Friday, September 4, 2009
Some school districts in Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia and Wisconsin, among other states, have decided not to show President Obama’s televised speech to students next week, the Associated Press reports. Others are still thinking it over or are letting parents have their kids opt out.
Some conservatives, driven by radio pundits and bloggers, are urging schools and parents to boycott the address, the AP says. Their complaint is that Obama is using the opportunity to promote a political agenda and is overstepping the boundaries of federal involvement in schools.
“As far as I am concerned, this is not civics education — it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality,” says Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Steve Russell. “This is something you’d expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.”
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Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, issued this statement, the Austin American-Statesman reports: “While President Obama talking directly to school children could be a memorable moment in their young lives, I am troubled that local school boards and superintendents were not involved in the process … I hope schools will provide a suitable alternative for students not participating in this event. I also hope that this is not an indication of the federal government further encroaching on states’ authority over education.”
Arizona state schools superintendent Tom Horne, a Republican, said lesson plans for teachers created by Obama’s Education Department “call for a worshipful rather than critical approach.”
This article was posted: Friday, September 4, 2009 at 1:07 pm