Plans for President Obama’s nationally televised back-to-school speech had local superintendents and board members scrambling to come up with various opt-out compromises that might satisfy parents who feared the worst.
After the speech, however, there’s been a lot of back-pedaling by school officials who found the address innocuous and heavy on personal responsibility. Several Letters to the Editor have ridiculed these officials for needlessly politicizing an uplifting event about which only deranged conservatives could have qualms.
This finger-wagging indignation might be tempered if one conducted a thought experiment and asked what these lefties would have done had George Bush made a similar address. My experience-based opinion is that the President’s opponents would have to be scraped off the ceiling.
I say experienced-based not only because of the hate that was constantly directed toward the former president (without media concern) but also because George Bush did, in fact, make an address to school children—George H. W. Bush, that is.
The after-speech response to Papa Bush’s less-ballyhooed talk in 1991 included denunciations by the National Education Association and an investigation of the speech’s production costs. Indeed, the Democrat Congress summoned top administration officials to defend this supposedly outrageous use of 26,000 government dollars.
I was teaching high school in 1991 and can safely say that the President’s speech was on none of our curricular agendas. And I seriously doubt that the White House mailed lesson plans for teachers in conjunction with this lightly-covered address.
By contrast, it should be remembered that the tripwire for the Obama controversy was the politically charged “lesson plans” created by the Department of Education. It asked young children to “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president”—a directive omitted after the uproar it precipitated.
Revised lesson plans still contained questions like these: “What do you think the President wants us to do? Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us?” and “Is President Obama inspiring you to do anything?”
One commentator recently opined that teachers are fair-minded folk who don’t inject their own politics into the classroom. Anyone who believes that assertion should be confined to a home for the criminally naïve—or sentenced to attend an NEA convention.
Schools have been politicized for decades and are full of passionate leftists eager to indoctrinate youngsters on everything from global warming to the evils of capitalism. A recent example is the infamous Youtube video of New Jersey elementary students learning to praise Barack Hussein Obama: “He said that all must lend a hand, to make this country strong again…Barack Hussein Obama. He said we must be fair today, equal work means equal pay…Barack Hussein Obama.”
The song goes on, as does the cult of personality that surrounds this President—a Dear Leader mentality deeply embedded in government lesson plans and in Obama’s staunch NEA supporters.
Note to local school officials: Stop back-pedaling!