Monday, September 07, 2009

Here is the text of the speech President Obama plans to give on Tuesday to the school children. Quick hide your kids!

OBAMA: Hello, everyone — how's everybody doing today? I'm here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we've got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through 12th grade. I'm glad you all could join us today.

I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it's your first day in a new school, so it's understandable if you're a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you're in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could've stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.

I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn't have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday — at 4:30 in the morning.

Now I wasn't too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I'd fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I'd complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."

So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I'm here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I'm here because I want to talk with you about your education and what's expected of all of you in this new school year.

Now I've given a lot of speeches about education. And I've talked a lot about responsibility.

I've talked about your teachers' responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.

I've talked about your parents' responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don't spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.

I've talked a lot about your government's responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren't working where students aren't getting the opportunities they deserve.

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.

And that's what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.

Every single one of you has something you're good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That's the opportunity an education can provide.

Maybe you could be a good writer — maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper — but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor — maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine — but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a senator or a Supreme Court justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.

And no matter what you want to do with your life — I guarantee that you'll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You're going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can't drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You've got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.

And this isn't just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you're learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.

You'll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You'll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You'll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.

We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don't do that — if you quit on school — you're not just quitting on yourself, you're quitting on your country.

Now I know it's not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.

I get it. I know what that's like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn't always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn't fit in.

So I wasn't always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I'm not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.

But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our first lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn't have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.

Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don't have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there's not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don't feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren't right.

But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life — what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you've got going on at home — that's no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That's no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That's no excuse for not trying.

Where you are right now doesn't have to determine where you'll end up. No one's written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.

That's what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.

Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn't speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.

I'm thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who's fought brain cancer since he was three. He's endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer — hundreds of extra hours — to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he's headed to college this fall.

And then there's Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she's on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.

Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren't any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same. That's why today, I'm calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education — and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you'll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you'll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you'll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you'll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don't feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.

Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.

I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work — that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you're not going to be any of those things.

But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won't love every subject you study. You won't click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won't necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.

That's OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who've had the most failures. JK Rowling's first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

These people succeeded because they understand that you can't let your failures define you — you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn't mean you're a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn't mean you're stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.

No one's born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You're not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don't hit every note the first time you sing a song. You've got to practice. It's the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it's good enough to hand in.

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. So find an adult you trust — a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor — and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.

And even when you're struggling, even when you're discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you — don't ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.

The story of America isn't about people who quit when things got tough. It's about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best. It's the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.

So today, I want to ask you, what's your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?

Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I'm working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you've got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don't let us down — don't let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

Look if after reading that speech you STILL want to keep your kids home from school, well I guess that is your right. But if you do I can guarantee that in the years to come they will look back on this and realize that you were a bigoted moron.

So go ahead. The faster they find our what you really are, the better it will be for them.

As for me? Well I would be honored to have my President give that speech to any child of mine. I wish somebody had said those words to me when I was a kid.


  1. not that sarah12:49 PM

    I love our President. This is so inspiring. Thank you for posting it, Gryphen:-)

    The paranoid haters won't like it because he isn't an authoritarian dictator. He admits to not being perfect, and that makes them nervous.

    But for the rest of us (the majority), we recognize honesty and integrity when we hear it. Admissions of not being perfect are inspiring, because it means that nothing can hold us down.

    Hope and love for all are his message. That's what we worked so hard to elect. I'm damn proud of our nation and of our President. And I will apologize to no one for supporting PO.

    When the history is written, his presidency will be one of our nation's finest moments. And we will know that we were on the right side of history.

    Let's fight for Justice and Honor, let's fight for what we know is right, let's fight for healthcare for all, in spite of and despite the haters.

    Fighting doesn't come naturally to us, but we must fight the way we know best. Fight FOR something good, not against the cruel neanderthal policies of the right.

    We can do it. We wil do it.

  2. Anonymous12:49 PM

    Thanks for posting this. You are right...any parent that has a problem with this speech is a complete idiot.

    I found it inspiring and I am a grown woman.

    Thanks for all you are doing Gryphen!

  3. Wow what an amazing speech and message for children everywhere!! Anyone who finds fault with that speech has something wrong with them!! I bet there are people who will find something wrong, wait and see. My boyfriend does not believe me when I say these group of nuts hate Obama and call him names to discredit him are racist. He says you should be able to disagree with the president without being called a racist. I told him of course that is true, there are things I don't agree with Obama about. BUT I do believe the nuts who look for things and criticize every little thing are racist. I really do! No president has been treated with so little respect. I guess FDR was called many names including socialist and Hitler but I doubt his legitamacy as president of the US was questioned.

