Friday, September 4, 2009

don't take candy from strangers, ctd.

"we haven't received one positive phone call or email," a colorado school administrator said earlier this week, referring to president barack obama's upcoming address to students. (the school system did report 40 to 50 calls against airing the speech, however.)

imagine that dinner table conversation: "honey, i guess i'd better get on the horn to billy's school tomorrow morning to let them know i want billy to hear the president's speech."

why would there be a positive call? most folks just assume (and agree) that hey, the president is giving a speech to young people, they'll play it at school. this is good. he's the president. even when there was grumbling from democrats about bush 41's speech to kids and reagan's too, it didn't rise to this level of silliness.

well, david baron and cory goodrich of pleasant hill, illinois have taken that positive step. they have each sent letters to the local school district, asking that obama's speech be heard:
SUBJECT: Please air Obama's speech to the children

Dear District 200 School Board,

I am a father of a Pleasant Hill student and a tax payer for Wheaton District 200 and I am writing to express outrage at District 200's decision to ban President Obama's planned message to school children. I believe that the President should be heard regardless of the message. We must come together as a community and as a nation to help this country flourish.

The speech will be made available before the airing. Please review it then, prepare a response if necessary, and air the speech for the children. This is an educational opportunity for the children, not a means of political censorship.

Remember last fall during the election? You helped our children get involved in the political process. You allowed them to make their own choice, to vote. Those who voted in Pleasant Hill were excited to be involved and to exercise their freedoms in school as they will one day as an adult.

Please just air it and denounce those who would like to use this opportunity for political gain.


David Barron


A Letter To The School District

As the mother to a Pleasant Hill child, I am writing to express my concern and disappointment at District 200's decision to ban President Obama's planned educational message to school children, under the thinly veiled guise of concerns for not being able to preview the contents of the speech.

In these times of political turmoil, it is more important than ever to come to a place of peace between the parties. Education, the eradication of ignorance, the important message of staying in school and participating in our government to create a future we can ALL be proud of, should be common ground and a place to come together.

Unfortunately, some political factions have chosen have chosen to use this as a platform for spreading lies and derisiveness and disrespect for the leaders of our country. I am saddened that District 200 has decided to participate in this fiasco and has become a political pawn.

I am also saddened that my daughter and her peers will be denied an educational opportunity that could encourage them to be excited about learning, and is a direct bipartisan message to THEM from the President of the United States.

Consequently, I will be taking her home to watch the speech.

We had a unique opportunity this last election, to witness our children's excitement about the election process. I have never witnessed so many children so curious and involved in politics and I think this participation in government is an important and empowering lesson for them. Unfortunately, the door is being slammed in their faces once again and it dismays me that an educational institution would participate in the silencing of a generation.

While I applaud your decision to make several DVD copies of the speech available (to a district that contains 20 schools), I am disappointed in your choice to unilaterally ban the speech from its intended audience.

Education banishes ignorance. Censorship fosters it.


Cory Goodrich

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