A couple of parents I know in real life have decided not to send their kids to school today, so that they won’t be subjected to the radical, shady content of Obama’s speech to school children.
They were not alone in this decision: many conservative parents were enraged over the idea that the president would use the back to school speech to “press a partisan political agenda on impressionable young minds” and to “spread [his] socialist ideology.”
I’m carefully reading through Obama’s speech to kids right now, looking for the “socialist,” “partisan” content that scared parents so much, and I just don’t see it.
Perhaps I’m naive, or maybe I need to work on my ability to better read between the lines, but all I see are important, encouraging messages about the importance of education, of personal responsibility and hard work; about how you need to learn from your failures and not let them define you; about asking for help when you need it; never giving up on yourself; and about your individual success being part of the nation’s success – wait, is that the radical part of the speech?
Even if you worry about what the president might say, how about taking this as an opportunity to teach your kids about critical thinking and free speech? How about telling your children that the president will give a speech, and they may be required to listen to it at school, and they may agree or disagree with the things he says and should politely express their opinion once the speech is over and the teacher opens it for discussion?
From Obama’s speech to kids: “Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.” And may I add, you are not afraid of other people’s opinions, because regardless of who they are and of who you are, you always get to form your own opinion and are entitled to freely express it.
Photo by marcn