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Republicans Urged To Keep Kids Home From School on Tuesday, Away From Obama Speech
The change comes as at least one more Dallas-Fort Worth school district decided Thursday morning not to show the speech. Meanwhile, two Congressmen have urged the Obama administration to release an early transcript of his Tuesday speech, which officials say is meant to underscore the importance of education. Many school districts around Texas and the country said today that they plan to decide soon if and how they will show the speech.
At least a few conservative talk-radio show hosts are urging parents to keep their children home from school Tuesday. Local host Mark Davis has suggested parents keep their kids out of school that day.
Much of the controversy surrounding Obama’s talk has centered on the suggested lessons plan the Department of Education sent to school principals on Aug. 26. Sharp criticism came Tuesday from Jim Greer, chairman of the Florida Republican Party, who lambasted the speech and lesson plans as an attempt to "to spread President Obama's socialist ideology."
In response to complaints, the Obama administration altered one line in a lesson plan proposed for pre-kindergartners through sixth-graders.
The original lesson plan suggested students write down what they can do to help the president. The revised plan suggests students list how they “can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals.” No changes were made to the suggested lesson plan for students in the seventh through twelfth grades.
Area school leaders continued to discuss Thursday whether to show the speech.
Dallas school officials will allow teachers and principals to decide. Richardson ISD was expected to decide today how to proceed.
Lovejoy ISD decided Thursday not to show the speech, in part, because the district doesn’t have the bandwidth to support live web video on WhiteHouse.gov. C-SPAN will also broadcast the speech.
In a letter to parents, Lovejoy Superintendent Ted Moore said he didn’t have a copy of Obama’s planned to say, so teachers couldn’t “prepare a meaningful lesson.”
Two ranking Republican congressmen wrote a letter to the White House on Wednesday urging the administration to release a transcript. U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn, on the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee, and House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Thaddeus McCotter. R-Mich., wrote that letting parents see the remarks now would allow them to decide “whether the material is appropriate for their children.”
“We believe the release of your planned remarks would facilitate the public’s understanding of this unique outreach to students, teachers, and school leaders,” the two Republicans wrote.
The White House said earlier that the speech would focus on "the importance of education, the importance of staying in school, how we want to improve our education system and why it's so important for the country."
Other presidents, including George H.W. Bush in 1991, have given similar speeches directly to students. But some Dallas-area parents said Obama's speech amounts to partisan propaganda.
"It's not a policy speech," said White House spokesman Tommy Vietor on Wednesday. "It's a speech designed to encourage kids to stay in school, which I think is a nonpartisan goal."
Did everyone read that?
THIS IS A SPEECH DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE KIDS TO STAY IN SCHOOL - NOT A PARTISAN SPEECH, OR A POLICY SPEECH.
TO ANY PARENT WHO IS SO SELF-ABSORBED THAT THEY WOULD KEEP THEIR CHILD HOME FROM SCHOOL IN ORDER TO PREVENT THEM FROM HEARING OUR PRESIDENT SPEAK TO KIDS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION:
YOU ARE A NEGATIVE INFLUENCE ON YOUR CHILD. PLEASE GIVE HIM OR HER UP FOR ADOPTION ASAP, BEFORE YOU DO ANY ADDITIONAL HARM.
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