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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Schools debate on showing Obama speech

Saturday, September 5, 2009

To show it or not to show it?

That debate is rippling through school districts across the state and nation over President Barack Obama's televised back-to-school address planned for students next Tuesday.

Locally, not all schools will be tuning into the broadcast.

Robert Green Superintendent of Greencastle Schools, said individual building principals were left to decide whether or not students would see the address.

"The students can opt out, their parents just need to call building principals," Green said. "There won't be any repercussions if they do."

Green said he was slightly uneasy about the secrecy surrounding what the president was planning to say.

"We've been in the dark as far as content goes," he said.

South Putnam and Cloverdale students will not be watching. North Putnam will leave it up to individual teachers with an opt out for parents.

GHS principal Randy Corn said he was surprised by the uproar the upcoming address had caused.

"I can't see where it would be inappropriate," he said. "To me, a speech that advocates graduating and staying in school would have to be a good thing."

Still, Corn said because the teachers were not certain about what the president was going to say, he has advised teachers at GHS to watch the address themselves before deciding if they would show it to their students.

"We're all going to look at the speech, and from there the teachers will determine for themselves if they want to build a lesson around it," he said.

Corn said he didn't foresee the address being a political thing.

"Even so, a classroom is supposed to be a place of critical thinking where students are free to express their opinions when it's appropriate," he said. "In a democratic society, you have to be willing to look at opposing views."

Greencastle Middle School principal Shawn Gobert said his school will take a similar tack.

"We're not showing it as it actually happens, but we can access it later by digital archive and decide what we want to do," he said. "We'll review it and then make a decision. Whether that means we show the entire thing in classes or excerpts during lunch, I don't really know yet."

Cloverdale Community schools plan on having a regular day with no noon broadcast available to students.

"Students can watch at home if they want. We're sure it will be on the news," said representatives from Cloverdale.

South Putnam will also not be taking part in the event as it happens.

"This is a major political controversy and the schools don't need to be in the middle of it," said South Putnam Community School Superintendent Bruce Bernhardt. "I didn't even know about this until parents started calling in asking if we were going to take part. Then I saw it on the news. It's a little irritating not to be notified."

The broadcast is set for noon, and that also is a problem for the school system that typically has half of the students in the lunchroom and the other half in the classroom.

North Putnam Community Schools are leaving the decision to watch the event up to individual teachers. They sent letters home informing parents of the broadcast and allowing them to opt their children out of watching the broadcast.

"We want to accommodate parent wishes," said Kevin Emsweller, North Putnam's assistant to the superintendent. "If they don't want their children to watch they don't have to. We are also letting teachers who decide to broadcast the event in their classrooms know that our IT department has warned us there might be issues with the web cast because of the number of people logging in. We're really leaving it up to the individual teachers and parents.

Last month during an interview with a young student reporter, Obama announced his back-to-school address plan.

"I'm going to be making a big speech to young people all across the country about the importance of education; and the importance of staying in school; how we want to improve our education system and why it's so important for the country," he said.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was reported to have sent letters to the nation's principals, inviting schools to watch the speck and included suggested classroom activities.

Most Putnam County schools had not received the information as of Friday morning. Many heard about the newscast from parents and media.

The controversy that Bernhardt refers to is the objection by the Republican party to the event and to the accompanying suggested lesson plans.

The guide for pre-kindergarten through grade six has questions that suggest students think about what the president is trying to tell them and what he is asking them to do.

Plans for grades 7-12 include a "guided discussion" with suggested topics of what Obama is inspiring them to do.

According to Yahoo! News the Cato Institute, a public-policy research foundation issued a press release titled "Hey Obama, Leave Those Kids Alone."

It criticized the "troubling buzzwords" in the lesson plan.

"It's one thing for a president to encourage all kids to work hard and stay in school -- that's a reasonable use of the bully pulpit," the release said. "It's another thing entirely, however, to have the U.S. Department of Education send detailed instructions to public schools nationwide on how to glorify the president and the presidency, and push them to drive social change."

The Department of Education called the speech a "historic moment" -- an American president speaking directly to the nation's students about persisting and succeeding in school.

It will be telecast locally at noon on the White House Web site and C-SPAN.

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As a product of the GCSC, I remember many times where school would come to a halt for a presidential announcement or some other huge, breaking news (Waco, TX, the O.J. Simpson verdict, Desert Storm, Oklahoma City, etc, etc...). I'm sure 9/11 was the same way, as was the declaration of war in 2003. What I would like to know, should schools refuse to pipe President Obama's speech directly into the classrooms across Putnam county, is why deny the students of (what I'm certain will be) a positive message, while disasters of all sorts (O.J. included) are fair game for classroom disruption? In fact, I'm pretty flabbergasted that there is even debate as to whether or not it needs to be shown to children. Barack Obama is our legally-elected president, chosen by the people, in a manner laid out by our Constitution. As such, he is our Commander-in-Chief, Head of State, and not only by his own personal path to the presidency, but by the office itself, he serves as an inspiration. Only in the United States is this wholly possible. Again, what right-minded school administrator would deny a broadcast meant to inspire America's youth?

-- Posted by the_bugler on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 3:27 AM

Just an added note: Not only should students be obligated by teachers, they should -want- to watch the speech.

-- Posted by the_bugler on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 3:29 AM

Well put bugler!

But I'm not suprised by the hate expressed for the President across this country. It is my guess that he will try to inspire kids to get a good education and make something of themselves.

Maybe if he was going to announce plans of invading an oil rich country and sending more of our youth to go shed their lives for the sake of future resources, then some people would welcome him.

This article is going to be a can of worms, and I expect some comments to be deleted.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 5:19 AM

This is just another example of the anti-anything Obama rhetoric. Our presidents have always been inspirations and and roll models in our society.

Why such controversy?

Has any other president been censored,for that is what this is, or is this just something special for this one?

