November 22nd, 2008
09:56 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama daughters to attend Sidwell Friends

The Obama girls on their way to school in Chicago
The Obama girls on their way to school in Chicago

(CNN) – Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter confirms to CNN the Obama daughters will attend Sidwell Friends school in Washington, DC.

"They looked at a lot of great schools but they felt Sidwell fit their best interests," spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter told CNN.

Chelsea Clinton also attended the school when her father was in the White House.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (808 Responses)
  1. Erika

    Who would really expect the new President Elect Obama to send his children to public school? be real here these girls safety are far more important than all this nonsense many of you are posting.
    *Lets not forget the Obamas are African Americans and honestly this has not been accepted by many ? with that in mind >think of the death threats this family has been getting (prior to the election)"
    He has no point to prove at the expense of his daughters.

    November 21, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. Realist

    YES!!! This is wonderful!!! I don't see what took so long. And all these people writing this message board saying that the Obamas should have chosen a public school sound stupid! Yeah, I get it, send the daughters of the first Black President to public school – where it's safe! Are you kidding? Frankly, I'd be arranging for home-schooling if it were my decision! And this whole angle that somehow President-elect Obama is being hypocritical by sending his girls to private school is completely ridiculous! With the things going on in schools today, coupled with who these girls are, there's no way in the world they would have been safe – Secret Service or not.

    November 21, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. Man from Nantucket

    To George/Kathleen:

    Get real buddy, if you were a targeted black man who can get targeted at any moment, don't you think this is the most logical choice for the safety of his daughters and family? Could you imagine the headlines indicating the Obama's as terrible parents forbid anything happens to them? I guess most people like George and Kathleen only make judgements by what they hear and can't think of the consequences that might happen had the girls not have protection from predators and radicals who want to target the Obama's given the chance. You don't get that same protection in a public school. Good choice, family security first Obama's!!!

    November 21, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. Jose

    Wow ,America's Talibans are out in force and showing their colors once again. Positively scary....

    November 21, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. popeye

    Come on haters!
    If you could send your kids to a good private school you would. You would if you love your kids more than what people think that is.
    Besides, the security aspect trumps everything!

    November 21, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. Amy

    I wholeheartedly agree with Giselle. Placing the Obama girls in public school won't change policy. I am confident that President Obama will make big changes in education including overhauling No Child Left Behind, and returning respect to the profession of teaching. We need to somehow attract the young, bright minds into becoming teachers.

    November 21, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. PJ

    Giselle has a good point. His daughters do not need to be the token gestures to reform the education system. When I had my child I knew I would do whatever it took to send him to private school whether it meant getting a second job or working hours of overtime. Every parent wants the best for their child. The Obama's are no different.

    November 21, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. Michael

    I would like to get a count of how many Republican Senators or any of the Bush administations children go to public schools. I would be willing to bet that most are in expensive private schools along side the kids of the CEO's of the big Corps that have been ripping us all off for the past 8 years. Why don't we all wait and give him a chance to get in there and do some things before we start putting down these decisions he's making to get his family to Washington and to keep them all safe. I think we all would choose the safest possible school for our children.

    November 21, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  9. Griff

    Lucky Toto's!!!! Now what about the rest

    November 21, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. Ellen M. Wolfe

    My children attended a small town public school. Sending them to a private school would have required transporting them to the County seat. Since I was working that was not an option even for a mostly liberal democrat. The public school in DC are not very effective or safe. You people who cry hypocrite are being ridiculous, the girl`s safety is all important. I`m sure if Barack Obama had chosen he would have been bad mouthed just as much. I have even heard cries for impeachment from some of you who can`t accept that they lost the election. Impeachment is not possible before the man is even inaugurated, can only be done for just cause. Why don`t accept the facts and do your best to help solve the many problems this country has?

    November 21, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. drew

    The American dream for the little guy is to take the opportunity provided through our public education system and making the best life you can for yourself and a better one for your kids. Obama going to public schools, becoming successful, and sending his daughters to private schools is an exercise in the American Dream. Only the haters have a problem with this.

    November 21, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  12. Ye Without Sin...

    Good for them. I hope the girls have a wonderful time and meet new friends. I am happy the Obama’s didn't use their precious children as a political pawn to satisfy idiots who wouldn’t put their own children in DC public schools. They are not following the Clintons. They are following the recommendations of another high profile family that has had great success with their child in that school. If they were a white family would we be having these conversations? You racist snakes need to fall back. When Amy Carter went to public school it was a totally different scene and time in American history. You cannot even begin to compare schools of that time to now. So shut the hell up and get those degenerates you are raising out of jail.

    So, what you people, who disagree with their choice like it was yours to make, doing to make public schools better? Are you working with the boards? Tutoring? Raising funds? Writing your representatives for upgrades? Are your kids in public schools?

    November 21, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  13. TX4Obama

    I wish people would stop and put themselves in the new President and his wife's shoes for a minute before starting to judge them.

    He had said "I love you more than you ever know....." to his children in front of millions people, so there is no doubt that he wants the very best for them. Wouldn't you, if you could afford it?

    And yes, security is another problem which they have to face every minute of every day for the next 4 years.

    Now, I would not trade shoes with them for anything in this world.

    November 21, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  14. Carol in Idaho

    George, get over yourself. Poor loser. Let the Obama family alone. You guys lost – get over it.

