Update September 6: Mt. Diablo Schools support students viewing of President Obama's speech. From Superintendent Dick Nicoll:
The Mt. Diablo Unified School District supports the President’s address to students on the importance of education to be broadcast on September 8. Schools may show the speech either live or at a later time.
Friday: Apparently, there are some parents in Walnut Creek who are afraid that President Barack Obama’s webcast to U.S. school kids Tuesday amounts to some sort of political indoctrination. These poor worried parents might be listening to conservative pundits who have likened the speech to indoctrination in the style of North Korean dictator Kim John Il or Adolph Hitler and his Hitler Youth.
Kevin Collins, principal of Walnut Creek Intermediate, told the Contra Costa Times that the school has received parent phone calls and emails “with interest and concern.”
The 15- to 20-minute address, scheduled for 9 a.m., Tuesday, is being billed as a challenge students to work hard, set goals for their education and take responsibility for their learning, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a letter to principals.
The Education Department is encouraging teachers to create lesson plans around the speech, using materials provided on the department website that urge students to learn about Obama and other presidents.
"He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens," Duncan said in a press release.
And viewing the speech is encouraged, not mandatory, Duncan said in the letter.
Some conservatives are crying foul, among them the usual suspects of reasoned and thoughtful discourse in our contemporary American society: Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck. Actually, it’s driving them batty. But aren’t these guys batty to begin with?
According to the Huffington Post--yes a site dedicated to indoctrinating the American public with liberal ideology:
"Glenn Beck hit this early, in a hurry, announcing that he would be countering Obama's address by airing a "special one-hour broadcast next Tuesday on
television on the indoctrination of your children."
The Huffington Post adds: The National Review's Mark Steyn told Rush Limbaugh's audience Wednesday that the video address was Obama's attempt to extend his "cult of personality."
Well it’s not like Obama is the first U.S. president to talk directly to students. President Ronald Reagan and his successor George H.W. Bush spoke to kids, no doubt attempting to indoctrinate them in their cult of personality. But wait! Did the elder Mr. Bush have a personality?
In his 1988 televised discussion with students, President Ronald Reagan covered the following topics: gun control, the balanced budget and the line-item veto.
Hmm. Talking to kids about gun control. Nah, that wouldn't be indoctrinating school kids on a political issue?
Three years later, President George H.W. Bush gave a speech solely to students, but stayed toward a less politically controversial issue, touching on the importance of saying no to drugs.