I say the schools should treat this like they have any other presidential speech to schools which I would bet money they always show.

-- Posted by paying attention on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 6:37 AM

Sounds a bit fishy to me that the southern schools of our county wont even let the children have a choice to see it.Will there be a confederate flag hanging on the flag pole that day. Not sure but doesnt schools get aome federal funding aswell. I recieved an email from my kids school with an opt out slip to turn in. As others have said, back in the day if the President was on during school or some other major event happened we were forced to watch it. Tis is not a religous thing so there is not a reason for johny atheous (sp) not to watch.

-- Posted by Oh My Goodness on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 6:48 AM

This is crazy. Obama is the President of the United States!!! Why in the world would we even think of censoring his speech?? Why would the schools 'think' about whether or not to broadcast this speech. This makes absolutely no sense to me. Our kids need to be involved and interested in politics. They need to know what's going on in our world. Gawd knows families don't sit around the dinner table and talk about stuff anymore!

The teachers don't need to censor our President's speech! Just let the kids watch this speech that is addressed to THEM by our President.

Move out of this country if you can't stand to live with our President or trust his words.

-- Posted by just a local on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 7:47 AM

Wee said bugler. I did not vote for President Obama, but he is still our President. I cannot believe that the school administrators are leaving this decision up to the teachers. Give me a break! You four Superintendents get paid to make decisions, earn your money. How can you allow a teacher's own bias to determine whether a child gets to listen to the President. I also can't believe there is any debate about watching this address. I will just bring my children home at noon and let them watch it with me during my lunch.

-- Posted by idiot on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 8:14 AM

Goodness, the Obama people are out in force today. I think the actions of our schools reflect the controveries this president has caused with his agenda for changing America. I do agree that as our president, he is supposed to be a role model and if his message is "to stay in school and do your best, etc." that is good. I fear, however, it will be political, and that is why I applaud the schools for the decisions they have made.

-- Posted by not gullible on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 8:14 AM

@NG: I guess by your comment that you are a Republican, and as such have "great fears" about the Obama presidency. The sad truth about people like you is that as long as the politics of a certain individual are in line with your own beliefs, it is perfectly fine to have their speeches repeated and repeated, broadcast 24/7 across the country. When the shoe is on the other foot, however, you are the first to cry out against them. I did not like W, nor do I now. But as our president he had the right to be respected by our country's children, the same as Clinton, Reagan, Carter, etc, etc, etc. Why would an Obama speech be more political than, say, Bush's speech on the eve of the declaration of war in 2003? Does that mean that you yourself would have been OK with schools refusing to discuss it? Probably not. Or, rather, probably an emphatic and resouding "No!" Please be consistent in your rhetoric, that's all that I - and the rest of the American public - can ask of you.

-- Posted by the_bugler on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 9:30 AM

@SGN: Refer to my comment to NG.

-- Posted by the_bugler on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 9:31 AM

The big thing with this is look at history, Hitler's Nazi Germany forced the kids to listen to his speaches, they became known as the Hitler youth and allowed the slaughter of millions, will this become Obama youth ?. Our schools have made a wise choice by not forcing this on the citizens, Kudo to them and the ones that want no choice but wish to force this i have one thing to say, wise up and do not let history repeat. We the people have a choice and if we decide not to watch or let our children thats our choice not yours. WAKE UP PEOPLE BEFORE ITS TO LATE

-- Posted by upsetwithu on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 9:33 AM

I'm sorry to resort to saying this, but wow, could you be any more republican, SGN? Obama = Hitler? Good lord. You are allowed to make that comparison but were someone to compare any given republican to a Nazi, you would be the first to cry foul. Give it up.

-- Posted by the_bugler on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 9:39 AM

Sorry, SGN, that wasn't your comment. Please accept my apologies.

-- Posted by the_bugler on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 9:40 AM

the_bugler, very well said. Two further points:

As another GCSC graduate, I recall taking breaks from normal class during my 5th grade year to watch, of all things, former President Clinton's impeachment hearings. While educational in a certain light, the fact that these viewings did not stir the kind of controversy we're now witnessing across the country puzzles me enormously.

How is it that when the President of the United States, a country built upon the freedom of speech, wishes to address the youth of our nation on the need to stay in school and study hard, there is ANY backlash whatsoever? Do you seriously expect him to brainwash students into thinking a public option is the best way to go forward on health care reform?

Regardless of party affiliation, regardless of the content of the address, the President's speech will serve as an educational opportunity in it's own right. Here's a novel thought: if parents take issue with President Obama's message, discuss it with your children at home!

-- Posted by johnlocke on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 9:48 AM

@John Locke: Right on. Let them discuss it at home!

@SGN: Game on!

-- Posted by the_bugler on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 11:08 AM

Maybe with all this controversy, the kids should be able to watch it live. Any teacher with half a brain could discuss it with their class and see what it meant to them as kids. All parents who are scared of Obama can do the same and set their own kids straight on what was learned.

If Obama is out to corrupt your kids, you should be aware and informed by listening yourself what he has to say. That would give you parents perfect opportunity to instill your own fears into your kids.

Even when GW opened his mouth to share his wisdom with the globe, it was important to know what he was doing whether you agreed with it or not. The same goes with any President.

Some people act so affected, yet are so uninvolved when needed.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 12:33 PM

Smaller Gov Now, not_gullible & upsetwithu - I totally agree with you..

Thanks South Put for finally making a good decision about the kids! I am glad that I don't have to argue about My daughter watching this political speech from Our President...

Why so much Secrecy Obama???

2012 is taking 4 ever!

-- Posted by luv2bmom2001 on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 2:52 PM

I am very sorry to discover that Greencastle Schools Superintendent Dr. Bob Green is afraid to have the President of the United States encourage our schoolchildren to work hard and succeed.

