September 14th, 2010
01:59 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama pushes kids to work hard in 'back-to-school' speech

President Obama delivered his second 'back-to-school' message Tuesday.
President Obama delivered his second 'back-to-school' message Tuesday.

(CNN) – President Barack Obama Tuesday delivered his second "back-to-school" message to the nation's students - an event marked by far less controversy than the first time around.

The speech - delivered to a thunderous round of applause from students at Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - encouraged students to make the most of their educational opportunities.

"Nobody gets to write your destiny but you," Obama said. "Your future is in your hands. Your life is what you make of it. And nothing - absolutely nothing - is beyond your reach. So long as you're willing to dream big. So long as you're willing to work hard. So long as you're willing to stay focused on your education."

The president said education "never has been more important."

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soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    I love our President's agenda of encouraging kids to get an education.

    I couldn't care less what the republicans try to say - guess they are pushing for no education, except the best schools for their little baby boys and girls. Oh – and spreading more lies, hate, fear.

    September 14, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  2. Tulsa

    Gee, wonder why the kids aren't all turning socialist... Wait, what the GOP was saying last year wasn't a LIE, was it?

    Keep up the good work Mr. President. The majority (MAJORITY) is still with you.

    September 14, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Orlando Patriot

    Obama said "Yes, I need SOME of you to be successful so I can take your money and give it to the lazy non-working people. Afterall for me to possibly get elected I need to buy as many votes as possible. The irony is the lazy good for nothing losers are my base so I buy their votes but they don't know that I lie to them on a regular basis. Can you believe I convinced about 40% of the population that I can cover their health care and I can do it for less than what it costs now!! Boy these people are REALLY REALLY gullible. I simply continue to say 'Hope and Change' over and over again and these fools believe me. I would feel sorry for using my constituents because they don't know any better but I don't have a heart and only a desire to have as much power as possible. So remember kids, I need a few of you to strive for success because without your success I can't redistribute your money and keep my power."

    September 14, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Mutt

    Asking children to work hard. How dare him!! Come on right-wingers you aren't going to let him say that & get away with it are you?

    September 14, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Obama: "Work hard, stay in school, be responsible and self-reliant, chase your dreams."

    GOP: "He's trying to indoctrinate our children into socialism!!! BE AFRAID AND ANGRY!!!"

    "News" Media: "Is Obama trying to indoctrinate our children into socialism? Bobblehead discussion at 11."

    - v --

    TX Board of Education: "Jefferson wasn't really all that important and didn't really think that church and state should be separate...the African slave trade triangle was actually not all that bad...and, by the way, the Constitution requires capitalism [hint: it doesn't] and obeisance to corporate America and that is the only way to true freedom."

    GOP: "It's about time someone got around to trying to prevent so many kids from holding liberal beliefs and voting for Dems/liberals like they did for Obama. Man was that a scary window into our future as a party."

    "News" Media: "Interviews with TX Board of Education members so they can defend their indoctrination attempts at 11. No...we won't be having any historians on to talk about this...that would dispell any question that what they're doing is 100% politically motivated and wrong and essentially the kind of communist and fascist indoctrination attempted by Mao and Hitler, et al., so it would destroy the controversy and screw up our ad revenue...not to mention show that the real Hitlerian fascist threats are coming from the right, not the left...and we can't have that."

    September 14, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. Deb

    Excellent speech, President Obama, keep the speech going every year no matter what the opposition says or does.

    September 14, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    "Nobody gets to write your destiny but you," Obama said. "Your future is in your hands. Your life is what you make of it. And nothing – absolutely nothing – is beyond your reach. So long as you're willing to dream big. So long as you're willing to work hard. So long as you're willing to stay focused on your education."

    Sounds like crypto-atheist indoctrination to me, right teabaggers? Have a nice day!

    September 14, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. New Age Independant

    Another Obama campaign speech. Yawn, the failing policies have shown Obama to be a fraud. The people won't be fooled by him again. I don't see a chance in hell for Democrats if this continues.

    September 14, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. Jimbo (the real one)

    I hope these kids listen. Like him or not this Presdient is the living example of what hard work can accomplish.

    September 14, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. Living in America

    The Spill, the spill. Now watch someone politicize his speech since they have politicize everything else he does. He isn't working why is he giving a speech.

    September 14, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. diridi

    Pres. Obama is 100 percent right on this.....look, India, and China, and learn from them, instead of holding signs "stay out of our children" what an idiotic parents...if it were India, they would have been kicked out....for them, with hunger, education is number one....this nation, Indian population, i mean, Indian Americans are all educated...learn from them idiots, instead of pulling pres. obama down.....he is a wonderful president....If we were to elect John McCain, this nation would have gone to dogs, long time ago...economy is much improving...now....Fuel efficient cars are rolling out in October....with warranty, and cheap price....OPEC go to dogs, republicans, bribers, go to dogs....