    I'll be curious to see if the I sane right wing nutcases Luke Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, Palin and those in congress say about this speech. They never give him credit for anything,ever. He has gotten no credit for stabilizing the economy. They just want him destroyed which to me is very unpatriotic. Disagree I'm policies, ok. But constantly berate, belittle and chastize.... It's more than ideology sorry. Its race and I am afraid they would do it to a Hispanic, an Asian, a Jew or anyone "different" from them.

  4. Anonymous1:20 PM

    "...they will look back on this and realize you were a bigoted moron." God I love that.

    There's an old saying about knowing more and more about less and less until you know everything about absoulutely nothing. It strikes me that, as the the GOP (God's Own Party) keeps foaming at the mouth and railing harder and harder at less and less, they are painting themselves further and further in a corner until someday they will simply disappear. (Well, they'll still have Palin, I suppose - but nobody else.)

    Maybe someday the thoughtful, serious conservatives will take back the party, but for now things look pretty bleak.

  5. i say let the oddballs keep their kids home.. and teachers don't come either if they don't want to be "exposed" to this

    That way my son can listen to the speech in peace!

    School starts early for some kids..but tomorrow is my son's first day. Now if a parent wants to keep their kid home on the first day of school... that kid ain't gonna be too happy

  6. Anonymous1:49 PM

    Pouncing Poodle
    Does anybody else find Obama's speech to school kids slightly "too much information" for kids as young as kindergartners?
    10 minutes ago · Report

    and Patrick like this.

    all about brainwashing them.
    9 minutes ago

    cannot convince the adults so he goes after the kids, but once again, he did NOT do enough research to know 1/2 the nation's kids don't go back to school until the day after the speech. typical lack of research - his website also spells schoolchildren as "schoochildren" - they just cannot be bothered with fact checking on anything, not even spelling. gheeeesh
    6 minutes ago

    least they will get a agood nap
    3 minutes ago

    was way too long and many of the concepts would be challenging for any 5 yr. old. Someone earlier wondered what the message was before it was sanitized. It would have been packed with "social justice" and environmental "fear mongering". I suspect that this message will do more harm to his image than any good that could come from it.
    3 minutes ago

    He wants kids to be looking up into a TV screen with his face over them, and to be listening to him talking about himself about fifty times in twenty minutes. Mussolini would have loved it.
    2 minutes ago

    This want there saying on Sarah Palin Facebook

    Bet that there kids will understand what President Obama is saying.

    It probably over the head of the Sarah Palin supporter..

  7. This is all about race. The Hannity's, Beck's, Limpballs, and Palins are fanatic racists who cannot stand the thought that this country has a black president. They attempt to cloak their hatred in rhetoric and they appeal to the dumbest of the dumb (who for some reason appear to populate the Southern White Right Wing Base of the Republican Party).

    Racial hatred is ugly in any country, especially in ours. With our history of slavery, this country is damaging itself by making race the top of the Republican ticket.

    This country was founded on the principle that people were equal and cared for each other. When you go to a hospital, you are not defined by your race. You are defined by the reason you are there.

    I remember the 60's and I don't want to go back to 1968, civil rights and street violence.

    The Republican Party has chosen to make racial hatred its platform. They will be held socially responsible for this view. Many of us are not Southern White Trash and frankly we find the overt racism abhorrent and disgusting.

    These nutjobs have no more right to their views than the rest of us do. This is beyond disgusting. This is shameful - that a group of our citizenry has taken racism and hatred as a banner to follow.

    We put up with 8 years of Dry Drunk Low I.Q. Bush - elections have consequences.

    The behavior I have seen over the last 6 weeks, is appalling. Worse, these are our POLITICAL representatives who are behaving with less dignity than animals. Words like Hitler, Nazi - all these are being tossed around like they have no meaning.

    We are in a civil war. There will be bloodshed. The racist morons do not represent me or my family and they will not win. They've already lost all morality and credibility. They disgust me.

  8. Wow - isn't it funny how all the PalinBots have such stupid children? No seriously, of all ages, kids can figure things out and they know when they are being lied to and deceived.

    They know who Mr. Obama is and they know what he is talking about.

    Underestimating the level of understanding of your own children should be mandatory. Kids are not stupid, but their parents sure can be.

    I love Billit's comment that he knows what the speech was before they sanitized it. Now they all possess ESP?

    Stupid people - and their children had it figured out a long time ago.

    Mom and Dad are idiots.

    On the other hand, those of us who KNOW how bright our children and grandchildren are, and who want them to have every advantage and opportunity, as well has encouragement, will take all the help we can get. Stay in School and Work Hard.

