Presented below is the full text of a news release from the Polk County Public Schools. It concerns a speech by the President of the United States to the students of America.
Please take a moment to read it.
Want to know what the President plans to say? The White House released a summary. It reads in part:
The President will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens.
Oh my! Work hard? Stay in School? Take Responsibility for Learning? How dare the President say anything so, well, American.
I’m out of town and can’t ask the obvious question: why are the schools playing politics? We have our children recite a Pledge of Allegiance long before they can understand the concepts. Even a first grade student can understand “work hard.”
In the previous eight years I often heard, “Respect him. He’s our President.” I guess that only works when the President is in your party.
When I was a child, if the President wanted to address the nation…we listened. We didn’t stick our fingers in our ears and chant “nanya nanya nanya.”
The speech should be broadcast live at every school. If a parent doesn’t want his or her children to listen, keep them home. It is a silly rule making every student see or not see the broadcast at the whim of a teacher or principal. It is bending to the cries of a few…and they are a noisy few…who are angry their candidate didn’t win.
Polk School District Protocol For President Obama’s September 8 Speech
(September 4, 2009) The superintendent’s office has announced its directive to schools regarding the broadcast of President Obama’s September 8 speech.
* A determination of whether the speech will be broadcast live in schools is a school-based decision and will be made by principals and teachers at individual schools. The content of the speech, which is to be released Monday by the White House, will be provided to school staffs so that they may determine if the content is appropriate based on students’ ages, curriculum and class schedule considerations. The release of the content of the speech will allow schools to fully analyze the situation.
* If schools decide to broadcast the speech live, schools will provide an opt-out provision for parents or guardians preferring that their children not view the speech. Students may be excused from participating and given an alternative activity if parents communicate to the school with their preference of opting-out. If a student indicates an objection at the time of the speech, an alternate activity will be provided.
* The text of President Obama’s speech will be posted to the school district’s www.polk-fl.net Web site.
* The speech will be recorded and rebroadcast on the school district’s cable and fiber optic television channels at a later time. This will allow parents the opportunity to view the speech in the company of their children at a later time if they so wish. The broadcast time is undetermined at this point and will be provided to schools at a later time. The school district’s cable television channels are Bright House Networks channel 614, Comcast channel 7 and Verizon FIoS channel 45.
Media inquiries on this protocol can be directed to Dr. Bruce Tonjes, associate superintendent for school-based operations, at — REDACTED –.