Writting Assignment 1 Essays

Submitted By meaganwhite
Words: 2013
Pages: 9


When America became aware of President Obama’s plan to address the nation’s children, controversy over the event made headlines across the nation. According to USA Today the controversy was started by Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer warning the nation that Obama was going to use his speech to the children to spread his “socialist ideology” and “liberal lies.” The issue was then exaggerated even more by conservative bloggers, radio commentators and Fox News to add to the “fear mongering” started by Greer as stated by USA Today. The controversy started by Jim Greer did not stop there. The Department of Education had suggested to the Obama administration to include a lesson plan along with the speech urging the students to write letters to themselves about, how they would help the president. This did not sit well with many parents and therefore the suggested lesson plan was taken out of the speech format. The change in the format along with the White House posting the transcript of the speech on its’ website helped alleviate the concerns of many, even Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer. According to The News- Gazette.com “After they got a look at the text many critics, including Greer, backed off, and some schools agreed to show the speech after all.”
Even though the release of the transcript proved that the speech did not have political undertones to the message there were still parents that did not want their kids to listen to the discourse. One father argued that “they (the children) don’t need to be told by the president what their responsibilities are. It’s the parents’ responsibility to teach them that, not the governments,” said Ryan Christensen who kept his 10 year old daughter from watching the speech, as reported by The News-Gazette.com. In my opinion Mr. Christensen’s has a nice idea and in a perfect world he would be right, but in the world that we live in it is just not realistic. Unfortunately many people who have children do not live up to their responsibilities as parents and it’s those kids that need to know that they are not given up on and no matter how they have been raised they can chose to make their education a priority and be in charge of their own future, which is what President Obama was trying to convey in his speech. To appease all parties involved, whether opposed or in favor the solution was to have the speech aired at the schools but to give the parents the option of having their kids participate in an alternative activity instead of viewing Barack Obama’s speech
With many parents still in favor of the presidents inspiring speech to the children, those caught up in the politics surrounding the speech complained to school officials and threatened to keep their children home from school on the day of the oration. But the truth of the matter turned out to be that the presidents’ speech had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with inspiring kids to learn. After the speech was actually delivered on Tuesday September 8th 2009 it seemed however that all the uproar was for nothing and even those who were skeptical enjoyed the speech and found it inspiring. For example The News Gazette.com reports of Karen Miller, a former PTA official and a longtime education activist in the Houston area sad she initially had concerns about the speech and the accompanying lesson plans. “Whenever a political figure goes to a public school, one has to be very cautious,” she said. After hearing the speech, however, Miller said she found it inspiring. “The message he gave to children was so appropriate, that you shape your destiny no matter the hand you’re dealt,” she said, “The message was absolutely on target. I had chills.” Her quote about being very cautious when a political figure visits a school really struck a chord with me. Barak Obama is not just any political figure he is the elected president of the United States. He is no longer campaigning, he won the…