The President welcomes students back to school
Tomorrow, September 14, 2010, President Obama will give his second back-to-school speech to America’s students. It will be streamed live at 1:00 p.m. [EST]. His message last year was to study hard and stay in school. Regardless of the neutrality of the speech, some opposed it being required viewing. Some schools didn’t show it while parents could opt their children out of watching it at school.
Are there any positives or negatives in listening to the President, regardless of who it is or which political party, make a brief speech at the beginning of the school year?
Those against the speech argue that it interrupts the school day and may not fit the curriculum being taught at that time. Some schools limited the speech to students in American history and government classes. Some state that it’s not the best use of time and that parents should have the final say in whether their kids are required to sit through what they consider a political speech. Some schools recorded the speech and showed it to the parents first.
On the positive side, many schools aired the speech allowing students to opt out if they desired. Some consider it a teachable moment, an opportunity to hear the country’s leader and then debate the merits and content of the speech. Last year’s address by President Obama was considered inspirational. He reviewed his childhood and how his father left home, being raised by a single mother who struggled to pay the bills. He also mentioned how he got into trouble, felt lonely at times and how he didn’t fit in. Even political opponents commented afterward that his speech was motivational.
Update: The President spoke Tuesday at Julia R. Masterman public school in Philadelphia, Pa. He talked about his experiences as a youth and encouraged his audience to work hard and dream big. Discipline and drive was emphasized through the President’s speech.