November 22nd, 2008
09:56 AM ET
5 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. Use Your Brain

    The Obama children have Always been in private school. Why would that change, especially now that they are the "First Children"?

    The decision by the President-elect and the First Lady of keeping their children in private school, which they're accustomed to, out of safety concerns and their best interest in no way takes away from their efforts to improve the Public School System.

    November 21, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. suz

    As a former teacher in Montgomery Co., MD and a fine private school, they really made the best choice. Plus it is about 12 min. from the WH.

    November 21, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. Cheese and Whine

    OH YOU CALL THIS CHANGE, BARACK!?!?

    This is where Chelsea Clinton went....What are you trying to pull?!

    Oh wait...I don't care where his children go to school and none of you should either. Grow up. Goodnight.

    November 21, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  4. Lauren independent voter California

    I think they made an excellent choice. I can't believe they were even considering public school. The girls are not regular kids since their dad is now the president of the united states. They should not have to put themselves, nor anyone else, through the rigors of having the secret service protection at school,and everything that comes along with trying to protect them at a public school.

    November 21, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  5. Jennifer

    President Obama must be a father first, then president. He and his wife owe their children safety and security, a happy and loving home, and the best education they can provide...as do all parents. I see nothing in his actions that lead me to think he's doing anything less than that.

    All the better that the Secret Service is familiar with the school. God bless and keep all four of them.

    November 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  6. Joe in CT

    I'm a BIG supporter of public schools. I went to them K-12 and my kids will too. I don't want to see vouchers or other subsidies given to families who choose to send their kids to private schools. In my mind, high-quality public schools for all are *extremely* important for the stability of our society. However, I don't have a problem with Obama chosing a private school and neither should anyone else.

    All of us except the President can choose which city or town to live in. The quality of the public school factors into our decision where to live. Only the President doesn't get that choice. He or she has to live at 1600 Penn Ave. Thus the President can't choose to live in a place that has public schools he or she feels comfortable with like the rest of us.

    November 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  7. Robbie

    Were his children, while in Chicago, in private school, come on?. If the DC schools were like the nice surburban schools then now I have an issue. DC might be a HUGE culture shock.

    Besides most of us would send I kids to the best possible; period! so unless "your child be darned" you would send yours to a DC public school give him a break.

    And those of us who live with the fairer sex- is that a fight you want to take on?

    November 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  8. Judy Mia Fl

    Obama has worked hard to get where he is and where he can afford to pay for private school. He didn't have a free ride! You sound jealous – get a job and work hard and maybe you'll be able to send your kids to PRIVATE SCHOOL

    Another smart choice...public schools especial in D.C. suck!

    November 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  9. Scott in Lexington, KY

    Ok, before a bunch of you go off the deep end crying about hypocrisy toward public schooling, you need to put yourself in his shoes. If you were the most powerful and recognized man in the world, and felt that the security of your children was best kept by attending this private school AND it came recommended AND the kids like it AND......

    Point is, this ain't Joe the plumber's kids, or Fred the foreman's kids or Sally the secretary's kids. So get some perspective before you get all self-righteous.

    Just because his kids are going to attend this school does NOT mean he doesn't value public education. My kids will never attend private school, because my Professor wife and I were products of public schools and do very well. But if I was the Prez?? I can't say, and neither can you, that I wouldn't do the same.

    November 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. Tex Ann ~~~~~~~

    All you do-do's complaining that he's not sending the girls to public school need to get a brain. Look for something LEGITIMATE to complain about!
    A public school would have to go into virtual lock-down if the President's kids were in attendance. Think of the disruption to all the kids & staff there.
    A smaller private school (which has already gone thru all the security modifications once) would be much easier for the secret service people to monitor.
    This decision is in the best interests of not just the girls education, but also in the best interests of the kids attending any public school they might have considered. Trust me, parents would be having a fit within days of dealing with all the security. (The Sidwell parents already go thru this because the school is filled with kids of diplomats, etc.)
    Just trying to get thru a neighborhood when the President is around is a royal pain– imagine having to deal with it every single day. The people in the Highland Park/University Park area of Dallas are going to get to deal with it in about 2 months when Bush moves back to Texas– I suspect they aren't going to like their new neighbor too much at that point!
    Any by the way, since when is it wrong for a parent to want to get a good education for their kids and keep them safe????

    November 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  11. Perusing-Through

    PRIVATE OR PUBLIC?

    Anybody on this commentary complaining about Obama's choice to send the girls to 'that particular private school', show their ignorance and lack of wisdom to appreciate the highly unique situation this set of parents face as they try to find what is best and appropriate for the girls.

    Having the girls attend any of D.C.'s best public schools, would have added a host of complexities for the Secret Service, the White House, the public school, and the students & faculties of that public school. Think people before you render a judgment and make yourself sound stupid.

    November 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  12. Alexander Chenault, M.S.Ed

    As a former educator, I applaud the Obamas for their choice. Children are not pawns. Sasha and Malia deserve a good school. While Obama supports public schools and their teachers, it doesnt mean his kids must be subject to them. We all support the poor and homeless giving them our cans and turkeys. Should we be homeless to prove our support for them? Moral outrage with public schools doesnt't mean you put your kids in them. It means you do everything in your power to make them better– precisely what he has promised to do.

