September 4th, 2009
05:12 PM ET
5 years ago

Educators take heat over Obama school speech

The White House says President Obama's address next week to school children isn't a policy speech.
The White House says President Obama's address next week to school children isn't a policy speech.

(CNN) – The White House found itself on the defensive Friday over what would ordinarily be considered the most uncontroversial of events: a back-to-school speech for children.

The White House said the address, set for Tuesday, and accompanying suggested lesson plans are simply meant to encourage students to study hard and stay in school.

Many conservative parents aren't buying it. They're convinced the president is going to use the opportunity to press a partisan political agenda on impressionable young minds.

"Thinking about my kids in school having to listen to that just really upsets me," suburban Colorado mother Shanneen Barron told CNN Denver affiliate KMGH. "I'm an American. They are Americans, and I don't feel that's OK. I feel very scared to be in this country with our leadership right now." Video Watch how some parents are upset »

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Ed Williams

    It's pure and simple...

    He's gonna' tell our American kids to buckle down, get good grades, and stay in school.

    Now, if that isn't socialism...perhaps fascism, I don't now what is. I mean, he is Saddam, Hitler, Marx Brothers (sorry, strike brothers), and the Wicked Witch of the North...I don't know what is.

    We are at the crossroads brothers and sisters...(whoops!) Sounds a little you know what...

    This is critical: Send this message to 10 others...immediately ...or the string or whatever will be broken. DO IT NOW !

    September 4, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  2. KC

    WOW I cannot believe anyone would have a problem with the President of the United States speaking to our children.

    The Republicans are going to destroy this country, they say NO to everything and are paranoid about everything. Must be hard to be them.

    I for one thinks its GREAT President Obama with all he has on his plate will be speaking to our children they are our future and how cool for them that we now have a President that can speak and truly cares.

    September 4, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  3. SD, Michigan

    If McCain had won, how many people would voice their "concern" about him telling kids to stay in school and work hard?
    I wouldn't have any problem with that, even if I was not his supporter.
    The whole issue is beyond ridiculous. I've heard Prez Obama speak about the importance of education before, and I agreed with everything, it was all good, sane and sensible advice.

    September 4, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  4. Lisa C

    Those who believe Republicans would like more uneducated people in the country.....your exactly right. They are bred from those Dixiecrats who only wanted a certain type and number of people educated. This was to their plan in order to push through their agenda without much opposition. Care to explain why they so against public education? But at the same time against government assistance to low wage or uneducated people. Their VALUES are an oxymoron, now that's bad! They're against abortion because they value life, but against healthcare, which preserves life; for people who can't afford it because of costs??? They believe that if a man don't work, he doesn't eat? But then they selectively deny viable employment – are always against increasing the minimum wage to a sustainable living wage–protecting the businesses??? They demonstrate disdain for the poor, then pretend they care around Thanksgiving and Christmas??? I guess that makes them feel like they're closer to the Lord. LOL! But I'm pretty hot about them calling themselves Christians. To all people who don't know and understand Christianity.....their example the not one set by Christ.

    September 4, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  5. Himalay

    Come on folks, these guys are throwing a temper tantrum over losing the election. They want to make it tough on everyone and wil lcontinue to throw a fit until they are back in power. First off I want everyone to remember this. Second, its approrpiate we are talking about small children in referring to these guys. Why they continue to be presented by the news as credible and not ignored like the skipping screaming child they are, is beyond me.

    September 4, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  6. chad

    Winning...... the repbulican agenda.... they are no longer about making this country the best it can be.... its about being the winner.... bringing someone down..... this speach is about children staying in school and getting an education. and all they can do is bash bash bash... anything to win and defete. sickness..... This will for sure backfire..... watch it slowly happen....

    September 4, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  7. Rick the former repbulican

    "conservatives" is not the right title. these people are IDIOTS.

    September 4, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  8. Stein C

    On 9/11 Bush was speaking to kids at some US school.

    The republicans are showing the world how detestable they are!
    The real reason behind all this is racism! Shame on you!

    republicans are dumb racists! By the last events, I even thought that their kids don't get educated.

    Obama, we wish you were Canadian! Here, we don't find one that doesn't admire you!

    Canadians despise you republican racists!
    Media, don't show to the world how mediocre your republican party is! I'm disgusted!
    republicans don't deserve even to get a capital r in front of their name.

    September 4, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  9. mel

    Any parents who are concerned about liberal "indoctrination" are welcome to remove their children from public schools and indoctrinate them with their own philosophies.

    Honestly, I cannot believe that this is an issue. The President wants to encourage education in our youth. If he reaches even one child who would otherwise think about dropping out, isn't it worth it?

    September 4, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  10. Louise in CA

    If Obama was white, conservative, preached abstinence, and didn't practice what he preached, would he be OK for the poor little children whose parents don't want them exposed to the chance to think for themselves?

    September 4, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  11. RE:MIKE

    HMMMMMM seems I do remember President Bush speaking to school children...... SEPTEMBER 11, 2001....... dont remeber anyone pitching a fit about that

    September 4, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  12. Stein C

    Thanks GOD I'm Canadian.

    I wish our cable would stop showing those disgusting republicans in our Canadian homes!

    I'm afraid they will affect my kids! They are malevolent!

