When President Obama wanted to talk directly to our nation’s children in September, I had no problem with that. He’d been on T.V. nearly every night with one press conference or the other. A speech directed to children sounded fine. Though it turned out children were in school rather than with their parents, I didn’t even mind that much. However, his initial writing assignment to accompany his speech left me shocked at his narcissistic political move.
Obama’s plan through the Department of Education was to ask children to write Obama a letter in which they told him how they were going to help him. Mind you, the question wasn’t how the children were going to help the United States of America be a strong nation. The question was how the children could help the President himself. This came across as his questioning children on how they were going to help him with his agenda.
After the justified uproar, Obama’s writing assignment was removed. What remained, however, were concerns that Obama, with the support of the Department of Education, was attempting to talk past the parents to reach their children politically. How his speech was handled in the Boulder Valley School District further negated parents’ role in their children’s education. The only decision parents were given was whether to remove their children from school on Sept. 8, the day of the speech.
Parents need to be allowed in the decision-making process. I value good teachers and school administration and lament the battle they have had with arbitration on the speech issue. But, I lament more that parents weren’t included at all. This situation needs to be remedied for future controversial situations and ongoing issues. A sounding board of parents at the building level could be a move in the right direction.