    September 14, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  12. Frisky

    I just had the same talk with my stepdaughter, thank you President Obama. A college degree is the new High School diploma, its only a start but a critical one. From a broken home and a single mom he worked hard and became president, setting a great example.

    September 14, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  13. jim

    Maybe these kids could tell him the correct number of states that make up our great country since he got it completely wrong when campaigning for the presidency. But then again he doesnt even know what the free market system of government is.

    September 14, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  14. Bill

    Just remember that it is all in your hands and no matter what the Obama adminstraion does it is all your fault if you fail.

    The last part of the speech that the teleprompter did not display to BO

    September 14, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  15. T'SAH from Virginia

    Thank you President Obama.

    If there is any ONE child out there that can now believe that – it's an African American child!!!

    I am T'SAH and I approve this message!!

    September 14, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. brenda

    I was very happy with the speech that our President gave today, especially when he made mention of the different hindrances that multicultural & fatherless families can endure. However, I would hope that President Obama can further help hindrances by eliminating the ridiculous SAT & FCAT testing for elementary school children. This testing is grueling for these youngsters and puts unnecessary pressure on both the students and teachers. Sadly, what ends up happening is that most schools just focus on FCAT teaching so that they can earn a good grade and regular education winds up taking a back seat. What happened to the days when you earned a promotion on your effort all year long? These days a child can be on Honor Roll and even Deans list but if they are not good test takers and fail these exams, they get left back! So much for no child left behind huh? Mr. President help save our children, listen to the educators and parents and help eliminate this road block so that our children can compete with other countries.

    September 14, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. Patty

    What happend to the "Bitter, Jealous, FearMongers" (GOP) I guess they are tired of talking nonsense!

    September 14, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  18. Dean

    "Nobody gets to write your destiny but you," Obama said. "Your future is in your hands........................................That is until your government creates a huge economic crisis that does away with your job and savings and ruins your future.

    September 14, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  19. Tina in PA

    Great speech. Not once did he try to loar childred with his wicked ways. People are parinoid.

    September 14, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. Wendy

    If the Repugs have their way, us black folks will be going back to the 50's. At least President Obama knows enough about the English language to speak before the world. You choose! Palin, Bush,Beck, Limbaugh, Beohner, Kanter,Guilanno? I could go on and on and on. Maybe Haley Barbor? Perhaps some of that good old southern dialect will rub off on all the white children.That would be diastrous! There hasn't been one Repug that I would want my children to listen to. Why? Who knows what hatred they will spew out of their mouths!

    September 14, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  21. Wendy

    If you have a problem with the president speaking to white children, then black teachers, you will become extinct. Cristie, A Repug is doing his best to see to that!

    September 14, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. Eric

    Yep kids, if you work hard and bury your college transcripts along with your entire life's paper trail under several million dollars with of lawyers and protections, maybe just maybe, you too can become president...

    ...well, only as long as you're a radical angry socialist who "sought out the marxists and radicals" in life, and as long as you have a willing and malleable liberal media to lap up your every word and run defense for you... THEN maybe you can become president.

    September 14, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  23. educated american (legal)

    "Nobody gets to write your destiny but you," Obama said. "Your future is in your hands. Your life is what you make of it. And nothing – absolutely nothing – is beyond your reach. So long as you're willing to dream big. So long as you're willing to WORK HARD.

    so we should end entitlements?
    so we should end subsidies for some, and the taxes on others?
    so we should end welfare?
    so we should end affirmative action?

    wow- i agree with him. then again- i was taught all of that by my parents and my UNION-FREE school district!

    September 14, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. Wendy

    In all sincerity, there are white racist and black racist, but then black people have a reason to be. I truly think we are more tolerant and have done well to forgive the wrongs of hatred because we must believe that you must treat people the way you want to be treated. If Shirley Sherrod can be so forgiving, then Repugs and Tea Partiers must come to realize that we are forgiving people.

    September 14, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. Marcus

    Here's a little piece of information:
    Education is not a bill, but an investment. If you only care about (your) expenses and (your) taxes and not at the big picture (in this case the whole country), think about it. Ever since there were massive investment in education the life expectation rocketed up (all over the world), many diseases that killed hundreds of thousand per year got controlled and/or were turned into curable diseases (because there were more researchers available and ready to debunk scientific dogmas if they were proved wrong), and today's machineries/technologies would be considered 50 years back pure sci-fi (and wizardry if we look a 100 years back).

    September 14, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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