I am equally sorry to see Dr. Green accuse the President of "secrecy" over the speech's content, as if some sinister plot were afoot to infect our children's minds. I can only wonder whether Dr. Green or other school officials would be at all concerned if it had been President George W. Bush who had wanted to address the nation's students. Would they have moved to prevent children from seeing it--as if it were pornography--or to offer parents the chance to opt their children out?

Anyone--including Dr. Green, who seems unable to tell the difference between being kept in the dark and failing to do his homework--can find out about the speech by visiting the White House web site. If the anyone thinks the materials prominently on display there are not enough, I invite them to wonder, again, whether they would have felt such a need to review the speech in advance, a need to treat it as so very, very dangerous, if any other President were delivering it.

Is the concern that the content of the speech would be inappropriate for children? That's just nutty. Is the concern that President Obama might say things that parents might disagree with? Well, that happens in the school curriculum all the time. And this would be a perfect opportunity for teachers and students openly to discuss important political matters of the day. If that is something that parents and school officials want to shy away from, they should be ashamed of themselves.

-- Posted by Greencastler on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 3:38 PM

Paying attention: "roll model"--shows us the proper way to roll?

vlcron: "from the Bull Pit?" Government speaks to us through a dog?

-- Posted by reckman on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 3:45 PM

Read the curriculum for the president's message on line. It clearly states that one of the activities is to "write a letter to yourself asking what I can do for my president." Mr. Green and the other superintendents who are not viewing the curriculum/speech live are very wise. All curriculum changes are suppose to go through the board (not the president). There has been a lot of secrecy about this and that is a read flag. Slowly our textbooks are being re-written and lessons on socialism and libralism are being thrown in to brainwash our children. Just get the facts before judging why so many of us are questioning this impromptu "lesson"

-- Posted by factfinder on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 6:40 PM

Whether you like or agree with this President or not, He is still the President. You respect the office of the President and treat our leaders with the dignity and the respect that they deserve.

I am actually more worried about what some of these kids are learning at home hearing their parents speak so ill of the President than what the President will say in his address. But I am an independent voter that loves my country more than a political party, it seems to be a very rare thing in today's America.

-- Posted by shocktherapy on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 7:21 PM

My concern is taking all the kids out of their usual routine to watch the President speak. I can see the social studies teachers showing clips during that class time and having an open discussion, but to disrupt the whole day? And why should there be curriculum to go along with a speech? So will there be a test? Just silly...

-- Posted by cdalemomof2 on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 7:22 PM

"factfinder" seems to be fact-challenged. Anyone can go to the White House's suggested educational activities and see that it says no such thing as "write a letter to yourself asking what I can do for my president." (The glaring grammatical error in factfinder's quote was a pretty good tipoff anyway.)

See for yourselves--here's the URL for the main White House site about the speech:


Here's the URL for the pre-K to 6 suggested activities:


Here's the URL for the grade 7-12 suggested activities:


No brainwashing going on there. Pretty much the opposite.

And as for the concern about "taking all the kids out of their usual routine"--so, how loudly do you protest when studies are interrupted for standardized testing every few weeks? My son went through MAP testing last May, and again just last week. That BS took a lot more time than Obama will. Or how about all the days wasted with subs babysitting the schoolkids while the teachers are away doing "in-service"? Does anyone seriously think the school curriculum here is so rigorous and finely tuned that taking some time to hear a speech will do any damage?

-- Posted by Greencastler on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 9:39 PM

Oh my, all this bull about Osama and everybody being mean to him. All i can say is you people need to take off your blinders and see what is really going on in this country. What a bunch of brainwashed people we have in this county. On top of that we always have to pull the race card. I don't care if he is half black or purple, he is a socialist and a flim flam man. Wake up and smell the coffee. You talk about showing him respect because he is the President? Give me a break, he hasn't earned it. I respect the soldiers and people that put their lives on the line everyday for us to give us the freedom to do what we want, not for a phony in the white house that could care less about you and i. We'll see what you all are saying in a year from now. God Bless America, and all the people who love this country.

-- Posted by magoo55 on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 10:08 PM

O.K. vlcron, what exactly do you mean by "Bull Pit?"

-- Posted by reckman on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 10:13 PM


You don't love your country, you love your party.

Just like the democrats did with W.

Thats the problem with this country, it's not "socialists" Or "conservatives" or "Liberals"..

It's people that need a good swift kick in their britches to get their brains back up where they belong.

AND while you are sitting there CLAIMING to love America and saying the president doesn't deserve your respect is the most un-american thing I have heard anybody say in a long, long time. I'd say your blinders need to come off too.

-- Posted by shocktherapy on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 10:23 PM

Why in the WORLD would our school officials even THINK about not letting our kids watch THE PRESIDENT of our United States of America? It's obvious that the people of this country aren't involved enough in our political system. It's OUR system. WE ARE the government. Our children need to be INFORMED and deserve to have every opportunity to hear what our politicians are saying, thinking and doing. These kids are going to grow up one day and will be running our country.

-- Posted by just a local on Sat, Sep 5, 2009, at 11:53 PM

@Magoo: You should check with Ivy Tech to see if they offer a basic Civics class, because you'll quickly learn how to behave in a democracy. By addressing president Obama as "Osama," you have forgotten one of the fundamental tenets of American society: respect. Barack Obama is your president, whether you like it or not. Although I considered G.W. Bush to be the clumsy fool that he was, driving the U.S. toward an imminent downfall, I still respected him as president. I would never have insulted him the way you insult Obama. If you don't like how things work in the U.S., you are free to leave the country. Only problem is, once you get outside, American politics will appear like a conservative oasis for you. The only places you could go where you might feel as though you're surrounded by like-minded people would be Russia, the Middle East, or maybe Afghanistan. Think long and hard about that Civics class. Heck, you might even be able to sit in on a high school Government class.