    Yup sounds like Pinko Commie to me.

    (God these people are stuck in the 50's and Korea) - they need some new rhetoric.

  9. Gryphen - it's not the content of the speech the fringers whackos are worried about - it's the brainwashing rays that will be emanating from his eyes out of the TV, turning kids into instant commies and socialists.

  10. Anonymous2:43 PM

    These people fear excellence. These people fear courage. These people fear inspiration.

    I say, keep your kids at home, racists. Your kids will be the ones working the low wages jobs, ostracized, and living with you for the rest of their pathetic lives--because you deny the value of education.

  11. Our President said:

    "The story of America isn't about people who quit when things got tough. It's about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best."

    Sarah Palin, did you read this? I am sure it's too late for old dogs like you to learn new tricks. You are a quitter. Always have been and always will be.

  12. Anonymous2:59 PM

    This speech made me cry just to read it. I am heartened that my nieces will hear it in their grade school tomorrow. They both campaigned for Pres. Obama and they will love it!

  13. ginny3:14 PM

    ZOMG! Obama uses JK ROWLING as a role model! She promotes witchcraft! They are all in on it together! I KNEW IT!
    Okay, enough joking. This is a great talk, it is not above the heads of 5 year olds. I remember understanding alot more at age 5 than the Palinbots seem to understand as adults! Maybe their kids will be able to explain it to them, LOL!

  14. ~We've Seen It All Now: The Voice Of Republican Reason Comes From The Bushes~

    Laura Bush defends Obama school speech
    Posted: September 7th, 2009 04:36 PM ET
    Former first lady Laura Bush is defending President Obama's decision to address the nation's school children.
    Former first lady Laura Bush is defending President Obama's decision to address the nation's school children.

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — Former first lady Laura Bush is defending President Obama's decision to address the nation's school children, telling CNN Monday that it is "really important for everyone to respect the President of the United States."

    "I think that there is a place for the President of the United States to talk to school children and encourage school children, and I think there are a lot of people that should do the same," she told CNN's Zain Verjee, in an interview set to air Monday on The Situation Room. "And that is encourage their own children to stay in school and to study hard and to try to achieve the dream that they have."

    The former first lady said she believed criticism of the speech had arisen because of the accompanying lesson plans. If parents are opposed to the address, said Bush, "That's their right. You know that certainly is the right of parents to choose what they want their children to hear in school… (But) I think it's also really important for everyone to respect the President of the United States."

    Does she think it's fair to criticize Obama, as some have, by labeling him a socialist? "I'd have no idea whether it's fair, do you think I thought it was fair when President Bush was criticized — not really. So, I guess not," she responded.

    Thank you Laura Bush for speaking out on the side of reason!

  15. I forgot to add - there is a little more to her interview, here's the link to the Laura Bush article on CNN:

  16. Anonymous3:43 PM

    This is no good. Where is the acknowledgement that only god can improve their lives? Where is the promise to lower taxes? Where is the demand that they dedicate themselves to the Democratic party, and spearhead its ideals into the future? The suggestion that their parents aren't to be trusted, and that math and science are not absolutes, because faith trumps evolution? Why didn't he talk like a real leader?

    Hey, he isn't my president! How dare he talk like that to my kids!

  17. The last thing righties want is for their kids to take charge of their lives, learning how to set goals and how to achieve them. They're all about the control. They want to be the ones deciding for their kids, not letting the kids make decisions. After all, the kids might figure out that the parents have been wrong.

    And yeah, there's a shitload of racism involved, too.

  18. Yes, Virginia, there are some jackasses out there who believe that Obama is trying to convert their kids into a new generation of Pravda subscribers. My message to them? Just relax and take a nice, deep breath. As someone recently remarked, this in not a policy speech, it's a pep talk. For all his minor flaws, this president really believes in education. His is the classic American success story in which the education he received plays a crucial role in the plot line. He wants to inspire the littlest of us to climb the highest mountains of achievement. What the hell is wrong with that? What's the matter with thesse people?

    You would think the way some of you have been acting that the president is some kind of pervert stalking the neighborhood school bus stop, ready to expose himself. He means your children no harm. He's not trying to turn the little darlin's into Socialists - or even Democrats for that matter. Hell, for all we know he might even inspire one of them to greatness! It's a fairly safe bet that one day more than one of those kids will grow up to be the president of the United Sates of America! Let them be inspired.

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

  19. I am so happy to have children and grandchildren who value their education and will have fantastic careers because they will stay in school. They have goals and plans. They understand - they "get" it.

