Listen To This

So…my kids come home from school and ask about the speech. My eighth grader tells me that her English teacher wanted to show it, “but wasn’t allowed.” She rolled her eyes and confirmed that we are a country that advocates free speech. Right?

We figured that their other teachers might have liked their students to listen to the President, too, but “they would probably lose their jobs.”

Imagine that. Thinking that your teacher could be fired for supporting the idea that kids should work hard, do their best and stay in school. 

We watched the speech, which I had recorded. They thought it was great. We talked about how it was relevant for all kids, no matter their personal situation. They applied the ideas to their own lives.

Thank you, President Obama, for a heartfelt and critical message, even if we did have to stay up late to rewind it.

Right-Wing Conservatives Should Drop Out of Sight

I am appalled by the continued efforts by right-wing conservatives to manufacture lies, rally ignorant supporters and oppose every great thing that President Obama was elected to do. 

The latest campaign to denigrate the President’s message to schoolchildren, a message that he has not yet given, is repulsive. Disrespectful to the office. Damaging to children, who now think it is okay to ignore remarks about doing well in school, setting goals and achieving something in life. Do these people really think that kids don’t model behavior? 

 Every four minutes, one high school student decides to drop out of school. The graduation rate for the country…that is, kids who complete school…is just 69.2 percent. Interestingly, of the five to six states who will not air the speech on Tuesday, three of them are below the average. In fact, one of them, Georgia, can be proud of the most drop-outs in the nation. Florida, with its vociferous GOP leader, comes close to the bottom, with a whopping 59 percent of teenagers getting a diploma. Woohoo. Make Mama proud.

Here in Texas, also on the “Oh my God he’s a Socialist don’t show the speech, and he’s black, too” list…67 percent of high school kids actually finish, still under the embarrassingly low national average. And in Dallas, we just learned that we are on the top of one very important list…the most repeat teenage pregnancies in the country. Yay for Dallas. Such distinction.

I would venture to say that the kids who drop out of school and have babies do not have much parental supervision at home. The ones who do have guidance at home probably don’t need to hear the speech; they hear it every day at the dinner table. Though hearing the message another time, from our President, is hardly a bad thing. The speech could make the most impact on the first group, though….I’d be curious if those parents, if they can be found, would really mind if someone stepped in to help.