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. DJ

    The Republicans are hi-jacked by ignorant wacko's.

    September 4, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  2. Wade

    yougottabekidding September 4th, 2009 5:30 pm ET

    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.
    The President doesn't "rule", he leads. This is not a Dictatorship or a Monarchy.
    And no, he doesn't have the right to force anyone to listen to him either.
    I suggest you complete your education before making comments on what the President can and cannot do. I suggest U.S. History would be a good place to start. Then try some Constitutional law.
    Your ignorance is showing.

    September 4, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  3. Shanneen Barron is an idiot

    Shanneen Barron is an ignorant bigot. I actually know her in real life and let's just say she isn't the brightest bulb. I'm rolling on the floor laughing at the fact that now all of America knows just how stupid she really is!

    September 4, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. wavethatflag

    Great, lets teach our kids to disrespect the president if we don't like his views. How patriotic of these great Americans. I'm sure his plan is to turn all of them into little socialists. this will help enable him to kill grandma, destroy our christian culture and insert his secret communist, radical islamic, nazi, fascist doctrine upon us all. We need to take our county back. he must be removed immediately-the constitution requires he be born in this country!!

    September 4, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. CNN =

    rebekah September 4th, 2009 5:30 pm ET

    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


    What is disgusting is the total lack of respect that Democrats had for Bush as President. It is totally what Democrats deserve in return for the way they treated Bush and Republicans over the last 8 years. In other words, stop whining!

    September 4, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  6. Well

    I would'nt want any politician talking to my kids, they might want to grow up and be one. And no I am not a republican

    September 4, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  7. Gail in Riverside

    Right on, Phil in TX! Only Republicans would boo-hoo the fact that President Obama is teaching our children about being responsible citizens!

    Republicans are looking for anything to bemoan the fact that they don't want a black president ... wake up America, its 2009 not 1959.

    September 4, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  8. Ralph

    So tell us children of the Hitler youth brigade, where do the jews live in your city? Tell your National Socialist teachers what your parents think of the Fuhrer. What can you do to help our leader?.......

    September 4, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  9. T'SAH from Virginia

    When I was young – as an African American PERSON – we would NEVER dream of being a President when we grew up because it was too farfetched and we were taught by the teachers in school to shoot for smaller goals that we were only capable of reaching – like a nurse's aide; secretary; postal worker; sanitation worker – THIS WAS REAL – NO EXAGGERATION!!!

    When WHITE AMERICAN children was asked what do they want to be when they grew up – they were ENCOURAGED to say – the President; a doctor; an engineer; an astronaut and policeman – THAT WAS REAL – NO EXAGERATION!!!

    Now that there is an African American President – something I thought I would NEVER see in my lifetime – ALL HELL BREAKS loose – coming from the far RIGHT PARTY OF NO – because President Obama wants to address school kids and encourage them to stay in school or write an essay as to what they can do for their president – all of a sudden NOW, it's not welcomed in the home.... WHY???

    September 4, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  10. LJ

    How horrible that the President want's to encourage our young people to study hard in school so that they can make something out of themselves and compete against kids in China and India so our nation doesn't turn into a second or third rate has-been in the not so distant future!!!! Just yesterday it was reported that 47% of Hispanic students don't graduate from high school, and they are the fastest growing demographic in our country. Conservatives really need to pick a better fight. They are pathetic!!!

    September 4, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  11. NC Obama supporter

    We have so many ignorant people in this country is absolutely disgusting....these people are the ones bringing this country down – you know, i was scared when GWB was in office but i survived.

    they need to get overt hemselves, he is asking them to study hard and stay in school – these people who are crying need to get a grip and just move out of the country if they are so unhappy – we could use a lot less of them – complete whacko's....

    September 4, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  12. Champagne High Life

    Yeah, I remember 9/11, 2001. Our last Presmident sitting in a Kindergarten class in FL. Reading My Pet Goat. I was pissed that Bush sat for 7 additional minutes in the class after he was notified of the attack. Not because he was in a kindergarten.

    I am absolutely amazed that this is some sort of big deal. Is this really a big deal?

    September 4, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  13. Amazed

    Listen and listen carfully. Most of this country elected Obama to the the President. If you do not like it, tough luck.

    The same majority had to put up with Bush/Cheney for 8 years and heard nothing but self-serving lies.

    So get over it, you bunch of racist loosers.

    September 4, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  14. theMark

    Remember that come next election, folks: "Republicans, the party encouraging ignorance."

    September 4, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  15. Shelly

    There is so much hate and anger in these people, including the birthers and town hall protesters. They just want to break our President.
    They are bringing this Nation down! Stop this madness.

