SPRINGFIELD – A planned speech by President Obama to students across the country next week has some parents planning a boycott.
On Tuesday, the president will talk to students through a video link about the importance of staying in school.
But some parents are accusing the White House of trying to force children to sign to its agenda.
The effort to boycott next Tuesday’s school day began online, and now the Springfield school district is hearing from parents by phone. It’s just another example of how tense and raw the political atmosphere is right now.
The White House says the speech will focus on how students should take personal responsibility for their own success in the classroom. But Springfield parent Rebekah Casado isn’t comfortable with the sound of it.
“I just disagree with the idea that the President is going to be speaking to my child directly without giving me a heads up of what he’s going to say. I have no idea what he’s going to say,” Casado said.
Late Wednesday, the White House acknowledged one of the sections of materials provided to teachers to prepare for the speech could have been written better.
It originally asked students to “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president.”
It’s now been changed to ask students to write about how they can achieve their own education goals.
“I’m more afraid this is a socialistic idea of getting to kids when they’re young,” Casado said.
Springfield’s superintendent says it will be up to each school and teacher to decide whether to show the president’s speech. But he stressed that viewing is not mandatory.
“If they don’t want their child to see it, that’s fine. They can ask their child not to see it and their child is pulled,” Dr. Ridder explained.
Some already have their mind made up. A Facebook page is encouraging parents to “give their kids a sick day,” to avoid a “brainwash” by a “socialist/Marxist.”
“I just think it’s really kind of crazy,” Ridder said. “I don’t understand the controversy. I hate it when they use schools as a stage to make a statement. I think it’s wrong,” he added.
Casado said she’s still deciding whether to keep her middle school daughter home. But her son, a high school senior at Kickapoo, said he wants to hear the president’s message.
“No matter if you agree or disagree, I think everyone should get information, no matter what,” Casado said.
(By David Catanese | Ky3)
You can leave a comment below.