At a time when high school dropout rates are climbing, the economy is falling and the future is open for discussion, one would think that parents would welcome an opportunity for the President to speak to their children.
However, this was not the case when the President announced plans to address the nation’s school children this morning in his Back to School speech.
One of the major conflicts parents cited in opposition of the President making his speech was he was going to preach socialist ideas. Others feared that Obama would use it as a platform to gain additional publicity for his health care reform package.
Regardless of the complaints, his speech was given to the nation’s children this morning, with many students watching the broadcast on monitors in their classroom.
The speech highlighted the importance of staying in school and trying your hardest, encouraging children to make the most of the coming school year.
In the Santa Clarita Valley many schools chose to air the speech.
Saugus Union School District allowed their fifth and sixth-graders to view the speech, but sent home a letter last week informing parents that they could choose to have their children opt out of viewing it.
For the Newhall School District there was no question of whether to air the speech or not, Superintendent Marc Winger even sat with a group of students at Wiley Canyon Elementary School and watched it.
“As an educator I have to endorse everything he said about persistence, failure is ok, and just keep going, no excuses,” said Winger.
Hart High Principal Collyn Nielson issued a statement to reporters saying the speech “went fine.”
The rest Hart District schools were given an option to show the speech or not based on if it fit within a teacher’s curriculum.
“I had a few parents call me last week saying that they did not want their children to participate, so teachers allowed those students to leave class if they chose to show it,” said Paul Priesz, principal of Valencia High School.
Many principals chose to not address the controversy of the speech directly but some chose to address the issue of allowing the children to watch the President.
“This is the President of the United States I don’t think that we needed a permission slip for that, we did have some parents that chose to take their children out of those classes and that was their prerogative,” said Winger.
To read a local teachers perspective on the speech click here.
To see what the States top educator had to say about the speech click here.