    The mouth breathers and their little drool machine kids can stay out of school all they want. Doesn't bother me if the highest aspiration you have for your little rugrat is that she/he be a racist moron. It leaves more resources and teachers for us.

    The Radical Right is grossly underestimating the intelligence of children. (Well ok, maybe not THEIR children). The Southern White Guy Racist Club is not something most bright children aspire to join when they grow up.

    So once again, the droolers lose and now their kids lose.

    I think it's time that they are allowed to lose and let their little jobless idiots live with them. They can share their beer and skittles in the trailer with their half-wit kids.

    This is their parenting? Wanting your child to be a racist is their goal? Advocating violence is their mindset?

    Frankly, they deserve to spend their twilight years in the trailer with Bubba and Bimbo and THEIR halfwit kids, drinking up Dad's social security and smokin' mom's cigarettes.

    That is NOT where OUR children will be. We want our kids to have the best education possible. And our kids want it to. Again, underestimating what children do understand is really a stupid move.

    But what would we expect from these moronic racist mouthbreathers?

    BTW: Gryphen - visit Palingates. We've got it figured out...the Tripp1, Tripp2, Trig, Bristol 17 when she has the baby. OMG it is so simple if you follow the tracks.

    (hope we're right...if we are this is gonna be FUN)

  20. Anonymous4:00 PM

    I like this speech. It has a lot of the very same things I tell my kids! Especially the part about how you're not born instantly knowing how to do have to learn them, and practice, and work on stuff, and make mistakes.
    I think it's very important to teach kids that making mistakes when you're learning something is ok. If you don't make mistakes when you learn something (anything), you won't learn it as well as the person who does!
    As for little kids not smart enough for this speech...I disagree. Little kids are way smarter than most people give them credit for.

  21. Anonymous4:08 PM

    I just realized why they are afraid of this speech. The more education a person has, the less likely they are to support the crazie.

    We are very fortunate that Pres. Obama's mother had the determination, the love for her son and the commitment to education to get up at 4:30 am with him. It couldn't have been easy. It makes my blood boil to think of the way the crazies attacked her.

  22. I swear, the reason a lot of the RWNJs here don't want their kids to hear it at school is:

    a. because the man is totally rational and makes sense, and doesn't fit with the nutjobber's depiction of him as a dangerous, crazed terrorist, and
    b. I suspect a lot of parents in this state have been very outspoken at home about their racist beliefs since November.

    After all, how would it look to have the address end and their little Johnny say in front of the teacher and the rest of his class, "My mom and dad say no black man should ever be allowed to be president!"

    Now, given, I'm in the south, where education past 12th grade means you're an overachiever, but MAN, these people (and the RWNJ Jrs. they are raising) are even dumber than that.

    I'm going to school tomorrow in a flag shirt to listen to the speech with my kids' class (and see whose parents' yanked them for the day!).

  23. crystalwolf aka caligrl5:31 PM

    I have to agree with all of you that have posted...many good point...FEAR is the Rights middle name....!I don't think this speech will go over kids heads...well maybe THEIR kids...but it is a good speech and inspiring to a child and everyone for that matter although I'm afraid this part:

    "The story of America isn't about people who quit when things got tough. It's about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best."

    The creeper's are going to insist a veiled insult to their precious QUITTER!!!! Well if the shoe fits, I always say... :)

  24. crystalwolf aka caligrl5:53 PM

    YES we CAN!

  25. Anonymous5:56 PM

    I can totally understand how someone who thought (still thinks?) Palin would be a good Vice President, and President if the need arose, would not think this was a good speech for our children to hear.

    I, on the other hand, find it inspirational and certainly easy enough for all children to understand. I am also psyched that President Obama is delivering this speech live from my high school alma mater.

  26. Gasman6:00 PM

    Hey, wait a minute! I thought Obama was going to be indoctrinating our kids in this speech. I don't see no 'doctrinatin' goin' on! We were promised that with this speech our kids would be morphed into fascist/commie zombies ready to do Obama's nefarious socialist agenda. They sure as hell won't be no zombies made with this speech! I feel cheated! I was promised zombies!

    There were no quotes from the Communist Manifesto; he didn't ask the kids to sing the Internationale; he didn't make them shout "Down with capitalism!" even once; there was no marching in unison; and there wasn't even a single mention of Lenin, Stalin, or the USSR! What gives?

    Could it be that Beck and FauxNews were WRONG!? OMG! They have always been the oracles of truth! What next? Next we'll find out that Obama isn't really Kenyan or a socialist/fascist/commie/pinko/pervert. Oh my GOD! Am I going to have to THINK FOR MYSELF!?!?