-- Posted by the_bugler on Sun, Sep 6, 2009, at 4:25 AM

Don't say "God", don't watch the president's speech, etc. etc.. Rather, let's go see Last House on the Left, Friday the 13th,and all the other gory movies we can find. Before we get there we will stop at xxxxx's and grab a few beers, one or two joints and maybe a hit of acid. Afterwards we'll call our parents and tell them we're spending the night with each other while we are partying it up. After all ,we don't have to face reality cause our parents are always protecting us from it.

-- Posted by charpo on Sun, Sep 6, 2009, at 7:49 AM

So, Bugle boy and someone who really needs Shocktherapy, unless you have been under your rocks too long, we live in a country that expresses freeddom of speech and we don't have to hide the way we feel. It is because of the soldiers who have served and died for this country that we have that freedom. I am not a republican, i am an independent, i vote for the person not the party. So you see, you can't accuse someone of being a certain party because they don't agree with the President. Yes, i can call the President whatever i want, even George Bush, because that is my right as an American citizen. My father fought for that freedom in World War II and neither one of you imbeciles can tell me any different. If my father was still alive today he wouldn't respect what we have in office, just like he wouldn't have the past president. I love this country and far as someone leaving, maybe you two should consider going to Iraq and see what you really have that you take for granted in this country. I am not going anywhere, this is my country and i respect the ground i walk on and my fellow americans. Don't expect me to respect a person who is tearing this country apart. You two need to get a grip on society and maybe go blow your bugle somewhere else where people really don't care what you have to say. Maybe a class of shock therapy at Ivy Tech might help too. Go back to sleep and dream some more.

-- Posted by magoo55 on Sun, Sep 6, 2009, at 9:21 AM

After reading all the opinions posted, it seems that this is an even more important issue. All the more reason to listen and discuss it with the kids. Teach them now to read between the lines of what is being said.

Or, like charpo suggests. Let the kids remain ignorant of what someone else is doing to their future, provide them with plenty of entertainment and all will be fine.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Sun, Sep 6, 2009, at 9:52 AM

Why would the schools NOT let the kids watch the President Of The United States address the children of the nation? What could he possibly say that will be so wrong? Stay in school? Something the parents in Putnam County are not so good in enforcing in their own children! Don't do drugs? Another thing that parents are not so good about discussing with their children. Maybe Obama should have a weekly address with school children so that he can talk to kids about things that a lot of parents are obviously failing at with their own kids in this county! (see records section in Banner Graphic and see how many 18-25 year olds that should be in high school and college are going to jail instead) Rock on Obama!

-- Posted by nikkilpn on Sun, Sep 6, 2009, at 11:51 AM

@Magoo: You have once again proven my point. Pick up your Webster's dictionary and look up a few words, namely - respect, civics and the expression "electroshock therapy." The hatefulness of your last post only serves to demonstrate how discourteous you are with/to your fellow Americans, and I can correctly assume that veterans of the many foreign wars in which the U.S. has been involved were not fighting for your right to denigrate and insult those who are not of your political color. They fought (and still fight) for basic freedoms of the American Republic. The freedom to berate your enemies in public is not one of those. And while I most certainly do not agree with your politics, I will never call you "stupid" or insult you. I simply, and not hatefully, mind you, suggested that you take a refresher course in basic civics. You do not agree with me, naturally. Yet, to make your point, you go on a rabid offensive. The reality of the situation right now is that, last I checked, Barack Obama was chosen by a majority of voters to lead the country. This makes my point all the more appropriate. Allow me to add that your ancestors would undoubtedly be ashamed of your lack of civility regarding your president. BTW, I'm wide awake; are you?

-- Posted by the_bugler on Sun, Sep 6, 2009, at 12:06 PM

Hey Magoo.

I was member of the 101rst Airborne during Desert Storm, My father retired from the Air Force after 25 years of service that included 2 tours of duty in Vietnam. While we thank you for your support, we also would like you to respect the office of the president as well.

Have you ever served yourself? I doubt it Mr. Messageboard patriot.

I really doubt it.

-- Posted by shocktherapy on Sun, Sep 6, 2009, at 4:51 PM

There is a big difference between you and I Magoo.

I've actually served this country. Have you?

-- Posted by shocktherapy on Sun, Sep 6, 2009, at 4:54 PM

@magoo55 so you are saying that your father whom was a vet that Fought and died for this country would not listen to the commander an chief whether her is white black or polka-dotted. Please. you are so full of (blank) you are just as ignorant or racist today's anti obama people in this world. The thing about serving is THAT YOU RESPECT THE COMMANDER AND CHEIF of this nation.NO matter what they tell you to do. MY GOD IT IS A SPEACH GET THE H E double tooth picks over it..as for some one else said cant wait til 2012 well guess what. I will bet you he will still be in office in 2013. We all go with what we know.. case in point Reagan..hmmm George and Clinton..and yet George again.. they all server the most they can because of status-que.. that is the way it is now. Read the freakin ouline monday and get over it.. I personally remember school stopping for hmmm, a volcano erupting .. the multiple shuttle explosions.and Prez Clinto getting a hair cut on am airport run way..If you feel that your children dont need to hear what he says .. give back your food stamps and medicaid as well as the pills that you got from it and your housing payments and move the heck out of this free country.Because of Pweople like him and the people that server under him got US what we have. PERIOD

-- Posted by Oh My Goodness on Sun, Sep 6, 2009, at 9:39 PM

The reason certain schools aren't showing the speech and some parents claim they will keep their kids home is simple. We live in a backwards, racist, hillbilly community. Also, it looks like most of you on here should go to school with your kids and watch the speech. That way, you can stick around and perhaps learn something in English class. By the way, even Ivy Tech has standards. I seriously doubt most of you could pass the basic exam they give. If you don't like it here, move to Mexico. That's where all the jobs have been going for years. That happened long before President Obama was ever elected.

