Classroom Controversy Over President's Agenda

President Barack Obama will address school children via television and the Internet.

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    The White House insists the message will be about staying in school, but critics accuse the President of forcing his agenda on those not even old enough to vote.

    From the oval office to the nation's classrooms, a debate is raging from coast to coast over a special address President Barack Obama is giving to school children next week via television and the Internet -- if their parents allow it.

    The White House insists the message will be about staying in school, but critics accuse the President of forcing his agenda on those not even old enough to vote.

    One Florida Republican claims the President will push his ideologies onto students and a newly created Facebook page is urging parents to keep their kids home next Tuesday.

    "It has nothing to do with education,” Grossmont Union school board member Jim Kelly said. He claims the speech is a political move by a President with a falling approval rating. “You know we try to protect kids from outside speakers coming in to politicize the classroom and anyone else would not have been allowed to do that."

    Classroom Controversy

    [DGO] Classroom Controversy
    The President will be speaking to millions of kids around the country next week via television and the internet, if their parents allow it

    In the Poway district, letters are asking parents permission for their kids to watch the speech.

    One Parent said he's offended a teacher had to call him for permission. He can't understand why it's such a big deal.

    "It's history,” Valroy Watson said. “And to have a president that says specifically, I want to talk to all the students about education because I'm concerned about education, what's there to protest."

    The backlash came after the White House issued a lesson plan suggesting kids write letters to themselves about how they can help the President. It has since been changed to suggest the letters focus on how to achieve their own educational goals.

    President Obama supporters point out, however, it's not the first Presidential Address to students and the White House claims there is no ulterior motive here.

    "It's not advancing an agenda. It's simply speaking to the students about the importance of staying in school and working hard," a White House official said.

    Parents will be able to read the contents of the speech a day in advance online.
    Schools are also making other plans for students whose parents do not want them to see the speech.