious Hate Groups, Neo-Nazis, White Superimist, Tenthers, Separatist, and the rest of that Religious bag of Mixed Nuts flying around out there. It also appears that many of them actually enjoy the thought of "Dummying Down" America, and are going for it with a great abundance of ignorant gusto..

    September 6, 2009 at 9:00 am |
  68. Sooner - Owasso, OK

    I would be proud to have the President of the United States come to my childs classroom.
    It would be an honor for my child to say that they were a part of history.
    This is another no-brainer issue that the right has spun out of control. Right wing ignorance prevails again!

    September 6, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  69. Robin Moore

    I wrote the president when I was in first grade about something I had heard a lot of bad things about. It was about taking prayer out of public schools. Now that I understand how many of us are NOT christian, and the wisdom of separating church and state, I can understand why. The point is, I took a step to make my voice heard about what was happening in the country. I got an answer back too. I had to go aroundd showing it at school because no one would believe I had written the president and gotten an answer back.

    My concerns reflected my parents views at that time. Interesting to note that my mother, a John Bircher who helped start Voice for the Unborn, voted for Obama. She had her views changed by watching the republicans in action over the last 8 years.

    Lincoln would be ashamed of what the republican party has become. Ugly, small, preying on the most intellectually vulnerable and least educated. No one else will listen to them any more. The intelligence left in the republican party is feediung the prejudices of that ignorant population so their corporate owners can continue preying on them. "Obamacare would lead to lines and delays." Right now, a good percentage of that base can't even get in the line for care since they have no insurance. Making use of the ignorant and prejudiced in this way is like making someone dig their own grave before you kill them.

    Part of the reason it is so easily believed by this base is that we tend to believe of others what we would do ourselves (in a good cause of course. The old end justifying the means argument.) The ones saying he is trying to brainwash children are the ones who would rather teach a child what to think instead of how to think. Exposing children to a black man represented as the president is the real reason. Since the one way to get a teenager to do something is to tell them not to do it, they are setting their kids up to go liberal as a teenage rebellion. Once they open their minds, learn to think and analyze, they will lose them anyway. Common sense will pile on top of the usual teen assumption that parents are stupid. Thank God stupidity sabotages its own goals over time.

    September 6, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  70. James of Houston

    someone they wanted to be an example for their children to follow ... and really, that is not clear. Presently, his job approval numbers have fallen precipitously to 49% .

    During this very short time, this President has been in a most controversial limelight ... he has surrounded himself with questionable people in his administration and those to whom he listens ... from Jeremiah Wright to the Emanuel 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 avowed socialist radical who continues to make false, outlandish statements makes this old adage very clear.

    It isn’t one or two of his mistakes ... this has become routine with this President. Federal tax cheats and dishonest politicians don’t seem to bother him either. Just as I would adamantly refuse my children to be in the company of Van Jones (his Green Jobs Czar), John Holdren (his Science Czar) and Cass Sunstein (his very radical bioethicist) ... I would also opt out of my children listening to the man that seriously believed he could be an effective leader of this country ... Barack Obama.

    September 6, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  71. Gary D.

    The anger both sides are exhibiting is crazy. I have read the comments above and amazed that the left calls the right loonies and nuts. May I remind all that this President has lied, has brought communists into his administration, has almost bankrupted our country, now he wants to push more spending that a majority has said they don't want. I am a teacher. The President will speak. My children will watch. All my parents responded that they approve that their kids can watch. OK. Let's let all have an opinion without the name calling. You are the ones who should look inward. Is this the behavior you would want your children to use.

    September 6, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  72. Chichi

    The only people complaining about Obama's speech are racist republicans.

    "...Furthering his Agenda" He's the freaking president not HItler.

    Stop lettting your dislike for this man cloud your judgement. It's just a speech about kids working harder in school.

    Kids these days hear and see worse from the tv they watch, music they listen and the games they play.