-- Posted by bigchief968 on Mon, Sep 7, 2009, at 12:11 AM

i just cannot believe all of the controversy over what MIGHT be said, and has not even BEEN said yet. I may, as is my right, critiqued the views of others, but at least I allowed them to speak first. As it has been pointed out several times (to my relief)...where is basic respect?!

-- Posted by diaspora on Mon, Sep 7, 2009, at 1:31 AM

This is all so silly. The only thing political about it are the people making it political. I checked the whitehouse website,how many of you did? There was just a big meeting here in Greencastle concerning the dropout rate and what could be done to prevent it. How many of you commented on that story?

Encouraging students to stay in school is not a horrible plot to brainwash anyone. There is no secret plot. I didn't get the whole secrecy thing to begin with.Thats just nutty. Go to the website and see for your self.And please leave the Don't Do Drugs crap outta this....that makes a big difference doesn't it?

And yes, the state of this country is disturbing but why blame Obama? He didn't create the mess.He is gonna make mistakes. Anyone that served in that position during prior decades are as much to blame for current conditions. And anyone that entered the seat of presidency would have equal chance to screw things up more no matter what the party.

Back to topic, People think for yourselves...encourage your children to think for themselves...listen to what OUR ELECTED PRESIDENT has to say before making assumptions. Stop being so fearful of change.

-- Posted by citizenoftheworld on Mon, Sep 7, 2009, at 7:17 AM

What has happened to the concept of open discourse? Shouldn't we teach our children to become critical listeners? Preventing them from hearing our President speak, promotes ignorance and does not help them develop skills as informed citizens. Since when did listening to a speech equal agreement with what was said?

-- Posted by Maeve04 on Mon, Sep 7, 2009, at 7:40 AM

Oh, heavin forbid that anyone be exposed to another culture. It may warp someones perspective so much that he /she could grow up and become president and brainwash everyone into some evil,socialist plot.

It's a speech people. Did the schools block out the inauguration speech too?

-- Posted by citizenoftheworld on Mon, Sep 7, 2009, at 9:08 AM

Just read where the Broward County Schools are REQUIRING attendence to watch the speech, if they don't comply there will be consequences... No indoctrination there. I wonder if there will be a test for the correct response by letter to the over-exposed ruler-in-chief? Certainly, there will be one for the little ones...I meant a test for the parents.(probably not this time) Although it wouldn't hurt to mention, in your letter writing assignment, that new GM vehicle your family got recently via cash-for-clunkers. BROWNIE POINTS!!

Maybe after the speech they will recite the "Obama Pledge" along with Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher like the Framington ELEMENTARY school did in Utah. Sheesh.

Any self-respecting AMERICAN kid worth his salt would tell the "school officials" to go pound sand.

That was settled in 1776.

-- Posted by davgreencastle on Mon, Sep 7, 2009, at 9:34 AM

Now that the text of Obama's speech has been published online, it sounds as if all students need to hear the message!

-- Posted by peace7 on Mon, Sep 7, 2009, at 1:09 PM

Obama's speech is exposed online...no hidden agenda...no secrecy...no brainwashing..unless you consider 'stay in school' to be socialist brainwashing. LMAO because of all the ignorance exposed by this speech.... lighten up people.This is ridiculously amusing.

-- Posted by citizenoftheworld on Mon, Sep 7, 2009, at 3:07 PM


since the delete the whole thing

-- Posted by Oh My Goodness on Mon, Sep 7, 2009, at 3:21 PM

WHoo hoo hoooo, you people are so easy, take a trip and see the country, you have obvious been stuck in putnam county way too long, bugle boy and mr civics who must have been shocked too hard. This is way too fun. Get those hairs down on your neck and sit back and enjoy the next three and a half years. Hahahaha.

-- Posted by magoo55 on Mon, Sep 7, 2009, at 4:08 PM

Much ado about nothing...Putnam county bigots...

-- Posted by testmet on Mon, Sep 7, 2009, at 8:56 PM

I did not vote for President Obama. Anyone that knows me, knows how much I did not want Obama to be the president bc I don't agree with a lot of things he stands for, has done or is trying to do, but I read the speech at


and I don't see any reason why I wouldn't let my children watch it. Whether you like it or not, he is still the president and deserves to be respected as such. People shouldn't let their political views or the fact that they "don't like Obama" get in the way of letting their children hear a speech that encourages them to do well in school and in life. Children need an education. School is important and too many of them are not encouraged at home. The speech basically says to stay in school and shoot for the stars. Do something great with your life. The speech is online for all to read. There is no hidden agenda, no secrets, just a good message for the children of America.

-- Posted by putnammom on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 6:26 AM

This just totally apalls me! He's our President! Whether you like him or not, he is our legally elected president. And the schools? Come on, why would you even THINK about not allowing these kids to hear the president's speech? You've stopped classes MANY times before for much less than the president. Yes, this is definitely a backwards, racist, hillbilly community making a mountain out of a molehill. Do you NOT want your kids to hear the "stay in school and make something out of yourself' speech? Seriously? Maybe this is actually where the problem lies.... As said before, give up your food stamps and get off the welfare and go to another country. Obviously, you don't see the importance of your kids staying in school to better themselves beyond those standards.

-- Posted by bannerstuff on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 7:45 AM

Interesting how the curriculum wording has been changed. Factfinder is correct, as of last Thursday it was stated "what can you do for your president." It looks like it is edited to an encouraging speech, we'll see but the fact that it has changed is very interesting, hmmmm.......

I don't understand all the name calling by the Obama supporters...Conservatives have the right to disagree and question just as liberals have done for years. As for the "respect your President" that would have been nice to hear when Bush was in office since I listened to "Bush Bashing" for years including from my kids teachers. We are Americans; We have different opionions, however, double standards, personal attacks, and name calling should not be used.

