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Author Topic: text of the president's speech to school kids
Strider
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Our foreign born President brainwashes our children with his nazi communist death panel agenda. I hear he's going to read the speech while killing your grandma

Link

Is posting the whole thing a violation?

quote:
Hello everyone Ė howís everybody doing today? Iím here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And weíve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. Iím glad you all could join us today.

I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, itís your first day in a new school, so itís understandable if youíre a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade youíre in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you couldíve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.

I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didnít have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday Ė at 4:30 in the morning.

Now I wasnít too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, Iíd fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever Iíd complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."

So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But Iím here today because I have something important to discuss with you. Iím here because I want to talk with you about your education and whatís expected of all of you in this new school year.

Now Iíve given a lot of speeches about education. And Iíve talked a lot about responsibility. Iíve talked about your teachersí responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.

Iíve talked about your parentsí responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and donít spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.

Iíve talked a lot about your governmentís responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that arenít working where students arenít getting the opportunities they deserve.
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world Ė and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And thatís what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.

Every single one of you has something youíre good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. Thatís the opportunity an education can provide.

Maybe you could be a good writer Ė maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper Ė but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor Ė maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine Ė but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.

And no matter what you want to do with your life Ė I guarantee that youíll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? Youíre going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You canít drop out of school and just drop into a good job. Youíve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.

And this isnít just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What youíre learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.

Youíll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. Youíll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. Youíll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.

We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you donít do that Ė if you quit on school Ė youíre not just quitting on yourself, youíre quitting on your country.

Now I know itís not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.

I get it. I know what thatís like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasnít always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didnít fit in.

So I wasnít always as focused as I should have been. I did some things Iím not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.

But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didnít have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.
Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you donít have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and thereís not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you donít feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know arenít right.

But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life Ė what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what youíve got going on at home Ė thatís no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. Thatís no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. Thatís no excuse for not trying.
Where you are right now doesnít have to determine where youíll end up. No oneís written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.

Thatís what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.

Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didnít speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.
Iím thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, whoís fought brain cancer since he was three. Heís endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer Ė hundreds of extra hours Ė to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and heís headed to college this fall.

And then thereís Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and sheís on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.

Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell arenít any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.

Thatís why today, Iím calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education Ė and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe youíll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe youíll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe youíll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope youíll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you donít feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.
Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.
I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, youíre not going to be any of those things.

But the truth is, being successful is hard. You wonít love every subject you study. You wonít click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you wonít necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
Thatís OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones whoíve had the most failures. JK Rowlingís first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

These people succeeded because they understand that you canít let your failures define you Ė you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesnít mean youíre a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesnít mean youíre stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.

No oneís born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. Youíre not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You donít hit every note the first time you sing a song. Youíve got to practice. Itís the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before itís good enough to hand in.

Donít be afraid to ask questions. Donít be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isnít a sign of weakness, itís a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you donít know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust Ė a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor Ė and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.

And even when youíre struggling, even when youíre discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you Ė donít ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.

The story of America isnít about people who quit when things got tough. Itís about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.

Itís the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.

So today, I want to ask you, whatís your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?

Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. Iím working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But youíve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So donít let us down Ė donít let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.


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theamazeeaz
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One sentence summary: care darn it, school's GOOD for you.
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Belle
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Nice. But all I can think of is that my students would laugh and mock during the whole thing. Seems more aimed at younger crowds than mine. Or maybe ones who aren't as cynical.
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Strider
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Belle, are your kids any better during normal class times? What I mean to say is, if your worry is that they'll laugh and mock during a speech from the president, are they any better normally when you are teaching? And if so, why?

If not, it seems like you have a much more serious problem than disrupting one day of class for a presidential address. And if they're unruly in general anyway, why not have them be unruly during a presidential speech?

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Belle
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It took two weeks of solid discipline and of me not allowing ANY noise and immediately pursuing disciplinary action for the slightest disruption to get the semblance of control that I have now. And, while I am a new teacher, I have exceptional classroom management skills - it's one area where I do have confidence. I actually have a better managed classroom than many of the veteran teachers at the school.

