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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Obama's speech to schoolchildren draws fire



I am sad. Why has this plan by the president to address students Tuesday on studying and staying in Mom_obama school being turned into a political fight? Have we really become this polarized as a nation that such a non-issue is being met with suspicion as "political recruiting" and that the lesson plan accompanying the speech is  "spreading liberal propaganda" -- really?

In the speech, which will be broadcast live online at noon Tuesday, President Barack Obama will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals and take responsibility for their learning, according to the U.S. Department of Education, which has urged schools to join in the event, even providing age-appropriate classroom activities.

While some are calling the plans to keep kids out of school that day silly, liberals shouldn't be feeling too high and mighty about this. Obama is not the first president to talk to the nation's schoolchildren about good study habits.

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush addressed the nation's students, urging them to study hard, avoid drugs and turn in troublemakers. In his speech, he told students to ignore peers "who think it's not cool to be smart."

And Democrats responded then by criticizing him for spending Department of Education money on a broadcast they claimed was political advertising used to counter claims that he was ignoring domestic issues.

So there you have it, adults on both sides have been acting childish for quite a long time. It still makes me sad.

-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 11:02am]


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