-- Posted by diversityforall on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 8:02 AM

How awful can it be that a Harvard educated president who came from the middle class wants to encourage children across this country to get a good education and to stay in school? Our children need that message now more than ever. With commercials and tv shows claiming to show people how to get rich quickly, the only way to an enriched life is still through the attainment of a good education. It takes alot of time and dedication on the student's part to do the work and on the parents' parts to make sure that schoolwork is getting done. But many students and many parents do not wish to work this hard. I went to school in an era when parents supported the teachers and there was discipline and order in the classroom. It is sad that this order has gone by the wayside for fear of what parents/voters/outside forces have to say about what is being taught or not taught. I t hink it is time we all focus on bettering our educational system. In the small schools in our county, we still have a chance to give personal attention to the students and to encourage them in their studies. I think that the President just wants to encourage students in getting their education.

-- Posted by nordicheart on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 9:17 AM

Right on, diversityforall! The speech has been changed. I do agree with your comments. From all the other rabid comments, it just points up the strong feelings about this president both ways. He is not a uniter, he is a divider.

-- Posted by not gullible on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 9:22 AM

after reading both the story and the responses i cried. my kids are subjected to racism and communism, people all around me have lost site of the true meaning of a free country and i have only one thing to say. GOD BLESS AMERICA for we are truely lost.

-- Posted by meangreenparent on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 9:35 AM

If the school were looking for a way to utilize an hour NOt being spent on english, history or math....perhaps they SHOULD spend it on civics.

Then people would refrain from coming to message boards and stating things that are just patently incorrect. Like President Obama "inherited" a mess. While wonderfully self serving and a boon for the last 9 months to the liberals mindlessly parroting this line, it is false and a cursory understanding of how legislation comes to being would dispel all doubts.

Here's a clue.......The President does NOT write laws. He merely signs them into law holding no power over their creation. He can and some do.....veto said legislation, but even then he has no input, no seat a the table so to speak in the writing.

So while Bush signed legislation that caused many of us to cringe in the last two plus years.....A dem controlled congress is responsible for writing them. Coupled with like minded big spending repubs lending support to said legislation, these boondoggles came to pass.

But for Obama to decry the state we are in as Bush's fault and have syncophants agree.....when caused by legislation he supported and voted for.....shows the ignorance of the person who believes this poop and the depth at which this President is willing to stoop......not our children.

I would be all for teaching our children how a bill becomes a law. How Congress is responsible for "the money". How people "with the President's ear" are approved for service by Congress.

I would love to see them taught where the constitutional authority is detailed that gives the President the ability to give MY money to lickspittles at banks and lending institutions.

Then they could help the President find the part in our Constitution that affords him the power to take over private companies, fire their employees and set up shop as he sees fit.

A speech touting "stay in school, don't drop out"?????

Sorry, but that authority falls under my perview in my family's constitution.

BTW, you grammar and spelling nazis should know full well that on the net the last vestiage of the loser of the argument is spelling and grammar policing.

BTW II, the part about writing letters to themselves about how they could help the prez was scrubbed just like Van Jones. Not that you NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and MSNBC watchers even know who I am talking about or understand the big deal. More's the pity.

If you people don't know who Penny Pritzker, Saul Alinsky, Richard Cloward, Frances Fox Piven, Ron Bloom, Cass Sunstein, John Holdren or Valerie Jarrett are how dare you dictate to me what my children will be exposed to.

Perhaps you should educate yourself before you talk down to the rest of us.

-- Posted by Catie's Dad on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 11:13 AM

I just watched the speech.

Anyone who thought this would be some sort of socialist indoctrination, quite frankly, needs to stop watching so much Glenn Beck.

The presentation was a wonderful, positive message for today's students.

-- Posted by FluffBunny on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 11:37 AM

I just watched the speech as well. Every school year shouldbe started out with this speech. This should be mandatory.

-- Posted by indtonyc on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 11:49 AM

Just in case you didn't remember what "your" side did not so long ago............


When Bush spoke to students, Democrats investigated, held hearings

By: Byron York

Chief Political Correspondent

09/08/09 7:11 AM EDT

The controversy over President Obama's speech to the nation's schoolchildren will likely be over shortly after Obama speaks today at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. But when President George H.W. Bush delivered a similar speech on October 1, 1991, from Alice Deal Junior High School in Washington DC, the controversy was just beginning. Democrats, then the majority party in Congress, not only denounced Bush's speech -- they also ordered the General Accounting Office to investigate its production and later summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for an extensive hearing on the issue.


-- Posted by Catie's Dad on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 11:55 AM

"Anyone who thought this would be some sort of socialist indoctrination, quite frankly, needs to stop watching so much Glenn Beck."

Why fluff?

Did Glenn tell us he wouldn't appoint lobbyists to high govt. positions and then sweep that aside when it suited his purposes?

Or did he tell us there would be no earmarks in future legislation to cross his desk just short of signing an 800 billion dollar porkfest payoff to his supporters?

Or perhaps Beck told people that the old days of politics as usual we over and transparency were his new watchwords?

Or that race pimps would hold no sway any longer as he transcended race and became the first leader in a post-racial America.....just prior to playing the race card in earnest whenever it suits his or his supporters purposes?

The list could go on and on......but the moral of this tale is......

Fool me once, shame on you.

Fool me twice, shame on me.

Sounds like your beef isn't with us.

-- Posted by Catie's Dad on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 12:01 PM

I agree with the schools in this case. They were suppose to receive letters stating what was going to be in his speech, but they didn't so thet are doing to right thing. Yes he is going to speak about staying in school, and yes this is good thing. However these schools have no idea what else is going to be in that speech, so I say good for them. I say if the parents want their child to watch it, let them watch it at home with their parents. The fact is the school's not playing it because they just don't know what's going to be said. I have two kids in school and we can watch it at home as a family that way we can talk about it after it's over as a family. All the other speeches that were played back in the day were most likely played because the school received the letter they were suppose to get telling them what was in the speeches.

