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eeeek… I’m talkin’ politics…

September 7, 2009

I just have to comment on this whole thing. What thing, you ask?

Well, unless you live under a rock you must realize that our President is speaking to our school-aged children tomorrow in a televised, national address. We received a notification from the school letting us know that we could opt out of having our child hear this speech. What? Opt out? Of hearing a message about the importance of staying in school? Tell me how and WHY is this a being misconstrued as a socialist agenda??? 

I just don’t get it.

The White House’s own website has already made public President Obama’s planned speech and released suggested age/grade appropriate, conversation starters for educators to use if desired, before, during and after the 18-minute speech.  They don’t seem inappropriate to me or my husband.  I also plan to be present in my daughter’s classroom with my two sons for Tuesday’s speech.  I want to see and hear how things are presented first hand, so I know what we may need to talk about tomorrow night around the dinner table.

A dear, sweet, wonderful and close friend of mine (who happens to have her feet firmly planted on the red side of all things political) told me her objection to the upcoming speech has to do with the fact she doesn’t want a politician –any politician- speaking to her children.  Now that I can understand.  However, for those who are taking that stance, I just wonder… did they, or would they have pulled out their children from class when President Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan were so adamantly urging the youth of our nation to stay off drugs and to Just Say No? 

THAT to me is waaaay more inflammatory to my parental and political mind than Stay In School.  In our home The Talk about drugs (and alcohol and smoking) has already happened for the first several of what will be many, many times.  It is an unfortunate, but necessary and ongoing conversation in today’s world that we need to be having with our children.  But I do not think that the politicians are the ones who need to be having that conversation with our youth.  It is the responsibility of the family.  That said, I also understand that not all families DO have that conversation and at that time in our nation’s history our President felt that something more needed to be done and said.  If I had children at that time (I was only 12 or 13 when the Just Say No! campaign was started) and I had already begun our family conversations I would have had no problem with my children hearing the message -it’s an important one.

Along the same line is tomorrow’s message from our President.  My kids already know the importance of staying in school because my husband and I have already begun stressing the importance of a good education to our children.  So I have no problem with the upcoming campaign to help kids understand why it’s so important to stay in school.

Maybe I’m dumb, or naive, or simply a (middle-of-the-road) democrat, but seriously people.  HOW IS IT SOCIALIST TO ASK OUR KIDS TO STAY IN SCHOOL???!!!

(And yes, before you ask, we did listen as a family to President Bush’s speeches that we felt were important messages for our children to hear.  For us the choice to listen or not to the POTUS is really not about the last name that comes after the title of President… it’s about respecting the highest elected office in our great country.)

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