Thursday, September 03, 2009

Parental responsibility and Obama's school speech

My first grader informed me today that his class will be watching Obama's address to schoolchildren on Sept. 8th, and that if we don't want our child to watch we need to notify the teacher. Frankly, I'm embarrassed that this is what our country is coming to.

I remember a lot of people on the right promising to do for Obama what the left were unwilling to do for Bush: respect the office, if not the occupant. That has all been forgotten, evidently, as a hear a lot of people encouraging us to keep our children home that day. I repeat, this is embarrassing.

The man is the President of the United States, whether we like it or not. Let him talk to our kids. He's not likely to say anything too complicated anyway. These are schoolkids, after all.

That night be sure you talk to your kids about the speech. Find out what they got out of it. Find out how they feel about it. Then offer counter-arguments as needed. I learned last year around election time that my opinion still hold sway with my kids. They still trust Mom and Dad over teachers and presidents.

But they won't for long if they feel like you are hiding things from them. Pulling them out of school because the President is speaking is going to spark their curiosity and make them want to find out just what is so bad about what he said. Then they'll wonder why Mom and Dad were afraid of it. You will lose credibility by avoiding issues like this, where you will gain trust and respect if you meet the challenge head on.

My wife just found in the school newsletter that only six classes out of at least fifteen will be showing the broadcast. That is rather sad, but I can understand why the teachers would want to avoid the hassle. It makes me wonder if there are parents out there who burn their children's Presidential Health and Fitness Award certificates when they bring them home from school.

Give your president a little respect and your kids a little credit. I understand the speech will also be broadcast online, so watch it yourself so you know what to discuss with your kids. But for pity sake, people, let's stop acting so suspicious and fearful. Obama does not have a mind control ray. He's not going to tell our kids to join his Obama Youth Brigade and refuse to eat their vegetables until you give in on health care and cap-n-trade.

I do not fear Obama using the schools for a bully pulpit. I have a much more effective vehicle when it comes to ensuring my children are taught correctly. It's called the dinner table.

1 comment:

Ronaldo said...

Seriously. I remember Reagan addressing us when I was in grade school, and our heads didn't explode... We may not like the guy or the horse he rode in on, but President Obama is NOT the devil, folks!