As you already know, this morning the President addressed the nation’s schools, with the speech directly piped into the classroom. You also know that the event created an uproar in certain sectors. Some parents were convinced that the speech was nothing less than the socialistic indoctrination of America’s children. They were adamant that their progeny not be subjected to the President of the United States. Some people are convinced that no matter what the President says and no matter the setting, they are duty bound to shield their children (and themselves) from it like they would pornography. This is, of course, assuming that (most) people still shield their children (and themselves) from pornography.
My kids have not viewed the President’s address. Not because I’ve forbidden them from it, but because our school has not yet shown it. This notification from Greencastle Middle School principal Shawn Gobert arrived home today. GMS did not show the speech live; not because GMS is a bastion of conservative activism, but because the administration wanted to review the speech’s content before airing it to the students. I appreciate their cautious approach. I also appreciate the prior notification, and the provision of an “opt out” if I so desire. I believe this is the proper course of action for a principal to take. I do wish for my children to watch the President’s speech, so I won’t be signing and returning the form.
I’m not a fan of the President. I did not support his candidacy, and I do not support his presidency insofar as cash for clunkers, government owned car companies, bank bailouts, Obamacare, etc. I would object and most likely would have forbidden my boys from participating in any of the previously released D.O.E lesson plans that evidently were about about “follow your leader” than “stay in and do well in school.” According to this blog post the lesson plans were only changed after the controversy erupted, and they suggested that:
“Teachers can extend learning by having students write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president. These would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals.” (italics added)
Helping the President achieve his goals is a far cry from encouraging students achieve personal goals. The administration was rightly ridiculed for such a move.
Greencastle Middle School will not be using those materials. I’m looking forward to using this experience as a springboard for discussion with my boys about the issues surrounding our government. We already have these conversations, but this presents just another prime opportunity to start a conversation.
As a Christian father I must protect what is set before the eyes and ears of my children. I don’t think letting my children hear their President say this puts me at risk of being negligent.