I run my class like a drill sergeant, and if I didn't nothing would ever get done. It really upsets me, because by nature I like to have a friendly environment where discussion is fostered and people can feel more freedom to speak up. Instead, I have desks in rows facing front, and students who are not allowed to get up or speak without my permission. I hate it...it's not the way I want to teach, but if I don't enforce such rigid discipline my classroom would be complete chaos. It has paid off, in that the few students who do want to learn are grateful, and have even told me they appreciate that I don't allow any talking out or disrespect - they feel safer in that environment.

If I showed this, I would have to spend a lot of time telling people what behavior I expected, and threatening them ahead of time, and I'd still get some laughter and mockery. Then I'd have some students who DID want to listen yelling at the ones who wouldn't shut up, and I'd have to write people up and send them to the administration for discipline.

I see plenty of potential for trouble if I tried to show this in my class. One way I've carved out some success in the classroom management department is by avoiding potential hotbeds of trouble.

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Blayne Bradley
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I was always a serious and attentive listener to any historical address during high school and below, this includes documentaries and what not.
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Belle
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I've looked back over my posts and I realize I look like I am trying to find any negative angle. I promise you, that's not it.

I think people who have never taught don't know what a teaching job is really like, and those that have no experience in an urban, high-poverty school cannot imagine the difficulties the teachers and staff face.

I could list some of the things I've learned and seen on only a few short weeks on the job but it would serve no purpose except to indulge in some shock value. Suffice to say, I came home the first two weeks and cried every night. I didn't think I could do it, I was sure I would never survive and I hated my choice to go into education. I've since turned a corner and am finding that I had several hard choices to make - I was going to have to accept that in many ways the system was broken and I couldn't fix it by myself, and that I could not make up for years and years of poor education at the elementary level nor could I make up for lack of parental involvement. I could only do my best, and hope to at least reach and impact some of the students. I'm now getting to a point where I can actually say I like my job, even love parts of it. I could even see myself staying for a few years...though I don't want to stay forever - the school is an hour from my home and I'm getting sick of the gas money and time on the road, especially since I witnessed an attempted carjacking on the way home one afternoon. (Fortunately, a sheriff's deputy was nearby and intevened)

Establishing discipline was the first thing I had to do and I finally have it to a point that I'm able to teach for more time each day without dealing with disciplinary issues. That's a good thing, but it's a tenuous balance, and I don't want to upset it.

I hope my kids do watch President Obama's speech at home and I hope they are inspired to care more about their school work. Perhaps I've become all too jaded all too fast, though, because I doubt it will work.

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Paul Goldner
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Belle-

If I may make a suggestion, record it?
I think its important for a number of kids in a district like yours to see a speech like the one the president is giving, especially from a president with a background like Obama's.

There may come a time when you CAN show this. Early in the year with a tough class is probably not it, though.

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Teshi
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I agree with Belle that it is aimed at younger children and if you had a particularly jaded group of kids (even though they weren't all that old), you might be a little wary of having all this optimistic dramatic speechifying in your classroom. Because Obama can be a little dramatic.
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Tatiana
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I think it's an awesome speech. I know that even if kids make fun and act all cynical, most of them are really idealists underneath. They're just afraid that being an idealist isn't ... cool or something. Or they're hurt that the world doesn't quite conform to their idealistic vision so they've become disillusioned. I think a talk like this from someone who matters in the world is something they will hear deep down even if they pretend to slough it off. I think it may well stick with them in the long run.
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Lyrhawn
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I think the problem with trying to give a speech to students of all ages is that you really have to give a different speech to different grades. There are always going to be students who are more and less interested, but you can't say the same thing to a first grader that you should to a 12th grader. If you gear it towards the senior, the first grader isn't going to understand, and if you gear it towards the first grader, the 12 grader is going to tune you out. If you chart a middle path, chances are neither is going to get a real message from it of value.

I really think he needed to make two speeches, if he really wanted to be effective. There is no one size fits all speech for K-12. High school kids need a different kind of motivation and message than elementary school kids, and maybe even middle schoolers.

Also, despite his attempts to drop it down a level, it's still too stilted and formal. It might not have been a bad idea to either have it written by, or to seek out the advice of some motivated young high schoolers for content and style. Youth are the hardest age group to gear a message towards, and his content is good, but the packaging needs work.

