the President addresses students

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Original Post

Have you heard? The president is going to give a speech directly to the youth of our nation!

In 1988, President Reagan gave several speeches directly to Middle Schoolers, and it DID have political content.

The events were filmed and rebroadcast to schools across the nation.
This is a record of it, from the Reagan Library archives.

in the late 80's, First Lady Nancy Reagan (not an official political figure, but strongly associated with one, of course) as part of her "just say no to drugs" program, toured schools giving many, many speeches in person. A program of TV spots and commercials geared towards children were also filmed and aired.
Here is one of them:

in 1991, President George H. W. Bush addressed students in classrooms across the nation via television. It was a coordinated broadcast, exactly like the one slated to air this week.

Here is a transcript of a portion of it, from the Bush Library.

President George W. Bush went to elementary schools, went right into classrooms and read books to small children. Many of you will remember this, because it is what he was doing when he received the terrible news about the attacks on the twin towers.
But, in case you don't, here is footage of that particular event.

This week, President Obama will give a speech to the nation's children on the topic of staying in school.
Individual schools can choose whether or not to air it, or participate in the program.

People are telling you this is something that has never been done before by an American president, that it is a dangerous precedent.
But they give you no evidence. They just TELL you it's so.

This is where critical, independent thought comes in.

Do you believe the things people tell you, just because they say them? Or do you try to find out for yourself if they're true, by doing independent research? Do you seek out and listen to various view points, including those you disagree with?

As far as I'm concerned, there is nothing wrong with a one-time speech by ANY American President delivered to children and teens, particularly a non-partisan speech.
If it were a weekly occurrence, then I might be concerned.

If you don't like the contents of the speech,
then use this as a teaching moment,
and introduce your kids to critical thinking.

Because, after all, that's how kids learn...
by being introduced to the world and learning to analyze it.
You cannot educate your children by blocking them from ALL exposure to people whom you disagree with,
including the democratically elected leader of their country.
Talk to them about the speech.
Calmly, and with respect for their developing minds.

When they get home, look up a transcript of the speech online, from several reputable sources, including BOTH news providers you trust AND
Anyone who gives you quotes rather than a complete transcript is questionable.
Read it.

Then sit down and ask them what they thought of it.
Have a talk about the speech. Examine it.

This is INFINITELY more useful, no matter what your political leanings, than keeping your kids home.

Posted at 4:10pm Sep 4, 2009 EDT


artaltered says

As I've said in other threads, Obama is the personification of the "The American Dream."

Posted at 4:12pm Sep 4, 2009 EDT

I just deleted a whole long post(and for a two finger typist I cringe when I do that) because I don't want to get dragged into a political discussion. But I just want to say well said SheCountsCrows.

Posted at 4:17pm Sep 4, 2009 EDT

teegee says

****standing ovation****

Posted at 4:23pm Sep 4, 2009 EDT

Aw, Thanks, Marcia.
Glad to help!
I don't want anyone to change their political leanings,
I'd just like people to embrace critical thinking!

Posted at 4:24pm Sep 4, 2009 EDT

wow, thanks, teegee.

aww, angelic bunny icon <3

Posted at 4:25pm Sep 4, 2009 EDT

ManicManx says

Thaaaaankkkkk Yooouuuuuu!
I do not understand the hysteria

Posted at 4:26pm Sep 4, 2009 EDT

You said it beautifully SheCountsCrows!

Posted at 4:26pm Sep 4, 2009 EDT