    September 6, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  73. Brenda

    I am a public educator and am very disgusted with my school corp. for not allowing our students to view the President's speech. Since when do we let political zealots determine what we teach our students in the public school system? From what I have heard, the follow up lesson the DOE had on line, was for the students to write to the President suggesting how they/he could help our country. Haven't school children in our country done the same for years? I am a registered republican that voted for Obama. If the republicans are going to ever get my vote back, they'd better focus on common sense approaches to vital issues and not let these fanatics take over the party.

    September 6, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  74. Treena

    WAY too much over reacting people! What would be wrong in asking a student their ideas? One of them just might come up with the perfect solution to the Health Care situation. They are way more informed these days than a LOT of us were at their age!

    President Obama has all of our worries on his shoulders and is balancing them quite well. So shut up your whining and SUPPORT YOUR PRESIDENT!

    September 6, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  75. Bob

    I am wondering why you are not including the fact that G Bush was actually in a classroom at the time 911 happened. Any report on the controversy about Obama's education speech this week is incomplete and misleading without mentioning this very important fact. Please try to be more objective and inclusive in these reports.

    September 6, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  76. Chris

    This speech is no different than ones in the Past, save for this point...the ones in the past were not pre-screened for content, thats why Regan... the recently proclaimed "Regan the great" by consertives..Moreover, conservives in name only as they are only conservtives when they are in the minority. Regan got up before a captive audience of school children and spoke to them about tax cuts. How anyone can say that the President is denying school children the right to learn by listening to him speak is beyond credible rational. This outrage is just another ill concieved obstructionist scare tactic formulated to effect the vunerable. Without the filibuster, all the consertives got is converting Americans by repetition, a argument they often blamed the other side of using, now its just one of the very few pathetic tricks left in their bag

    September 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  77. Gladys Mazariego

    I am a high school teacher at the Los Angeles Unified School District. While I understand that President Obama wants to implement school reform, (and let's face it -reform is needed) the way in which "reform" is being implemented in large urban school disctricts through Arne Duncan is adding to the woes of public education. The movement to open up for bid (privatization in disguise) school districts is bringing in an avalanche of troubles that amplify already existing problems. Examples: "When Arne Duncan stepped down as the head of the Chicago Public Schools to become the secretary of education in January, the school district he left behind had little to brag about. While Duncan served as its chief executive officer, CPS received mostly average or below average rankings in "The Nation's Report Card," a Department of Education assessment of the country's largest urban school districts. Its high school graduation rates lingered at around 50 percent, well short of the national average of 70 percent. And since 2004, CPS has failed as a district to meet No Child Left Behind's "adequate yearly progress" standards." (source:
    In Los Angeles, the School Board recently voted to open its schools up for bid to private and/or "non-profit" operators. Mayor Villaraigosa's Partnership along with Green Dot charter schools have yielded "mixed" results at best: If you do not want to read the article, I'll save you the time. They've done no better than LAUSD public schools, even though they have the nerve to exclude "underperforming" students as well as Special Ed. students and send them to the rest of the LAUSD schools. So, in other words, the charter operators get to "cherry-pick" the students they want in their schools and they still get the same, if not worse results than the rest of LA Unified. In districts across the county, "school reform" has brought on FBI investigations due to the corruption of the charter operators:
    I could go on, and on listing examples of how Arne Duncan's plans for "reform" are forcing public education into a quagmire...Is it the Presiden't fault? NO! I think that former Pres. Bush's policies were destructive, and made almost irreparable damage to public ed. that we are all trying to desparetely repair. However, I do think that Pres. Obama needs to be more vigilant and perhaps rethink his plans for public education reform so as to not continue in the destructive path begun by Pres. Bush. Does this mean that I am against school reform? Not at all. However, I do think that based on Arne Duncan's results in Chicago, Duncan should be the last person we, Pres. Obama, or anyone should be asking for ideas on how public education reform should be implemented.