Honestly, I think he would have been better with a reverse town hall with only students. Pick a cross section of a school, or a couple demographically diverse schools and HE can pick random students and ask them questions. I think that would have been far more effective than this speech.

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Synesthesia
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Sounds like schools I went to...


quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
It took two weeks of solid discipline and of me not allowing ANY noise and immediately pursuing disciplinary action for the slightest disruption to get the semblance of control that I have now. And, while I am a new teacher, I have exceptional classroom management skills - it's one area where I do have confidence. I actually have a better managed classroom than many of the veteran teachers at the school.

I run my class like a drill sergeant, and if I didn't nothing would ever get done. It really upsets me, because by nature I like to have a friendly environment where discussion is fostered and people can feel more freedom to speak up. Instead, I have desks in rows facing front, and students who are not allowed to get up or speak without my permission. I hate it...it's not the way I want to teach, but if I don't enforce such rigid discipline my classroom would be complete chaos. It has paid off, in that the few students who do want to learn are grateful, and have even told me they appreciate that I don't allow any talking out or disrespect - they feel safer in that environment.

If I showed this, I would have to spend a lot of time telling people what behavior I expected, and threatening them ahead of time, and I'd still get some laughter and mockery. Then I'd have some students who DID want to listen yelling at the ones who wouldn't shut up, and I'd have to write people up and send them to the administration for discipline.

I see plenty of potential for trouble if I tried to show this in my class. One way I've carved out some success in the classroom management department is by avoiding potential hotbeds of trouble.


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Strider
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Thanks for explaining Belle, I hope it didn't seem like I was jumping on you. I was genuinely curious as to what the reasoning was.

I've only briefly skimmed the other thread, so I knew you were against showing the speech in your class, but not aware of all the reasons why.

I understand that many teachers can have legitimate reasons for choosing not to show this to their students. It's sad that those legitimate reasons have been overshadowed by the ridiculous ones. I also think that if teachers can find a way to show this to their students, they should. Maybe it won't do anything for 99% of the student population, but if this video even inspires 1% to try harder and do better in school, then I think it's more than worth the relatively short disruption to everyone else's school day.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
One way I've carved out some success in the classroom management department is by avoiding potential hotbeds of trouble.

This is an absolutely KEY feature of any good teacher discipline plan, and one of the ways in which teaching is most different from parenting.

That is, parents can -- and certainly should! -- choose their battles, but sometimes there are issues that cannot be avoided. Teachers should be hitting far fewer such issues.

Belle, I think your decision shows excellent judgment.

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Launchywiggin
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quote:
Also, despite his attempts to drop it down a level, it's still too stilted and formal.
This has been the problem with the Democratic party's rhetoric across the board. It's too intelligent for the intended audience.
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FlyingCow
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Belle, keep plugging - it gets easier, trust me.

The first couple months set the tone, and then you can relax a bit around November-ish, once they accept your structure without challenging it.

In the schools I taught at, this speech would have been bundled with a sort of orientation assembly for students at the start of the year, not in the classroom. That gives it a little more structure and lessens the classroom management strain on the individual teachers.

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Tresopax
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quote:
Nice. But all I can think of is that my students would laugh and mock during the whole thing. Seems more aimed at younger crowds than mine. Or maybe ones who aren't as cynical.
I've noticed high school age kids are very gifted at both mocking and listening seriously at the exact same time, though.
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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle:
It took two weeks of solid discipline and of me not allowing ANY noise and immediately pursuing disciplinary action for the slightest disruption to get the semblance of control that I have now. And, while I am a new teacher, I have exceptional classroom management skills - it's one area where I do have confidence. I actually have a better managed classroom than many of the veteran teachers at the school.

I run my class like a drill sergeant, and if I didn't nothing would ever get done. It really upsets me, because by nature I like to have a friendly environment where discussion is fostered and people can feel more freedom to speak up. Instead, I have desks in rows facing front, and students who are not allowed to get up or speak without my permission. I hate it...it's not the way I want to teach, but if I don't enforce such rigid discipline my classroom would be complete chaos. It has paid off, in that the few students who do want to learn are grateful, and have even told me they appreciate that I don't allow any talking out or disrespect - they feel safer in that environment.

