Obama’s speech will not be shown in Liberal schools
By JESSICA CRAWFORD • Daily Leader
President Barak Obama has planned to stream a message live from the White House’s Web site at 11 a.m. eastern time on Tuesday. The message will be directed at students in schools throughout the nation. And with the 11 a.m. scheduled time, students must take time out of their school day in order to listen to the President’s message. The fact that the President expects teachers to allow their students to stop what they are doing to listen to the message have teachers and administrators from Texas to Florida, Wisconsin to New Mexico and even USD No. 480 speaking out about the situation.
“I just sent an e-mail out to my administrators, because I had several phone calls about it,” USD 480 Superintendent Vernon Welch said Thursday. “I said, ‘You know, I don’t want to use school time for the President’s speech.’ That is kind of my stance on it.
“I just feel like if somebody wants to do it, they can record it and play it later or some other time,” he continued. “I just don’t want to take school time to do something like that. I told them I didn’t want them to do it, and I didn’t encourage it, but unless you are in that classroom, you don’t know what is going to happen. I have given them my opinion not to use school time. We shouldn’t get politics involved in school issues.”
According to Associated Press writer Brendan Farrington, Tallahassee, Fla., Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer is not happy at all and issued a press release to let his opinion be known.
“Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer issued a press release Tuesday headlined, ‘Greer Condemns Obama’s Attempt to Indoctrinate Students,’” Farrington’s report noted. “In it, Greer says, ‘As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology’ and ‘I do not support using our children as tools to spread liberal propaganda. I think this is going to be an attempt to talk about his philosophy in governing, his new ideas, on a different level to the young people in hopes of getting them to embrace his vision of America.’”
According to Farrington’s report, the White House has said worry regarding Obama’s upcoming speech is unfounded.
“‘The president will speak directly to students about the value of education and the importance of staying in school as part of an effort to dramatically cut the dropout rate,’” White House spokesman Tommy Victor said in Farrington’s report. “‘It’s not a policy speech.
It’s about getting kids to stay in school.’”
Education Secretary Arne Duncan has also drafted a press release regarding the speech.
“‘The President will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning,’” Farrington noted as he quoted Duncan’s press release. “‘He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens.’”
Regardless of what Obama will actually say to the nation’s students on Tuesday is still up in the air. However, the controversy surrounding the speech continues to circulate.
Of course, by law, students aren’t required to watch the speech.
However, some administrators nationwide, as with USD 480’s own Vernon Welch, think school time is not an appropriate time for politics.
“Somebody might come back and say, ‘You have a teacher that did this,’” Welch said of the situation. “Well, then I will visit with the building principal. I don’t want to get into politics on school time.”