Saturday, September 5, 2009

To opt-out or not to opt-out

I'm sure you all have heard about President Obama speaking to school aged children this coming Tuesday. Our school district is showing the speech in the classrooms but giving parents the option whether or not to have their children view it.

Evidently this is nothing new...Carter, Reagan, and George Bush all gave a speech to school children. Their addresses were on video tapes that were distributed to the schools. When I was in school (I sound like my dad now!), we didn't have a tv in every class room and the internet did not exist SO not every child in school was able to view those addresses.

With our current technology, all of the school children will be able to watch President Obama's speech live. That is an awesome opportunity for our children. About seven years ago I was able to see George W. speak in person at an NRB conference. Regardless of what I thought about him as a president, it was a really neat experience to see the President of the United States speak in person.

I would love for my child to experience a live speech from our president, but I do have a couple of problems with the situation.

First of all, Mara Lin's teacher has replaced me as the smartest woman in the world. I hear at least five or six times a day, "Ms. Cockrell says..." Mara really looks up to her and is very influenced by everything she says. (That's a good thing when she's trying to teach Mara to read or write or count.) A couple of questions on the government's list of suggested discussion questions both before and after the speech can be turned political very easily. I don't know Mara's teacher's political views but even if they were the same as mine, I would not want her to be influencing my child whether it be conservative or liberal....that's my job.

And finally, I do not trust President Obama to not have some hidden agenda with his speech. He seems to have a hidden agenda with everything else he example being his healthcare plan to federally fund abortion....but I digress. I really don't want to get into a political debate here, I am just simply trying to figure out what is best for my child.

The government is releasing the entire content of the speech on Monday. I am waiting to read that and to talk to Mara's teacher about whether there will be any discussion in the classroom before I decide whether or not Mara will be viewing it at school. I'd love for Mara to see this speech and to see it live, but I am leaning towards opting out. If I do opt-out then we will watch the speech together Tuesday night as a family.

So that's my two cents. I would not advise any parent to opt their child out of watching the speech or advise any parent to allow their children to watch the president's speech. I would only advise every parent to be informed and choose what's best for their own family.



Rachel said...

Well put, wise mama!

Vikki said...

Lot's to consider for sure. I am very glad it is not even an issue for us. Here is an article maybe you'd like to review.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think you're being ridiculous.

ginny said...

Fortunately I didn't have to make the call you did. Our district decided not to show it. Not sure what our decision would've been if they'd shown it though. Personally, I don't think you're being ridiculous for carefully monitoring what ideas are being placed in your child's head. It would be irresponsible and complacent not to do so.

Carrie said...

Dear Anonymous commenter,
Personally, I am perfectly fine with you thinking that I'm being ridiculous!