President’s speech receives mixed reactions

Posted on September 14, 2009 by


Amid furious opposition, Obama delivered a back-to-school speech to millions of students across America stressing the importance of education and challenging them to succeed in school. Because of concerns from parents across America, schools were given the option of showing the speech or not. At CHS, however, because of conflicting schedules the Obama speech was unable to be seen Tuesday, when it was originally aired, and instead shown on Wednesday during resource.

“What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future…Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new,” Obama said in his speech.

The speech has been the cause of much concern, with many people claiming that it was Obama’s way to indoctrinate the students of America, and to spread socialist ideas, and others simply thought that it was not right for the government to be involved in the life of students.

“It wasn’t because we didn’t agree with what he says, it is just that politics shouldn’t be brought into the school,” Jessica Chupp (11) said.

Many supporters of the speech claim, however, that it’s nothing more than a way to wish the students of America good luck on their future endeavors.

“I actually thought the speech was good,” Alyssa Campos (12) said. “I don’t know if maybe I just missed it, but overall I didn’t think there was any kind of hidden message in it, to me it seemed fine.”

Last week the administration sent out an email to the staff stressing that teachers should review the speech first, so as to see if they deemed it appropriate to show in their classrooms. Eventually, though, the administration decided on just showing the speech to students who were interested in watching it.

“The speech had nothing to do with politics…people made a big deal out of nothing,” Christian Nava (12) said.

Students were given a choice to not watch the speech. Those students were instructed to meet in the library until the speech was over.

Yet Obama was not the first president to deliver a speech to American students. In 1991 President George H.W. Bush delivered a similar speech. Then, it even went as far as congress ordering the General Accounting Office to investigate its production and later summoned top Bush administration officials to Capitol Hill for an extensive hearing on the issue.

“I think that he is subjecting children to something that they don’t know on what to decide about yet,” Chupp said. “It should be the parent’s choice to encourage their kids and he shouldn’t be doing it in school where their parents have no influence or say in what they learn.”

Jose Alvarez- Staff writer

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