-- Posted by whitewolf135 on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 12:02 PM

This is so sad that the country is divided! Why do some of you this ? Are so upset it's not a republican that is President that you must always be Debbie the devil downer! I am honored that we have a president setting such a good example for our youth ,it's about time we had one! I think some of you have lost your mind!! Why are you so radical and crazy acting about this speech? America is a full of fire headed fox friends who are being radical and crazy ,your the one's I can see starting a war between good and evil in this country. Stop acting like your christians YOUR NOT! The devil is having a ball with you radicals racist. My kids love our country and our president. I would have been tickled if Bush would have gave the same speech and I did not vote for him but would never wish harm or bad thoughts against him. Kudo's to our president for giving the youth of Amercia good advice to live by. I pray people in America will get over there racist ways and get over the status of republican or democrat stereo types. I honestly wish there were no party of either that we just vote for a person. Though some of you disagree with me I hope and pray for each and every one of us. God Bless us all. I don't teach such hate to my kids, I teach respect the adults, honor your parents, work hard and Don't judge, that is God's job!!! and what comes around goes around. It's good to see a grown up on TV telling you do these things. Hang in there Obama!

-- Posted by savethekids on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 12:40 PM

@Magoo: The wonderful thing about the American democracy is that we all have the right to believe what we want. It goes without saying that the differences in political dogma can sometimes be unnerving, especially when we strongly disagree with those in power. If you think I've been stuck in Putnam county, then you are sorely mistaken; love as I do my hometown, I have taken opportunities to see other places. On the other hand, given your gut-wrenching reactions to the politicies of the new White House, my feeling is that you've not seen much of the United States, let alone the world. And if you have, maybe you should visit the historical sites and monuments again and actually read the documentation meant to enrich your knowledge. Also, when you're replying to myself and the others on this board, please make at least a minimum effort to differentiate between our comments, just as we do with yours.

-- Posted by the_bugler on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 1:14 PM

'Then people would refrain from coming to message boards and stating things that are just patently incorrect. Like President Obama "inherited" a mess. While wonderfully self serving and a boon for the last 9 months to the liberals mindlessly parroting this line, it is false and a cursory understanding of how legislation comes to being would dispel all doubts.'

I do know how legislation works.

And I am sure you are referring to my commentary and I will say again that if you think this country was not going to hell before Obama entered office than you have extrememly rosy rose covered glasses.The economy was faltering long before this year. And 'yes, we do have the prior president and congress to thank for it as well as Obama. This country has long been divided into "my ideas/thoughts/blah blah are better than yours"from all sectors political and religious. It is time to set aside petty differences and stand together as a country united than a country seperated by individual belief systems. The best thing that we could do is cap congressmen terms and get some new blood in there with fresh ideas.Stop fighting each other over silly things....myself included. I made various comments that were not neccessary to this commentary and I will be the first to say so. I respect your opinions as well as everyone esle's here. Like Obama or hate him ..he is here for awhile. Let's listen to what he has to say,disagree if necessary but LISTEN to begin with.Make an informed decision based on what we know not whatever crap the media and /or political party is broadcasting on that particular day. We still live in the greatest country in the world. Let's let the rest of the world see us united instead of divided even on here...a little country newspaper.

-- Posted by citizenoftheworld on Tue, Sep 8, 2009, at 5:02 PM

Right on, COTW. Good plan. Them's some rules I can live by. :)

-- Posted by the_bugler on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 1:37 AM

Shame on all of you right winger, fear mongrels for doubting our President of the United States!!!

When is the last time you sat down with your own child and spoke such intelligent, loving words about life and the importance of education?

Thank you President Obama for addressing the youth of our country. I look forward to your next speech and let's hope our school's don't censor you next time!

-- Posted by just a local on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 6:51 AM

...shame on you Robert Green for not making a decision to broadcast the President's speech in our school system. What were you thinking? my guess is you were too scared to make a decision to broadcast because you were too worried about being called a leftest. or you were too afraid of the ignorant people who were filled with fear and what they might say about you.

-- Posted by just a local on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 6:55 AM


It would appear that you might think you know.....but it seems you don't or are willfully ignorant of what happened prior to January 22, 2009.

I would task you to seek out information on the state of the economy on December 31st, 2006. What was unemployment? Consumer confidence? Where were the markets? And before you go too far around the bend in justification.....little is different......still in both Afghanistan and Iraq, in fact less troops in Iraq should free up capital, illegal immigrants continue to flood across the border, etc. etc.......so other than different faces and party affiliations.....same same as far as the "existing conditions.......so why now are we soooo screwed up?

One need only to contrast the economy then.....6 years of Bush and republican rule........to now.

Also you do an awful lot of "joining" when assessing the situation.....as in joining Bush with Congressional Dems. While Bush could have and should have utiulized his veto pen much more frequently......Congress is elected more often than the President and up until just recently reflected the attitudes and wants of the American public. To veto THEIR bills indicates Bush felt he knew us or what is good for us far more than they did or we did. I know the left accused him of this hubris but I think we can see that he did little to "thwart" the moves the dems in congress made.

Now when the whole thing has gone off the tracks......the left points to Bush and claims he screwed it up. Sorry.....I may have been born at night, but it wasn't last night. You may choose to allow your opinions to be swayed by BS....but I don't.

No, beginning in the 2nd quarter of last year, in an effort to seize political control, the left began this drumbeat that all is lost. The economy is in shambles. Woe is us. And it's all the repubs and Bush's fault. But fret not.....a savior is on the horizon. Forget that he has never run anything, save his mouth. He is going to put things right. He is going to transcend race. He is going to unite the right and left under one banner and all will love us. Forget that he has race baiting radicals in his past, present and future. Forget that he has never done anything meaningful or difficult WHILE crossing the aisle. And now forget that in spite of a world tour apologizing to anyone and everyone who would listen......Iran is feverishly working on a nuclear bomb. North Korea kidnaps our citizens and we have to "bargin" for their safe release as well as shooting missiles all over the western Pacific. Our allies cut deals with terrorists in spite of our "objections". Russia laughs at our weakness and does as it pleases. The ChiComms are holding our future in the way of promissory notes.


