Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Presidential address to students

A lot has been said during the last week about President Obama addressing our nation's students today. It's been all over the news, Facebook, and chatter among our school district's staff and families. I just now read his speech...

I could hear the many people saying that he's trying to "indoctrinate" kids. I can be pretty naive when it comes seeing manipulation for what it is, but I certainly hope that is not the intent of this address. Politics aside, I heard a message encouraging kids to work hard in school as nothing in life will just fall into their laps. While Bryan and I frequently have these discussions with our children, not all children hear this message at home. There were times that it seemed obvious that President Obama was talking directly to high risk children (educationally, socially or emotionally)... He used examples of children whose parents are divorced, struggling financially, or children who do not speak English. Perhaps the President's words of encouragement will serve to lift those children above their circumstances and into a routine of hard work and determination, for the betterment of their lives. And I would have to agree with the sentiment of "Who better?" If he's trying to reach children from poor, broken, or racially diverse backgrounds, it would seem that Barack Obama is a good candidate to deliver that message.

I absolutely understand some of the concerns regarding this address; however, perhaps my being a child who fell into the "high risk" category tugs at my heart strings and causes me to appreciate the President's effort to reach kids (again, for their betterment and not his political gain). I hope and pray that my kids will never have to seek such encouragement from outside sources, but I don't think it's a waste of the kids' time to watch the address, nor do I think it will do anything to change the political views of my family.

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