Mailbag: Keep Obama speech out of the classroom

September 14, 2010

Parents, did you know that today, President Obama is planning on speaking to our children during school hours? Just like last year, the president is going to tell our children to study hard, stay in school and take responsibility for their education.

My question is, why is that the president's responsibility? Isn't that what we as parents do? And are we sure that is all the president is going to say?

Last year, you may remember that the president had a huge blow-back when the country learned he was planning to speak to the nation's children during school hours. The outcry from parents was a shock to this administration. This year, his plans to speak to our children have been very quiet.


When I learned of this, I immediately called Crescenta Valley High School and asked if the president's speech would be played for the students. I was informed that the decision to show his speech would be left to individual teachers. Teachers would make the decision based upon whether they thought this was historical, important or relevant to their classes, etc. I pointed out that there is nothing historical about the president speaking in this context.

No matter if a president is Democrat or Republican, a president has no place in a classroom, taking valuable teaching time away from students. Also, there is a danger of pushing political agendas. Presidential speeches should be watched as a family, so that discussions can be held together as a family afterward.

This is a sad statement of where our school system is today. Parents do not have a say in what happens in the classroom. Yes, students have the choice to go to another classroom of a teacher who chooses not to show the speech, but how many students will actually make that stand publicly?

As a parent, do I keep my child home and cause the school district to lose money? What will you do? How do we, as concerned citizens, let this and future administrations know that indoctrinating our children is unacceptable?

Debi Devens

La Crescenta

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