    September 6, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  78. V

    It is not the first day of shool for every school district across the nation and a short noon hour (15 to 20 min) webcast is not disruptive to an educational environment, which happens to be a school where teaching and learning takes place daily. If a parent is dumb enough to keep their child out of school because the President is encouraging their child to stay in school and do good using 21st Century techology, and think that they are hurting America or Obama's supporters, so be it. Your child is missing out on HISTORY that no matter how many days you keep them home, they will be COUNTED absent and UNEXCUSED if this is the reason they are out. Furthermore, there should never have been an option to OPT out of President Obama's speech as it has not been offered previously for any other Presidential speech, which just reiterates the hate and divide in this country.
    STILL WE RISE! The broadcast will happen! There is nothing that President Barack Obama can do to resolve racism, and he cannot erase or change the devil owned minds that exist, but HE can and will deliver this speech to children, not just Tuesday, but it will be available to use for life. HE will have a direct impact on those who will be fortunate enough to veiw this historic speech and moment in time at our schools! His speech will be broadcast on every classroom channel in my child's school and there's absolutely nothing any hater can do about it! To those haters...I say GET OVER it! He's OUR President, yours and mine, whether YOU like it or not and he will be there until GOD sees fit to have him move on. NO vote or rotten thought of yours can deter that! My message to the President and supporters is "BE NOT MOVED or divided...God has already shown us that HIS will shall be done. I absolutely love it! Praise God!

    September 6, 2009 at 8:46 pm |
  79. pat

    I don't get it . What is it going to take to bring this country together. President Obama needs to speak to all the parents as well as the students. We allow our children to watch shows that have no substance or value . If this country is going to continue to be a great country, our children will need to be competive with other countries. It appears that these parents who would rather keep their children home from school would rather teach their children to oppose what you don't like before you hear the subject.This is really a sad time in our country . Certain groups and the media has give these groups way too much attention.

    September 6, 2009 at 9:01 pm |
  80. Ada-Mt pocono

    The conservatives are ALL paranoid. President Obama has every right to speak to our nations children.

    The conservatives don't get it because they are always back-stabbing people so it makes them afraid that this will somehow backfire on them.

    They really need to go get some counseling.

    September 6, 2009 at 9:07 pm |
  81. 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 6, 2009 at 11:19 pm |
  82. Mrs. Lallie Goldmas

    I'm saddened. I'm saddened because this country that I love so much is still steeped in hatred..and it hurts. My countrymen continuously disrespect our President, not because of his policies. Not because of his personality. Because he is Black. It's not fair, it hurt wihen I was a little girl growing up in South Carolina, and it still hurts at 51 years of age. Oh yes, I've gotten used to it, my heart has hardened toward it. However, I have my first grandchild..a beautiful, bright-eyed baby boy whose grandfather was Mexican-American..who will grow up, and I pray, not be subjected to the ignorance of bigotry and hatred masked by politics and idiots with silver tongues & money. I'm saddened because a young man, our President, is being degraded in full view of his children & ours..Our future, to not be allowed to speak to them and encourage them to stay in school, to work hard, to be the captains of their destiny, because he is black. It leads me to question how much of our resistence to change is more about the fact that new things intimidate us instead of the well-articulated arguements we spew? There have been better things since sliced bread, but when will enough truly be enough? Lets ALLOW Mr. Obama to be President, just like our previous presidents. He, at least, deserves the respect.

    September 6, 2009 at 11:45 pm |
  83. Nikhol Powell

    If you are American, it should be an honor to have ANY American President speak to your children. Whether you agree with the President politically nor not, this is a moment in life that your children can share with their children, etc. But I guess some people simply will not support their President or their Country during this time. They choose to keep their children in a shell and contribute to teaching them the same ignornat attitude that they have. This is an example of why the cycle of ignorance (in many ways) in America has NOT been broken.

