Friday, September 4, 2009

All Abuzz......

If you're a parent of a school-age child, you know this big brouha this week has been Obama's address to schoolchildren. Scheduled for Tuesday, the plan is for Obama to offer a "pep talk" to America's students, encouraging them to stay in school.

Being the oh-so-Republican that I am (If you were around here a year ago, that would be perfectly clear to you.), I pretty much don't agree with pretty much anything Obama has to say. Don't even get me started on the Health Care issue.

Biggsy and I talked about this. For each of us, our initial reaction was "no." Well, mine was more like "Heck, no." I don't like the idea of Obama talking to my kids. At all.

But.

As vocal as I was prior to the election last year, we've stressed a couple of things around our house. For one, we stress that God calls us to respect our leaders, and to pray for them. Obama included. And while we may gripe and grimace at what he plans for us, and while I personally think we're going to spend the rest of our lives trying to un-do what the democrats are doing right now, I still owe him respect as our country's leader.

We also stress the value of education to our kids. Very, very rarely are they pulled out of school early. If the doors are open, our kids are there. And while I joked about pulling them out to get a flu shot on Tuesday, they would have been there. Obama or not.

I had a plan.

I had planned to print out the list of questions off the Internet. I planned to go over those with the girls, prepping them for ways we can help our President. I wanted to put the idea of prayer in their heads before anything else was suggested -- that is first and foremost. I planned to watch the address myself on my computer at home and to go over anything I thought was needed when the girls got home.

My plan isn't needed. And I'm a bit sad about that. Our school has chosen not to show the address. I'm not sure why -- no reason was given. I know that financial reasons are key to why some schools are not showing the address -- for every child that's pulled out of school for the day, the district loses $35. I know some schools were inundated with calls and emails -- and with this being a "red" neighborhood in a "red" state, I'm sure ours was no exception.

I'm sure scheduling was an issue as well. I've had a difficult time understanding why this address was planned for during lunch. Anyone who has ever spent time around schools knows that it takes a lot of coordination to feed 1000 kids. Why this address wasn't scheduled for first thing in the morning is beyond me.

I'm sad that we've got a President that doesn't instill confidence across the party lines. A president that people don't trust. A President that people are afraid -- I mean all out afraid -- to have talk to their children. I'm sad that we don't have a President that the people across the board can look up to -- a Reaganesque President who everyone loves no matter which side of the political aisle they stand on. If this had been George Bush, we would have been all over it. And I don't think this objection is because it's a Democrat. If it had been Clinton, you wouldn't have had 90% of Facebook threatening to pull their kids out of school. Clinton wasn't seen as dangerous -- unless you had a daughter aged 18-20 working in the White House.

When you send your kids to school, you don't have a say in what they are taught. It's impossible for you to control everything that comes across their desks. All the authors, speakers, textbooks, etc. I wasn't worried about Obama indoctrinating my kids. Our children are far more influenced by their teachers. Their parents. What they see on TV.

I wish parents would get as fired up about what our kids are taught as far as evolution vs. creationism goes. Or whether God is allowed in our schools. But no, they only get fired up about the "gall" of our President giving our students a pep talk.

Like I said, I wasn't worried about "indoctrination." My kids are smart, and I give them more credit than that. And as far as I was concerned, a lesson in critical thinking wouldn't be such a bad thing to have. I don't want my kids to be sheep. I want them to learn to listen to what an authority figure says and to decide what they think about it. I want to be in their lives to help guide that thought. But if I shelter them and keep them away from everything, how will they ever learn to think things through and form opinions?

1 comment:

Patty said...

As always, I am impressed with your journalism skills. Some magazine or other publication is definitely missing out by not having you as an employee.
Hugs,
P. Hamilton