*update –Well that certainly got a little crazy yesterday, didn’t it? I had no idea I was opening such a large can of worms, but I am thankful to all of you who were supportive in your comments and who provided encouragement throughout the day. I’d also like to thank the last commenter, Katie, who gave a great example of how to respectfully disagree with someone. Well done!
Katie, I understand your point and would agree with you that there are probably a lot of children who don’t have the benefit of supportive and involved parents. But that does not mean, in my opinion, that the address should be broadcast directly into the classrooms. There are still ways that you could help ensure that all students have the opportunity to see the broadcast, without subjecting everyone to it. For example, schools could open up their buildings in the evenings and offer to show the broadcast to families together.
The fact of the matter is that parents have the right to know what’s going on and what’s being said in their children’s classrooms. No elected official should be allowed to take that right from us.
And as an update, I have heard from Sloan’s school. The broadcast will be made available to grades 3-5 only, so Lee and I feel comfortable sending Sloan to school on Tuesday. We will likely watch the broadcast on our own and we will decide whether or not we think Sloan needs to see it.
Thanks all for the colorful conversation yesterday! Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend.
I posted a status update on Facebook that got people talking yesterday and I wanted to expound on it more here. It has to do with my reluctance and discomfort with President Obama’s September 8 address to students. The President of the United States is going to be broadcast directly to students in the classrooms.
I had more than one person respond or email me asking me why in the world I would be uncomfortable with the President’s address to students. And my response is, why shouldn’t I be? Even if the President speaking to my child was a man I had personally voted for, I would still be vigilant about wanting to know what would be said to my child before, during and after such a broadcast.
My child is six years old. It is my job to be his advocate. It’s my duty to ensure that what he’s being fed at school matches with the morals, values and worldview that we share as a family. And, if what he hears doesn’t match with our viewpoint, then it’s my job to help him process the new information he’s received and filter it through the lens of his developing worldview.
And I don’t agree with the idea that by doing this we are brainwashing our child. We are protecting our child. We do not expect or hope that Sloan will be so sheltered that as he grows he’s unable to respect, hear or appreciate different viewpoints and opinions. On the contrary, we hope that by helping him establish and solidify his own worldview, he’ll better be able to understand and respect the differing views of others.
Obviously, if you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know that we are conservative. Some would say extremely so. These conservative views are built upon our worldview, which has been established upon Biblical principles, which we believe wholeheartedly and passionately.
That being said, I have no problem at all with my child being encouraged to enjoy learning and education. I don’t see anything wrong with him setting goals and having dreams about his future. I want him to be excited about learning and education. I DO have a problem, however, with the President of the United States being live-streamed into my child’s classroom without me knowing what exactly he’s going to say, or how any discussion before or after will take place.
I have already called Sloan’s school and spoken with the Prinicpal’s assistant about my concerns and was informed that at this point, they aren’t sure if they are required to show the address by the school board, but if they are, parents likely won’t be asked to join. But, we have the option of having Sloan leave the classroom if we want.
I’m not sure it will be necessary for Sloan to leave the classroom, but Lee and I will be spending some time researching this over the weekend and praying about what we should do. I was told that teachers would be encouraged not to discuss the address – at least at the kindergarten level, but how would I know?
I take issue with this for several reason, the biggest being that I don’t think it’s the President’s business to show up directly in the classroom. If he wants to speak directly to students, great. I think he should do it. But I think it should be done in the evening, on a national broadcast, when parents and children can sit down together and watch. Because, in my opinion, education should start in the home.
Now, the fact of the matter is, I don’t agree with President Obama on a lot of levels and on many issues. I feel like he’s trying to take our country down a path that’s unhealthy and over-governed. I don’t want my President involved in every aspect of my life and I certainly don’t want him coming into the classroom, talking to my child when I’m not there. While I want my children to learn about civics and about how democracy works, political science, I don’t want them being schooled in politics at school.
Finally, I’ve read the press release to teachers, encouraging them to talk with their students. I certainly don’t have a problem with teachers helping children focus on their dreams and goals in education, but I don’t think our children need to be told the story of Obama’s upbringing, his background and so on and so forth. While Obama deserves our respect as our elected leader, he does not need to be placed on so high of a pedestal that our children think of him as a super hero. He deserves our respect, certainly, but not our worship. Is his story inspirational? Sure. But we need to be careful on how much we elevate a fallible man.
So we’ll see what we decide about Tuesday. I imagine we’ll send Sloan to school and allow him to see the broadcast. I am trusting that the teachers at the kindergarten level won’t being facilitating any kind of political discussion. And I will watch the broadcast at home so that later, in the safety of our home, Lee and I can openly discuss with Sloan his dreams, goals and passions for his education.
I realize that there are many who don’t agree with my concern on this matter and I’m okay with that. I’m glad we can have differing opinions and I don’t stand in judgement on those who choose to think differently. But I do take my job as Sloan’s mother seriously, and I have to do what I feel is best for MY child. And each of you has to do what you feel is best for your children. We all share that responsilibity and acountability. And that’s something I know we can agree on.