If I showed this, I would have to spend a lot of time telling people what behavior I expected, and threatening them ahead of time, and I'd still get some laughter and mockery. Then I'd have some students who DID want to listen yelling at the ones who wouldn't shut up, and I'd have to write people up and send them to the administration for discipline.

I see plenty of potential for trouble if I tried to show this in my class. One way I've carved out some success in the classroom management department is by avoiding potential hotbeds of trouble.

The really sad thing is that it sounds like your students need to hear it the most.
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Ron Lambert
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I always thought that Arnold Schwarzenegger's classroom methodology in Kindgarten Cop was inspired. Of course, any students these days would tend to toe the line if they thought their teacher was a Terminator.
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Sala
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Belle, hang in there, girl! You're already starting to see some success. I had to take my class to "boot camp" last week and be the drill sergeant, like you are (this is fourth grade). Everything came off of their tables (no desks, just tables). It's made a world of difference and I'm getting some good teaching done now that we're four weeks into school. Teaching in high poverty schools is very different from middle class schools. If you ever need someone to cry with you, email me! I've done my fair share of crying over the years with teaching.
~Sala

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rollainm
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Here's the video of Obama's speech if anyone's interested.
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Blayne Bradley
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thanks.
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Belle
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I had one student ask me why I didn't show it and I told her that it just didn't fit in with our lesson plans.

No one seemed upset or disappointed.

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LadyDove
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All my kids saw the video and said it was good. I have an 8th grader, two 6th graders and a 5th grader.

Belle, your posts on teaching and the reasons why you decided not to show the President's address have done nothing but depress me with regards to the future of your students. I'm going to stop reading them because I believe that there's got to be a better way.

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Farmgirl
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If my kids were still young enough to be in school (they are not), I would have no problem with them hearing President Obama's speech (whether I knew in advance what it said or not).

While I disagree with many of his policies, I still believe in showing respect for the office of the President, and I would expect that no matter who holds that office, they should be allowed, and even welcomed, to speak to students. And that is would be educational for the students to participate.

I still call him President Obama (not the more disrespectful names some others use) and hopefully I would be very respectful to him if I were to ever encounter him in person. However, as a voter I reserve the right to disagree or question some of his proposals or policies, and address those concerns.

But I worry about what kind of message this is sending to our children, concerning respect for authority at proper times, when so much to-do is being made about the kids seeing this speech.

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DarkKnight
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The first guided discussions, which were changed, were what caused some outrage. The press then lazily reported a controversy and things spiraled out of control from there.
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Strider
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that's a pretty big distortion of what happened DarkKnight. Yes, the guided discussion caused some of the outrage(understandably). But most of the opposition that I read about quoted people as saying, "I'm not letting my kid listen to Obama's socialist agenda. who does he think he is trying to indoctrinate my children?" And it was all about the fact that the President was speaking to children, nothing about the lesson plan. Nevermind all the Republican Presidents who did the same thing...

quotes:

quote:
"As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology," Greer said.
quote:
"The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the president justify his plans ... is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power."
quote:
"It's a form of indoctrination, and I think, really, it's indicative of the culture that the Obama administration is trying to create," Gordon told FOXNews.com on Thursday. "It's very socialistic."
quote:
"I have to sign permission slips for my kids to watch R-rated movies in school," Moore said, explaining that she felt parents were being blindsided by the president's address. "It was simply presented, 'Hey, we're going to do this, this is when it's going to air and you're going to show it to your kids.'"
quote:
The idea of having Obama speak directly to children without so much as a permission slip being sent home just "makes you feel a little funny," said Beth Milledge of Winterset, Iowa.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
The first guided discussions, which were changed, were what caused some outrage.
I think that's a little disingenuous. I have no doubt that people immediately picked up the materials and thought, "Okay, what can I find in here to be outraged about?"
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DarkKnight
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quote:
I think that's a little disingenuous. I have no doubt that people immediately picked up the materials and thought, "Okay, what can I find in here to be outraged about?"
Ah, so that is a lot like what you do when you respond to my posts?
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TomDavidson
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No. I've never actually been outraged by any of your posts. Mainly they disappoint me.
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