But today I read that parents are complaining about President Obama's planned speech to students across the nation. Many parents are asking to have their kids excused from having to watch it.
This is the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES talking about responsibility and goal-setting and the importance of education. What can people possibly have against that?
I don't understand it. But -- no matter -- let's not debate the "why" of these parents' decision. Let's talk about something far more troubling (IMHO). I want to know what these parents believe they are teaching their kids by avoiding the president's message. I *get* that not everyone likes President Obama. But avoiding him is just dumb. He's here for four years, at least. What do these parents think the kids are taking away from this? That the world and the people who inhabit it should only be experienced in safe, measured doses, and only when it supports what we already believe? That anyone who disagrees with us should be ignored?
I'm willing to bet that some of these parents also head off to school, filled with righteous indignation when their kid gets called out for talking in class. Or chewing gum. Or running in the halls. You know -- the stuff kids will do that teachers chastise for.
I have to believe these people think they're protecting their kids. Yeah, well, the world isn't safe. And the sooner kids learn to cope with the world, the stronger they start to become.
Come on... no matter what your political beliefs, can't everyone see these are teachable moments? Let's say you're a parent who disagrees with President Obama on (name your issue). Can't you sit down with your kid at home that night and open a discussion about what the president talked about? I'll bet there will be nothing political to his speech at all. Further, why not talk to your kid about the real issues - regularly. Find out what he/she believes. A kid can't make an informed decision without facts. No one can. Why should any parent want to keep their child from learning?
Okay, I'm starting to rant.
Two years ago one of my daughters took an AP Government class and -- she's usually an A student -- got a C for a final grade. Know what? My husband and I thought that was just fine. Almost every night she came home with new concepts to discuss. Her teacher brought up things she'd never thought about before and when she talked about them at home, we had great discussions about all things political. I know she learned a lot that year, even though her grade was less than she'd hoped for. But that's all I wanted - for her to learn.
I'll stop here. I'm just flabbergasted by the number of people opposed to letting their kids hear President Obama speak. Just completely blown away by this and I better stop now before I really get rolling ;-)
Happy Friday. Have a wonderful weekend.