The President and My Kids

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.

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About Travis

Happily married. Blessed to raise three young men. Associate pastor of Rodgers Baptist Church.
This entry was posted in Barack Obama, Government, Greencastle Indiana, Public School. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The President and My Kids

  1. April says:

    I could not have said it better than you did Travis. I teach middle school here in Garland and showed the speech today. We viewed it live only after the administration and highers up previewed the written speech. If a student did not want to see it or a parent sent a note, students were allowed to move into another room. In my class of 25 I only … Read Morehad 2 not stay in the room. I listened and was somewhat embarrassed to be a conservative. NOT because I agree with him, as you said, but because everything he said was right. I do think kids should succeed, stay in school, follow their dreams, etc.. I sat at lunch and tried to defend those who were up in arms about the speech and couldn't even make a good argument. I was like.. do we as conservatives not want our kids to be successful?.. How insane… I think the speech was well directed and needed in many homes. So many students that enter my classroom will never be encouraged at home to do anything well, especially in academic areas.

  2. Toni says:

    Sure, the speech was okay now, after the "so called" radical conservatives raised an uproar. If they hadn't spoken up how many more "speeches" would have been planned for our children? I pray for our leaders. God put them there. I have respect for Obama. I am in favor of no more speeches for schools (even conservative Presidents). Let our … Read Morechildren hear it from their parents. Yeah conservatives!!! Let's not let our children be the weird "cast-offs" that have to leave the room because their parents sent a note.

  3. April says:

    I am as conservative as they come and believe me these kids were not the weird "cast-offs"… there was no attention drawn to them and no one even noticed they stepped out. In lew of pulling them out of school for the entire instructional day, this is a much better alternative. Not a perfect one… but one that allows parents/children to have a … Read Morechoice. I agree with you that I would rather not have any more of these speeches. A- It will not do anything to raise achievement and B- It is a huge interuption to my teaching..

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