    November 21, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  15. Steve

    So George, and other dimly-aware, and poorly-educated "conservatives" following your faulty logic, would you propose that Obama send his children to a struggling inner city school to "help" that school? Would you suggest that he put his children, the children of a president, in a public school, where security is lax or non-existent?

    Try very hard to understand this, George. There are other ways to help schools than by just placing your children in one (how that would help, I admit, escapes me). How about you give Obama a break, and let him actually get into office, so he can begin to work on these things. He hasn'te even fully picked his staff, and you are making snide remarks about where he sends his kids to school.

    If I had the money, I would send my kids to the best school I could possibly afford, even if it was a private school. Why? To get them a good education, so they don't become a drag on society, and so they can use their educations to better the entire society.

    The days of sneering at people with college educations from good schools are coming to a close, thank god. People with college educations are who keep the lights on, who design things like the PC you are sitting at right now, and who design radios and other media that allow you to listen to Limbaugh and other knuckleheads. No DumbA$$ ever did anything of any value. Education counts.

    November 21, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  16. CL in Indiana

    I am a public school teacher and started my twins in a private christian school. My children learned so much and were challenged through a rigorous curriculum. They have been attending public schools for 3 years. It was hard to pay for the tuition at the private school. I would like for them to attend another one perhaps in middle or high school. I think the Obamas made the perfect choice.

    November 21, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  17. Eric

    He made the right decision for his girls. Good for him as a father. As a president, perhaps he'll now allow other DC residents the opportunity to get some of their tax money back from failing public schools so that they can send their kids to safe schools. If he doesn's support vouchers at this point, he's a hypocrite.

    November 21, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  18. Leigh

    The Obama girls already attend a private school in Chicago. The school they attend is called the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Michele Obama worked at the University of Chicago, where the school is located.

    Why would their parents now put them in a public school?

    In addition, Biden's grandchildren also attend Sidwell Friends. Based on public reports, Malia and Sasha have developed friendships with the grandchildren. I am sure for them it will be easier going somewhere they already know students.

    JMHO

    November 21, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  19. Dave Ziffer

    So ... one of the great enemies of school choice, leader of the anti-school-choice party that has worked tirelessly to defeat school choice options in state after state, has chosen a private school for his kids. I guess Obama's philosophy, is "good enuf for you, but not good enuf for me." Pretty much the same as his and his party's position on Social Security (public for you, private for me). You really can't beat the Democrats for hypocrasy.

    November 21, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  20. Artola

    I am a teacher in a public school and I send my son to a public school, but if I lived in DC and had the choices the Obama's have along with the security issues to deal with, I'd choose private also. I do think that fixing public schools should be a #1 priority for Obama, Most children have to attend public school due to cost or availability. Sending his children to a private schools doesn't mean that he can't be a public school supporter. This argument would be different if the public schools they had to choose from were comparable to the private schools. I hope his choice reminds him of how much work needs to be done to the public school system.

    November 21, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  21. Gobama

    George and Kathleen:

    Wouldn't it be hypocritical of you guys if something happened to the kids and you come on here and say how the Obama's should've put the kids in private schools? I'm sure you are the type of people who would because you are the type of people to find the negatives in articles instead of thinking about outside the box. Yeah politics first, a child's safety whose father is on most radicals hitlist second, good thinkin'!!!

    November 21, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  22. Independent

    While I don't challenge the idea that a parent looks out for their kids first, I would like to point out the hypocrisy of the liberals who defend Obama for sending his kids to private school, and yet wanted Bush to send his kids to Iraq. As if it's the kids' fault their dad engaged America in an unjust war!!!

    November 21, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  23. Beki

    While some may call this hipocrasy, I have to completely disagree. I am pretty sure those few would have a problem even if he sent his children to public school. Then, their complaint would be that he is a horrible parent and not protecting his children. I couldn't currently afford that school, but I respect these parents and their wise decision. Certain individuals simply will not be satisfied with any decision our president-elect makes.

    Also, labeling people "liberals" or "conservatives" is divisive. While I fall into the liberal category, I will refrain from the lableing I see on here.

    Stop dividng, start uniting, and at least try to respect our president-elect. He hasn't even begun his job yet. If you had any part in his campaign, you would realize that it was incredibly organized, unifying and obviously successful.

    November 21, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  24. MaryanneAZ

    This issue does not merit public comment or disclosure. In this case, the Obamas are parents sending their children to the school or their choice. They also have to factor in their girls' security, unlike we regular folks. Also, the majority of us regular folks send our children to very good public schools with great curriculums. We tend to only hear about the failing schools and inner city schools in the media and from politicians. Those schools are not the majority of our Nation's schools by any measure. There are schools here in Arizona that I would be happy to move into with their oppulence and high-tech environs.

    November 21, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. Dan, TX

    I went to public schools, I am now a professor at a prestigious university. My daughter went to school, she was a Merit Scholar. My son is going to public schools, he is earning more money as an internet programmer than I earned when I was his age (13). PUBLIC schools can be great, or they can be a nightmare. It depends on parents, mostly. If you want your children to have a great school system, all you have to do is demand it. If you don't care, you won't have good schools. The most important influence on schools is the local parents. The least important influence is, and will always be, the federal government.

    Obama can't fix the schools, BUT YOU CAN, IF you care about the next generation.

    November 21, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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