Regarding his plans to address virtually all American children in their schools, is President Obama operating within his proper sphere of authority as President of the United States? Probably, though it’s certainly debatable. But what he has to say – and what teachers do with his words – may give many parents reason answer in the negative.
Yesterday Patterico analyzed the Department of Education’s suggested lessons and the result was a clear, disturbing, and deliberate attempt to indoctrinate our children in the liberal ideology.
Today I see that the DoE has withdrawn one of the more controversial bullet points, an assignment that would have, in the DoE’s language, had children, “Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president”, presumedly for a grade.
I’m glad to see both the firestorm of disapproval that burst into being after this blatantly ideological lesson plan was made public and the DoE’s quiet retreat. Gives me a bit more faith in my country when the people rebel, reject something that’s so obviously wrong, and force the government to back down and remember its place.
That said, President Obama will still be addressing American school children in their classrooms next week. Given that attendance is compulsory for these children, Mr. Obama is ethically obligated to give what one might term a truthful, inspiring, and politically benign speech.
To politicize schools – already brought low by decades of liberal agenda items such as the elimination of corporal punishment, forced integration, and multiculturalism – would be utterly inappropriate and thoroughly reprehensible.
I applaud Mr. Obama’s interest in the education of our children. He could use this chance to inspire an entire generation of children to live up to American traditions and ideals. I hope that he does. I just wish I could trust him to do the right thing. Given what his Department of Education tried to foist upon students, it may impossible to do so this time. Presidents, like ordinary citizens, must earn the trust of others. Little in this president’s reign to-date has done so and this episode is another mark in the negative column.
Should parents boycott his speech and hold their children out of classes next Tuesday? I say not necessarily, for a couple of reasons. First, the intensity of the controversy has very likely parried the president’s ability to make an overly ideological presentation. More than likely his speech will be safe for all ages and Democrats will afterwards attempt to spin conservative and libertarian anger as a typical, perhaps even racist, overreaction.
Second, I think that parents of older students would be better advised to seize the opportunity, while it has their interest, and give their children the knowledge they need to defend themselves against the liberal agenda that is consistently pushed on them through the public school system. Viewed with open eyes, even the most blatant political indoctrination attempts serve more to awaken disgust in those targeted for conversion than win them over. Parents, open your kids’ eyes and let the liberals talk. The more that happens, the better off your children will be.
If Mr. Obama is truly interested in helping school children, a more appropriate way for him to address them would be to make his video available to parents prior to it being shown to their children. Better yet, the president could post his speech on YouTube and air it during prime-time television hours so that parents could watch it with their children and advise them as to its truth and accuracy.
Or is that is the very thing the Department of Education had hoped to avoid?