I didn’t read or hear the President’s speech.

I have been lightly following the debate of allowing school children to view the speech in school. I also briefly know about the proposed lesson plans that go along with the speech and how the President wanted the students to write letters.

I am all for the President taking an interest in the children of America. I think it is wonderful that our President wants to address the students. I can’t recall another President doing this and I think it helps foster political awareness in younger students.

However, the problem lies in where do the kids get to see this speech and with whom are they watching it with?

I feel that teachers should never present their true political beliefs in front of the classroom. A classroom is not the right venue for a modern political discussion. I feel that bringing a speech into the classroom might be misinterpreted and questions that are better left answered by the parents may be answered by teachers.

It all boils down to why is this speech being viewed? Are we watching the speech to look at modern speech writing? Are we looking at the speech historically? Or are we looking at this speech as a way to push a political agenda?

From what I gather about the speech, it was just a speech about putting your all into school and getting the most out of one’s education. It seems pretty harmless. However, what if the teacher has students in his or her class who’s parents disagree with the current President and all of his policies? What if the child starts soap boxing the ideas of his or her parents? I don’t feel the classroom is the right forum for that because it puts the teacher in an awkward position. If the teacher stops the soap boxing, then it can be misread as the teacher disagreeing with the student. No matter how many times the teacher can explain otherwise, the damage is done and that child will go home and tell his or her parents how the teacher stopped his or her “freedom of speech”.

I won’t get into the freedom of speech in the classroom right now. I know many of you are about to rip me a new one for bringing it up, but let’s try to stay focused on the real issue here.

Should the President have the right to tell the schools of America to listen to his speech and do an assignment?

My answer is no because you are putting your professional teachers in a position they should never have to be in.

Should the President make this speech to our children?

Absolutely. The parents and child should sit down, listen to the speech, and then discuss what the speech means in their family, in their house with their rules.

I know parents work and have busy schedules and it may be difficult to find the time to sit down and listen to a speech. But don’t use that as an excuse. You have a telephone…then pick it up and call your kid. You have email…so does your kid. This is one of those times that you need to just make the time and talk to your child. No excuses.

This is part of your child’s education and there is no room for excuses.