    September 4, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  16. Turnabout is Fair Play

    This is really going to backfire on the Republicans. They have crossed the line for the last time and this time it will come back to bite them on their collective @sses. Watch and see. I'll have popcorn and candy with soda while I watch the fun start when they have to pay for this fiasco.

    September 4, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  17. Tom

    Reading this, makes me so happy to be guys are screwed.

    September 4, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  18. Yougoofs

    How can you mouthers say it's a republican thing to disagree. many people I know belong to the independent party and the democratic party and we don't agree with the socialistic attitudes of this admin.Look at what they just put in as the green czar. Strange things going on here. Can you say comrade????

    September 4, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  19. Sandra

    I am confused. I don't get how parents are worried about what the President is going to tell their children in an open speech. I could see if these parents were sitting in on all classes their children attend and practiced analyzing all content of their lessons in school. Teachers too are opinionated and impressionable on our kids yet we trust them everyday for many hours not knowing exactly what our children injest daily. Come on Republicans our children are fine. We will all be okay. Smile.

    September 4, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  20. mw

    American self-righteous bigotry at it's worst. OK for a white repug to speak to school children, but not a black Democrat. What are these perfect parents affraid of-their own poor parenting it appears?
    Shame of the paranoid, inadequate, bigoted parents in this country. Their children know what this is all about, and I will bet many are ashamed and appalled--even the very young ones. I know I am and I am 70, but not raised by a bigoted parent.

    September 4, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  21. Twiana

    It is the year 2009 and time for a lot of American's to wake up. I can't believe that parents are actually considering taking their children out of school so that they will not see this important message from the ironic....he wants them to stay in school and they want to take them out. With that said, did we have this type of reaction when it was fine to air the space shuttle launch and school? Did we have this type of reaction when the lunar eclipse was aired in school? Was there some valuable lesson that could have been taught to our children during this time? Yes, but instead the school system, and the government, didn't have a problem with it. Parents need to accept the fact that some childrens focus is on obtaining a dollar "BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY". What President Obama (lets give the man is due respect) is doing is providing the students with a speech, such as the one parents give to their children, letting them know how important it is to stay in school and obtain a quality education. Are some out there afraid that his knowledge will actually reach a deaf ear and a child will change his or her life for the better? I think that what some Americans need to do take off the blinders. Barack Obama is the President of the United States of America...and that is a fact. Instead of trying to beat him, they need to join him at making our country a safe and better place for all of us to live. Let us not forget that the words that come out of his mouth on Tuesday are words that his two daughters have heard over and over again. It may be a lecture to some but it will definitely be a wake up call for others.

    September 4, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  22. debbie

    Come on people why is anyone even listening to these idiots. It is a just the right-wing's shriek-of-the-week. Ignore them. These are the same people who think
    Sarah Palin has a brain,
    Dick Cheney has ethics
    and Hawaii is an island in Kenya.

    They are allergic to facts and celebrate studipity.

    Ignore them.

    September 4, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  23. Julia

    Heaven forbid American conservatives have this Black man who happens to be President of the United States speaking to this nation's children about dedicating themselves to doing well in school. The faces of bigotry aren't very well hidden in this exchange lead by the right. It's sad. They're calling it political. What is political about a president speaking to children and the words of a man who will be in office for the next 3 1/2 years. This is not election season, so what are these people afraid of besides this man's skin? The mother featured in this story says she's scared. Well, yes ma'am. We're all scared. We are scared of people who disguise blatant racism and partisanism behind their children.

    September 4, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  24. A.J.

    Shanneen are a bigot for the first kind. And now we know why birth control pills were ignorant people like you don't have children to raise in homes filled with hate.

    It is the conservative Republicans that will continue to divide this country and scare the hell out of seniors, rednecks, and anyone else who will listen to them.

    The Republicans are sounding more and more like the Taliban and Nazi's everyday....don't laugh folks....just look at the Taliban doctrine, and look at Nazi Germany....the ultra-right in this country is just as nuts as Hitler and his followers. Read some history books and you will see the parallel of this conservative thinking.

    September 4, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  25. Just Me

    What is really wrong with these people? Since when getting a good education has become a bad word? No wonder so many on the extreme right act they way they do. The obvioulsy are lacking a good education, and now want they kids to follow in their sad footsteps.

    I will never want to be a politician or run for President if I could. People complain about things that makes not sense and always has something to say. When they get a President who lies to them, take away their civil liberties, and send they young childen into unwaranted wars, they say nothing but wave the American flag. When the get a President that genuinely care about their plight in heatlhcare, education and the entire gamit, they moan and groan and protest.

    I am so sick of these kinds of so called Americas. And they deserve everything bad thats coming their way. Idiots!

    September 4, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
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