    September 7, 2009 at 12:28 am |
  84. Queen B

    What's next, "for Whites Only"

    September 7, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  85. ChickTalkDallas

    North Texas folks know all about the Obamacast controversy that has school districts scrambling and parents in a tizzy. And we know all about Bill Hogsett who doesn't want his kindergartner watching the president's speech. You can wrap your opposition to the Obama speech in any color of the flag you like, call it liberalism or socialism, heck, even good parenting and get a thumbs up from other like minded patriots, but the truth behind the words is black and white!

    September 7, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  86. Leslie

    This is, as usual, a non-story blown out of proportion. Unfortunately our press continues to seek out members of the public with opinions to the extreme left and right of any issue, and then spins it into a huge public uprising when it's actually an extremely small percentage of the public that shares those opinions. I think most Americans are fair minded enough, and have enough common sense, to not go off the deep end about something that hasn't even occurred yet! Come on, people, give your kids some credit. YOU are the ones that raised your children and (hopefully) taught them respect, tolerance, and fairness. Continue that process by letting them listen to the speech, then when they come home at the end of the day ask them what THEY thought about it (not what YOU thought about it), and why. It could be an eye-opening experience for all of you.

    September 7, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  87. Maryann

    Why does everything have to be a balck and white issue?

    Parents are pulling their children out of school on Tuesday because of what Obama is saying, not because he is a black President, or even liberal, for that matter. The word leaked out that his presentation is more designed to reform our kids into a new way of thinking in accordance with the President's philosophies, rather than inspiring them to work hard, achieve, and grow up to be good citizens. I truly WANT the President of the US to speak to our kids...but not under these conditions.

    September 7, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  88. Phyllis Small

    For every one of you who are expressing your opinions and thereby asking us to consider your viewpoint and being open minded enough to consider others view – KUDOS, because that is what freedom of speech is all about – for each one of you who are saying essential 'what I am saying is the truth and not opinion and you must view things my way' you should be ashamed of yourselves because you do not have the power, authority or the right to do that.

    September 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  89. Phyllis Small

    My viewpoint on the issue is that the parents should have a choice to allow their children to watch what President Obama has to say – the children and the parents should not be forced to listen, by the schools, the White House, the President, anyone.

    Too many parents will just opt out and let the schools decide what to do, that is not right. For the school to say they will not show the broaqdcast is also not right. For the school to penalize any child whose parent keeps them at home because for whatever reason (and they have the right to make those decisions for their children) is also just as wrong.

    SCHOOLS, show the broadcast but allow a place for those children whose parents do not want them to be forced to watch a place to go without penalizingi them. PARENTS take responsiblity for making your school district do something like this, so you do not have to keep your child out of school and penalize them by losing the rest of their valid education for the day.

    ANYONE forcing anyone to do something is wrong in this issue – in my opinion.

    September 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  90. Beverly robinson

    A Black man speaking too children(WHITE), thats not acceptable too some.

    When my sister and I were growing up we were taught too read every thing and believe very little and to form our own opinions. My mother use to say use your head for more than a Hat Rack...THINK!!!!.

    Obviously the people who are against President Obama's school speech have a head,only because it is attached too their body.

    Thank God for the good sister's who taught me in school they demanded that each and everyone of their students THINK for themselves.

    I feel sorry for the children of these parents, they still want their children to believe that the Stork delivers baby's and the world is all white

    September 7, 2009 at 8:35 pm |
  91. Laura

    If making a positive impact on America's children advances his political agenda, then, by golly! They're right.

    September 8, 2009 at 3:35 am |
  92. Luisa Echeverry

    Kid are getting out of hands in every city of this country. Teachers can only do so much. Parents don't have much time, they need to work. And the prime figure of authority, The President. is being block out of schools? What is wrong with this country.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  93. Luisa Echeverry

    Kids of all ages should hear from the president, what we as parents try to teach them avery day. It's about consistency and unity. Not about politics or dividing the country just because its another point to argue about.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:52 pm |