    September 4, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  13. Hugo

    The proposed Obama message on the surface looked nothing more than what previous Presidents had done and is inclusive of some good sound advice regarding social behavior and education. However, it did not stop there and when you looked at all of the outline, it was more directed at bringing a specific political message pushing Obama as our National hero to our kids, as if they were to be subserveant to Government, I always thought they worked for us! This along with the Hollywood pledge message to be televised to our children is way too much for any normal person to stomach. A pledge to be presented to our children in their schools from a bunch of Hollywood freakazoids made up of recovered heroin addicts, deviants, a cougar, an immature idiot and some all round losers. If you have not seen it you must, it is absurd! Yes, this is a message I want sent to my children, keep it Obama!

    September 4, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  14. sandy

    This is a total non issue brought about by right wing political whack jobs and pounced on by the MSM! Geez. It's disgusting.

    September 4, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  15. Kick the Bums Out

    The Libs have been indoctrinating the youth of America in public schools for 20 or more years. What's one more speech?

    September 4, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  16. Pam

    This smells of racism from every direction. When President Obama's predecessors visited schools...NO BIG DEAL! WHat is sickening is the media refuse to call these extremists on it!

    September 4, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  17. Rhonda

    Oh, come on, Libs. Y'all would be up in arms if Bush was doing the same thing. I vote Republican, and I honestly don't mind my son watching the President if it is a positive message about staying in school and taking education seriously. What I think the anger stems from is a video of a 5th grade girl being ridiculed, by her teacher, in front of her whole class, only for saying she would vote for McCain and not Obama. Parents may be afraid that their child would be singled out and unfairly penalized for not agreeing with Obama. I don't know, just a thought. And please, stop using the race card. It's getting extremely old and tiresome.

    September 4, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  18. Xavier

    To make a mountain out of this mole hill is to open the door to other groups that bring their own hate filled agendas into this arena, which serves to only divide us as a nation. Years from now our grandchildren will look back at our behavior during these times and feel ashamed of us.

    September 4, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  19. Mark NJ

    I cannot believe that people in this country are against President Obama making a speech to the youth of this country. This is so blatently racist and stinks of conservative fascism. Mark my words, this country is headed for another civil war. Look at this, look whats happened at town hall meetings. look at the lies being propogated by conservatives over health care. This element is not interested in all Americans unless it fits their agenda. NO COMPROMISE...NO OBAMA...JUST NO-NO-NO.

    I may not have agreed or liked George W. Bush or Ronald Regan but I respected the right of their beliefs and as the President of our country.

    September 4, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  20. Zion

    You know, I don't pretend to judge people, but we have to check our hearts. Much of this anti-Obama rhetoric is simply racism dressed up in other issues. I hope for the sake of your souls and your relationships with God, that you are not found guilty of any sort of hate because that will not make it to the Kingdom of Heaven.

    September 4, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  21. bdrova

    I'm surprised that republicans are taking such a socialist point of view, given all of their retoric recently. They obviously have declared all out war on democrats since the last elections and they are getting worse. Attack,Attack,Attack, that is the last line of defense as far as the republicans are concerned - I mean when republicans don't even think the president of the United States of America can
    even give a speech to school kids things are getting out of hand. Hold your ground people don't fall to all the big insurance propoganda again.One of Obamas biggest issues when he was running for president was universal health care,cheered on by arenas of people.Don't let the big insurance companies dissuade you, sure right now your kids might have insurancce but what about when they get older and have kids? Don't saccrifice healthcare for future generations because you are scared to make a move now. For instance how many people out there have spent hours on the phone trying to get thier insurance coverage figured out? I have and so has everyone I know,I wonder why they make it so hard?? I know why so many politicians are opposed to universal health care and it has nothing to do with peoples well being it's because we elected people who could care less about anything but lining thier own pockets. Open your eyes people we wouldn't be looking for solutions if there wasn't a problem. At least Obama want's to take a step in the right direction instead of standing around scratching his head like so many republicans.

    September 4, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  22. chrislyn mckay

    because the president of the united states is African American thats the problems . if he was a white no comments .respect this man and his family respect . for the love of god i never seen such hate towards a person for the color of his skin . for god sake he is our prsident of the united states. people get over it.

    September 4, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  23. mw from md

    As the country becomes more diverse the fringe element will become the minority. They are scared to death and it has gotten worse since Obama was elected. The republican party did absolutely nothing about health care for 12 years but Obama is expected to fix that and everything else in 8 months? These folks get more ridiculous by the day!

    September 4, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  24. Scott F.

    well, if the republicans are so quick to put labels on Obama (socialist, etc)...let's finally call out these right wing nuts out for what they are...anti-american racist, plain and simple...why else would they attempt to delegitimize this man's presidency...he is doing the same thing other Presidents have done in the past...Regan spoke to children and told them to support his tax cuts...give me a break...a bunch of white folks instilling in their kids to disrespect the Presidency because it is currently being held by a black man...and we wonder why folks around the world laugh at us...where are the grownups in the Repub party...wake up people

    September 4, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Our country is doomed if the president......reagan, bush, or obama can't give a speech to school children. It is the first amendment meaning the most important...... To be sure, if you don't want your kids to listen don't.

    September 4, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
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