September 4th, 2009
05:12 PM ET
8 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 ยป

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

    Yet again, these GOP wackos are making Americans look bad around the world! They are preying on the DUMB, ignorant and illiterate base of their party. These parents need to go back to school and learn some tolerance.

    September 4, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  2. Seth

    I think it's time for the North to secede from the South and then we build a wall right across the Mason-Dixon Line, to keep out stupidity from spreading North.
    The leader of the country wamt to address the kids and promote education for the children and there are people objecting to that, but they don't object to Americas being behind Asian and European countries in educating our children.

    September 4, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  3. Vicky

    The president has good intentions with this speech. He has learned firsthand that studying and getting good education can improve ones status. However, the right wing loons cannot take it that a smart president is in office. It was Bush that said "I did pretty good for a C student" in a speech to young people. The Republicans must be as dumb and vicious as thier former president.

    September 4, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Dave

    "Thinking about my kids in school having to listen to that just really upsets me"

    You don't want your kids to hear a message about working hard, taking personal responsibility, and staying in school?

    You conservative wingnuts just get classier every day. Seriously, what is wrong with you?

    September 4, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. T Mckinley

    I was raised by conservitive Republican parents, and was a member of the Republican party muself until Newt Gingrich and Co. tried to run President Clinton out of office.

    The Republican party of Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. were not the bunch of paranoid, whack-jobs that we see running the GOP today.

    What has happened to the Republican party? Are these people loosing their minds? Are they so ruled by fear and paranoia that they are starting to see "socialism" under every rock and around every corner?

    While I don't agree with certain things that Reagan and Bush Sr. did while in office, I don't remember the Republicans of the 1980's being a bunch of delusional nut cases like the Republicans we have now.

    What has happened to these people?

    September 4, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. Curtis in WI

    Is there anyone more paranoid and out of touch with reality than a conservative republican? Seriously?

    I am a moderate, middle of the road guy, but I can't get over the extreme, fantastical comments these people make. They defy all logic, common knowledge, and basic thinking skills.

    That's what scares me.

    September 4, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. lyn


    September 4, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. Adam from Colorado

    Shanneen Barron is a racist, cloaking what she is really thinking. I'm an American, and a Coloradoan, and I am ashamed to share those titles with Shanneen.

    September 4, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. Kris in Denver

    To that poor, scared suburban Denver mom that was interviewed – guess what? I'm a mom, too. An American one, at that. My kid was born in Denver, so she just might be an American as well. I wasn't too thrilled with Reagan and both Bushes talking to schoolkids back in the day, but I'm not so delusional as to think an address on the merits of doing homework, staying in school and taking personal responsibility is scary. Nor am I so delusional as to believe my kid could be indoctrinated into anything in a mere few minutes. Maybe your kids haven't been listening to you, is that what you're afraid of? Or maybe they actually want to think for themselves. Is that the thought that scares you?

    September 4, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. hm

    EVERY PRESIDENT has given a speech to school children EVERY years for 30- 40 years.
    but because we have a "black" liberal president it's not okay. what is the matter with the people who live in this country of ours. do you think he's going to brainwash your children with a message of the importance of education???
    wow. you people really need to get a GRIP. AND A LIFE. OH AND A RIGHT TO OPT OUT???


    September 4, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. yougottabekidding

    This hostility against the ruling President of the United States MUST STOP!!! This is absolutely ridiculous! The sad thing is that you have the dumb and gullible buying all this nonsense coming from the GOATs!

    This is a free country and the President have the right to reach out to young children to help them as he sees fit.

    September 4, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  12. rebekah

    Wow..the President of the United States can't speak to the school children of the United States of America? The total lack of respect is simply disgusting

    September 4, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. Capt Dave

    The Republicans are scared that an educated child will realize what the GOP is all about and blow off their fear and smear campaigns.

    September 4, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. John W, Lott

    The ignorance in America is getting worse. Everyone is thinking about themselves and claiming to speak for the majority. I am so tired of americans not supporting the president and not trusting our government. They need to go to other countries and realize how good we have it. And president Obama is NOT destroting it, he is doing what we all should do and try to change it for the better. We must all continously improve. there is always room for change. The close minded peolple who scream and act like idiots are very embarrasing. The people not sending their children to school because of president Obama's message are IGNORANT. Pull for America or pull out!

    September 4, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  15. Deb

    Maybe this type of Republican behavior and outbursts is why so many were voted out of office.

    September 4, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. Fuming in GA

    Shanneen Barron said having my kids listen to THAT just really upsets me." what does THAT refer to .....the president or his not yet disclosed speech. And she goes on to say "I'm an American. They are Americans..." what does this mean the president is NOT American. And the final straw for me was "...I feel very scared ..with our leadership right now" I hope this lady look back one day and reflect on her words and see how REALLY closed minded she was to make a statement like that. I can't believe I live in the same planet as these folks against the president addressing students. This is outrageous to say the least. I'm disgusted and feel many of these comments are racially tinged.

    I don't know what GOD conservatives pray to but it doesn't sound like a GOD that love all of mankind because they are showing they can be cruel, evil in their thoughts and un-christian.

    September 4, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  17. Tree

    This really is sad. The Republican party has really stooped to an all time low with this one.

    September 4, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. ja

    with the nasty attitudes, the opposition has sunk to level of whale manure, for eight years they endorsed a dictator, President Obama should steamroll his policy, just as Bush did without regard

    September 4, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. Michael Hsu

    Notice how it is other people (educators) who are being blamed for another person's (obama)'s decision. That is the defining characteristic of a tyrant – the tyrant reaps the benefits, and the subjects have to pay the price. Educators because they now have to deal with angry parents, children because they have to be indoctrinated (they should be playing and learning three R's), and parents because they have to "un-indoctrinate" their children.

    September 4, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  20. Isabelle

    Note that uneducated Republicans are jumping on the band wagon when they haven't even heard the contents of this speech. This is just another Reppublican ploy to promote hatred. A sad day for America.

    September 4, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. Dennis

    Nothing more than more right-wing hysteria, which is slowly destroying this great country.

    September 4, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. Phil in TX


    Kids should stay in school, study hard and get an education? What's this country coming to? How dare these liberals force children to become discerning adults and learn to think for themselves! It's...un-Christian Right Wing. We want our children to aspire to the heights of sheep who never question our sainted leaders like Dick Cheney, Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin et. al. Where will we get our cannon fodder if they actually develop the ability to see both sides of an issue?

    A Communist, Socialist plot if you ask me.

    September 4, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. fedfl

    Never ever trust a Republican. Period.


    September 4, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. T Mckinley

    President Obama's speech is going to be made available online Monday. As a parent myself, I would like to ask every parent in the U.S. to READ the speech BEFORE deciding whether or not to keep their kids home from school.

    I would hate to think that the REAL reason a lot of white parents are keeping their kids home from school Tuesday, really has nothing to do with the actual content of the speech, but the fact that they don't want our black President speaking to their white children.

    September 4, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. Capt Dave

    Hey Republicans. There is a secret message in Obama`s talk. Tape it and play it in reverse and if you listen closely Obama says PAUL WAS THE WALRUS.

    September 4, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
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