Local plans for Obama's school address

September 7, 2009 8:31:50 PM PDT
In the wake of a political firestorm that has some critics accusing him of trying to indoctrinate students, a number of districts in our area will not be showing the President's speech on Tuesday.The controversy has also set off a contentious debate on talk radio nationwide.

"Going to pull your kids from school tomorrow, or at least opt out."

The President's speech to school students was the hot topic Monday night on the Dom Giordano show on the big talker 1210.

"It creates so much controversy with the parents, everybody thinks there's a hidden agenda with this whole thing," commented one listener.

Another said, "And to see somebody whose current approval ratings is not that stellar come into the classroom."

The controversy ignited after the Department of Education asked students to write what they can do to help the President after watching his speech. The Department has since scratched that plan.

But some Republicans and conservatives have accused Obama of playing politics with America's school children.

Oklahoma Republican Senator Steve Russell says it's something you'd expect in North Korea or Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

"My stance is of course the POTUS should be able to address kids, that's a good thing, but this President with a tin ear and some of the propaganda that's gone on from his handlers has built up reasonable debate," said Giordano.

Across the region, school districts have decided either not to show the speech, review it first or make the viewing optional.

The Exeter School District in Reading will not show it and neither will the Boyertown Area District.

Initially the Wissahickon School District where Pat Lowe's niece, Jasmine, attends school was also planning not to show it.

"I was really incensed because I just figured how could they not allow the President's speech on education?"

The district has since changed its mind and will make the speech available for viewing.

"I think it's a good idea, I wanna see the speech and I think a lot of kids need to be motivated, there's a very high drop out rate," said Jasmine Perry.

Talk show host, Giordano, does see a bit of irony in all of this.

"The bottom line ultimately though is, it's a sad day on both sides when the POTUS particularly the first minority President can't address kids."

By the way, former Republican President's Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush delivered similar speeches to students during their terms in office.

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