Emily said it so well and so succinctly that I feel like I shouldn't post about it at all, but I can't stop thinking about it. It seems so patently ridiculous.
(Plus, posting about it here may help me keep it off of Facebook, and we all know I've caused enough of a stir with my liberal politics on Facebook lately)
What are people so afraid of in the President's planned speech to school children this Tuesday? (Honestly, if you can help me understand, please do. Because the whole indoctrination in 10 minutes argument is completely lost on me. And do people REALLY think that President Obama is so stupid as to use this time to try to further the political divide?)
My child is in second grade, and I don't know if they plan to show the speech in her small private school. I hope they do. I do know that people are planning to pull their children out of the local public schools on Tuesday because they will be showing it.
Really? You'll pull your kid out of school because otherwise they will hear the democratically elected president of our country talk for ten minutes about the importance of eduction?
I've tried to understand what they are afraid of. I've followed the links people have put up on Facebook. But it's all inflammatory nonsense. Irresponsible reporting (like giving the "I pledge" video as an example of what the kids will see on Tuesday. That video was an inaugural gift to the President, and not produced by the White House, and not intended for display in school. Although, frankly, I thought it was quite good. )
Here's what I think. Not allowing your child to watch the speech speaks only to your own fear and paranoia, and teaches your child that you believe he or she is incapable of thinking for themselves. It teaches them that you have no respect for Office of President. It teaches them that a differing point of view is dangerous. It shows your belief that 10 minutes of the president talking and perhaps a follow-up discussion in class will undermine any values you have taught at home.
The president wants to encourage our children to do well in school. What is wrong with that? I did not like George W. Bush as a president, I think he made horrible decisions and will go down in history as one of the worst presidents ever. But if he had made a speech to school children about the importance of school? It would not have OCCURRED to me to pull my child out of class. Because he was the PRESIDENT.
I want to teach my child to respect the Office of the President. I want to teach my child that I respect people I disagree with. I want to teach my child that we can discuss things. I want to teach my child that I'm not afraid to let her decide for herself. I want to teach my child that I do not make decisions based on fear and misinformation.
Plus, you know... education. It's a good thing.
(please feel free to disagree with me... just do so respectfully)
Monday starts our Monday Mission. Your Mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write a post in the style of a letter to a teacher. "Dear Mrs. G.... please teach our children to respect the president by showing his speech in class. Thank you, Respectfully, Painted Maypole"