    November 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  13. Kristen

    Oh come on, like all of you wouldn't send your children there if you had the chance.

    November 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. Kevin

    Surprise, surprise...let's not keep the president's kids in with the poor kids who have to go to public school...looks like business as usual in Washington...hope everyone likes donating a whole lot more of their paycheck to Obama, because i guarantee he will raise taxes for all of us to pay for his welfare programs for those who have too many kids or drug addictions to go out and get a job...why do any of us bother going to work any more? Ol' Uncle Barry's gonna take care of us all! (More like Uncle Tom...)

    November 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. Sean in DC

    There are some serious whiners whining away about this in these comments. Yes, what a shock- Obama's daughters are going to a private school where there is guaranteed to be less distraction, better education, and far less possible danger than if he sent them to an inner city DC school.

    People here act so surprised, as if the POTUS is going to send his kids to a ghetto school ('cause guess what- pretty much ALL the schools that are within the district line are either private/exclusive OR a warzone. I should know- it's where I live.) The truth of the matter is that every single one of us would send our kids to a good private school if given the opportunity, yet some of you haters want to act like Obama looks hypocritical (as if he ever said he was definitely sending them to public school).

    If you're the young son or daughter of a president, you're NOT going anywhere but a high-end school. It's how things work. Get over it.

    November 21, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. Brownee

    What's wrong with sending them to private schools? I have the money to send my daughter to private school and so she goes...what's the big deal? We're talking about the Presidents kids, not some jackal from Daisy, Alabama. I have moral outrage at what is happening in the public schools, but sending my child there won't fix the problem. If anything, it will add to the issue of kids who are NOT causing trouble being denied a good education because of the disruptors. I'm not sure how this is hypocrisy when people all over the country send there kids to private schools everyday. If he had sent the kids to a public schools, you same whiners would have said that the Secret Service would disrupt the learning of the *regular* kids...get off of it..sheesh.

    November 21, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. PaulMoATX

    Cry me a river people, seriously. I would have been really surprised to see Malia and Sasha attend a public school, but it's a lose-lose situation either way. Nothing ever satisfies the pessimistic and whiny people of America, hence this blog. Sidwell Friends is safe and sound and will offer the education the Obama's are looking for. If you have the money, then go for it.

    My sister was in a private school at the church for a while before my parents moved to NY and now she attends a public school where she dominates without even thinking. If my parents had the money to send her to a private school, they would, but until then, they're not whining about the Obama's sending their kids to a respectable school for higher learning.

    Knowledge is power, whining is crying. The later we don't need.

    November 21, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. Perez

    The kids don't need to be in public schools. It's not safe for them when their father will be president of USA. They supports public education, but it doesn't mean they must put their kids to public schools. I graduated public school and I put my kid to a private school. SUE ME.

    November 21, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  19. Marie

    Sidwell Friends is a great school. Maybe Michelle Obama can create as part of her agenda that all public schools should be as good, but that would mean: 1) a lot more parent involvement and commitment to their kids education than currently exists in public schools; 2) motivated students; 3) motivated teachers; and 4) no innane worthless metrics like tests required by No Child Left Behind. That's a really ambitious agenda worthy of high-level attention.

    November 21, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  20. Phil Magnan

    I want my president – the leader of the free world – flying in Air Force One and not waiting in lines at the local airport. Similarly, I want the First Family to have the security they need, including be able to send M and S to Sidwell. This has nothing to do with support for or against the public school system.

    November 21, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  21. craig

    Good for them! I went to Friends for 10 years before it became unaffordable for my parents. I finished my last three years in a public high school. Public education is a joke! I was so far ahead of my peers I was bored.

    November 21, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  22. MA Voter

    There are some people on here who seem to take issue with Pres Elect Obama, just to do so. If it was your kids whose safety would be constantly threatened, you would make the same choice. I would. It doesn't mean he doesn't support public schools. He does. However, I am sure that the Secret Service counseled him to send them to private school – perhaps this one in particular. I support his right to do what is best to keep his kids safe. Any parent in that position would do the same thing.

    November 21, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  23. Elizabeth

    Grow up people. If I am able to afford private school for my children I will send them there. Just because he choses to send his children to private school does not mean he does not want to fix public schools. The fact is the public schools will take a long time to fix. Everyone is so judgemental.

    November 21, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  24. Mysti Girl

    Think about it folks...if they were your children and your were moving into the white house what would you choose for your kids?

    Quit the hateful remarks. My kids can not afford a private school either for my grandkids but I do not begrudge those who can.

    November 21, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  25. A Kickin' Donkey

    Not really a ticker story but CNN wants to stir things up I suspect.

    Security 1st for these kids. Obama will still advance public school education.

    Start the fake outrage from Obama haters pretending to be democrats that voted for him in 3 ... 2... 1...

    Besides .. the biggest thing that makes kids achieve academically is how much the parents engage ... not the school.

    November 21, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
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