This leads me to answer you on "listening" to him. I think I have heard pretty good. I have heard him SAY a lot of things.

I have seen him do, little.

You can talk all you want......I will judge you by your actions. His actions, billions of dollars wasted in political payoffs to groups like ACORN, seizing control of the auto industry, firing employees, closing facilities and appointing NON-VETTED OR CONGRESSIONALLY APPROVED personnel to oversee operations and set pay, hiring lobbyists to his "team", a complete lack of transparency, unchecked corruption including tax cheats and scoff laws in his own cabinet appointments!!!

Really!!!! Now he does READ a nice speech........but his actions are HORRIBLE. For us and this country.

I notice out of all I wrote, you picked one tiny portion to opine on. Any thoughts or rebuttal to the rest? I've got more but I think this is plenty to chew on for now.

BTW, we do have term limits. Every two yearws you have every chance in the world to toss out any under performing Congressman and in six year clumps you can replace your Senator.

But I am certain that like many....."your" particular congressperson isn't the problem.......it's all those other guys right?

Just a local,

I speak about the state our country is in with my children all the time. My daughter's more frequently because they live at home. Monday evening I had a very similar conversation with my youngest regarding staying in school and how EVERYTHING she did today influenced her future.

See, I contend that is MY job. Not Barak Obamas.

Let's do this.

I will raise my children and insure that they are prepared to be informed, productive members of society.

The President and Congress can spend their time running the country.

BTW, I will stack up my "performance" with my children against theirs any day.

-- Posted by Catie's Dad on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 8:59 AM

Anytime a politician speaks it is political. He is shaking hands and kissing babies. I believe he is working toward his next election. Once you are president you want to be a 2 term president.

-- Posted by not_a_native on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 7:56 AM


Funny too is that Obama isn't even shy about his non-stop campaigning. At least those who proceeded him did a couple of days work before they started working on a second term.

He hasn't even slowed down.

Except to vacation in Martha's Vineyard, Europe and other assorted locales.

And how long has he been in office?

I wonder if he will make it to Thanksgiving without another excursion to anywhere but work?

-- Posted by Catie's Dad on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 9:02 AM

How about a separation of school and state?

-- Posted by VonMises on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 11:48 AM

@Catie's Dad: Ok, so you've proven that you have enough time to write up theses to demonstrate your point of view. Due to a lack of free time, allow me simply to reply to two of your main points. 1. When 9/11 occurred, W had already had more vacation days than work days. 2. Name one president in recent history who has not been constantly campaining from day one. You can't.

-- Posted by the_bugler on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 4:41 PM

Catie'sDad, Thank you for all your information. You are obviously more in the know than the rest of us. I don't have the time to write long essays on how wrong everyone is. But I will say this... please stop the hatred and uncompromising viewpoints are exactly what is wrong with the country right now. It would not matter who was in the office right now, I am betting you would find fault. And thats fine.....you absolutely have the right to disagree as long as you LISTEN to begin with.

-- Posted by citizenoftheworld on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 8:04 PM

All i can say is Bugler go back to sleep, you spend way too much time blowing your horn.

-- Posted by magoo55 on Wed, Sep 9, 2009, at 9:47 PM


I would love to see the proof that Bush had been on vacation more than he worked as of September 11th of 2001. Can you provide a reputable link to this information?

And while I will agree with you up front....sans evidence......what in the world has that got to do with this President?

Perhaps you should let Obama "teach" your kids if "it's ok to do wrong cuz that guy over there did it first" are the ideals you are instilling.

As to constant campaigning....2 things......

1. I seem to remember candidate Obama PROMISING to change the way things were done in Washington. No more business as usual was how he put it if I remember correctly.

2. I think any reasonably objective observer would agree that Obama has taken this "practice" to new heights.


I feel it my duty as a citizen of this country to point out what I feel are the "wrongdoings" of those in our government.

BTW, you make it sound like the fact that I have taken the trouble to research the issues that I am concerned about and that I discuss with others is a bad thing.

Or is it simply my "hatred" showing through when I don't march off the cliff with the rest of the lemmings?

And yes, it would not matter ONE IOTA who was in office if I feel that the way they are handling MY MONEY is wrong. You may be willing to give them a pass......I am not. I have a family to raise, college to pay for, etc. and if I feel my hard earned dollars are being squandered on vote buying schemes, I will shout it from the rooftops if that is what it takes.

They work for us. If you or I performed as poorly as they are, we would be out on our butts faster than you can say socialized medicine. Why should they get a pass?

And as to listening......perhaps I have listened a bit more than you as I seem to be better informed on the issues that confront us.

I guess that was hateful tho.......

And to the both of you.......

I notice that rather than refute my arguments you attack me.

But I am the h8er.........

-- Posted by Catie's Dad on Thu, Sep 10, 2009, at 10:01 AM

CD.....I am sorry. It does appear that I have attacked you but that was not my intention. You have strong viewpoints and I respect that. I could argue over many points but find that tiring and senseless. We will never agree on things and I am fine with that. That's all for me on this commentary.

-- Posted by citizenoftheworld on Thu, Sep 10, 2009, at 3:18 PM

We the people voted for him. He IS our President whether you like it or not. He told the children to work hard and stay in school because the children Is our future. Maybe he should address all the people MUCHING off the govt. Walfare, section 8, food stamp that are like debit cards, I am refering to the LAZY People not the ones whom really need the help. I think so far in most cases he is doing or attempting to do more than presidents in the past.

-- Posted by Sand mann on Thu, Sep 10, 2009, at 3:45 PM

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