Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Manatee schools officials: Obama's speech to students is 'positive'

Stay in school.

Set goals.

Work hard to achieve them.

That's likely to be part of President Barack Obama's message to the nation's schoolchildren on Tuesday, Sept. 9, when he speaks to them live via the White House Web site.

It's not just a speech, but also a "teachable moment," complete with a curriculum and discussion points provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

When I was in grade school in the 1970s, long before we ever heard of anything called the "Internet," that was not possible.

It should be a neat experience for students able to watch and listen on Tuesday, having the president of the United States speaking directly to them.

Some, however, see something much more nefarious. To them Obama's speech is nothing less than an Hitleresque effort to indoctrinate "little lobbyists" to go forth with the president's agenda and to take over the world.

Florida's Republican Party chairman James Greer was a little less extreme, seeing the speech as part of a plot to spread socialism through school hallways.

"I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology," Greer said in a statement. "I do not support using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda."

To avoid this, some are even suggesting a sick-out, that parents keep their children home from school to avoid even the possibility that they might learn something about the American democratic system or that Obama, whose personal story is a great example of where a good education can take you in life, might reveal to them the hope in their lives.

Stay out of school, they seem to be saying, and maybe president will just go away, and you won't turn into an Obama robot.

The Manatee County School District is still studying the matter, but on first blush, officials don't see what the fuss is about.

"Our leadership team will be meeting to discuss this issue (Thursday)," school district spokeswoman Margi Nanney said in an e-mail. "We have received a few phone calls about this today.

"We feel the president's message will be a very positive one and appreciate his concern for education. I am sure we will carefully consider this tomorrow as we address how we'll handle President Obama's address to schools next week."

Marc R. Masferrer


  1. My kids will be staying home Tuesday Sept. 8th making it a great 4 day family weekend.

  2. Can you imagine what the teacher's union and the liberals would be doing if George Bush tried to do something like this when he was in office? They would be up in arms against it.