  27. Anonymous6:06 PM

    I'm keeping my kid home so he *can* watch it. School superintendent won't allow schools here to show it live. It's all about the messenger, not the message.

  28. Anonymous6:14 PM

    I am disguted and disturbed to say that my neighborhood elementary school is NOT requiring their teachers to show the president's speech tomorrow. I can only guess that there are a couple of vocal parents who made a big stink. The principal basically left it up to the individual teachers to decide if this speech should be shown (way to pass the buck) but the e-mail he sent out to parents certainly seemed to suggest that teachers should err on the side of "caution" (because the presidents speech might somehow hurt the delicate minds of the students) and not show it. I think there is ONE "brave" teacher who has stepped up to the plate. I am embarassed that our school (in a supposedly progressive city) has bowed to the ridiculous pressure of the lunatic fringe.

  29. Will Sarah-the-Quitter be delivering the Repug rebuttal to President Obama's speech to school kids? She's the perfect voice for their message that instead of working hard, being accountable, and finishing what you started you should whine, quit and blame others.

  30. My 6-year-old daughter doesn't start school until Wednesday, so I just read her the entire speech. About 2/3 of the way through, I thought I heard a sniffle, so I looked at her, and she was crying. I said, "What's wrong, honey?" She answered:

    "President Obama is just such a good man. He is trying to help all of us live a good life. He ties to keep us all safe and healthy and just cares so much about us."

    I was in awe. She not only understood his message, she was moved by it. I'm going to print out the speech and read it to her on the first day of EVERY school year.

    I wish someone had done something like that for me when I was her age. THANK YOU, OBAMA!!

  31. crystalwolf aka caligrl7:21 PM

    Leadfoot-That is awesome! What a great daughter you have! This needs to be posted FAR and WIDE!
    Are you on FB? Post it! Maybe we can get some other kids response to this speech. And Please write PO or let your Daughter write him and let him know! Thanks so much for sharing with us!

  32. allison7:34 PM

    predicts that beck and others will complain that obama mentioned a latina and a black girl in his speech. or repubs will find a way to criticize Andoni Schultz, the boy who was diagnosed with brain cancer at age 3. remember michelle malkin stalked the girl at the new hampshire town hall who asked a question about mean protest signs? or the 12 year old, graeme frost, the schip advocate? bets anyone?

    btw i teach high school in a predominantly black district. to deny those kids a role model after waiting for so many years for one, is unconscionable! that speech made me cry too b/c i know the good it will do for my students who hear it. i still remember when he said, "brothers, pull up your drawers." many of mine did!

    thank you again gryphen for all of your hard work. don't forget, the full vanity fair article goes global tomorrow.

  33. OMG he mentioned a LATINA and a BLACK. LOCK UP YOUR CHILDREN>


    The indoctrinator is coming
    The indoctrinator is coming!!!

    Thank heavens there are bright people who want their children to be inspired and educated.

    ...and then there are drooling halfwits.

  34. My only criticism is that this speech is geared to high school. Middle schoolers aren't going to be able to focus on a speech this long, even if it is the President. Even if the oratory is the best there is. It's too long.

    As for the elementary school kids...ditto in spades. If it's longer than 5 min. you've lost them.

    The stories are great, the points are great, but if you can't keep it between 5-10 min. what's the point?

  35. That is a truly beautiful and inspiring speech! We are blessed to have President Obama encouraging and inspiring our kids and grandkids to work hard and be the best they can be!

  36. "The story of America isn't about people who quit when things got tough."

    There's a message Palin's kids need to hear tomorrow! Oh, wait--Piper's never in school anyway.

  37. majii7:49 AM

    Contrary to what many people think, even young children, ages 4-6, can understand more than they think they can. We witness this on a daily basis. I can remember when my daughter was 3 how my mom/dad and I would "talk" in such a way to prevent her from knowing and understanding what we were talking about, and she would join the conversation by either asking a question or making a comment. Kids are smarter than most people give them credit for. Leadfoot's daughter has shown that children are oftentimes capable of understanding a lot!
    Before retiring from the classroom, I would spend a lot of time trying to convince some of my students that, with a little extra effort and study time, they could learn what they needed to learn in all of their classes. A focal point in my classroom was motivating students to learn as much as they could about every subject because I believe/d that students needed to feel that someone was pulling for them to be successful. I always thought about the fact that some of my kids were living in homes in which parents didn't talk to them about the value of an education. One of my most touching experiences occurred about three years ago. A former student returned to the school as a substitute. At the end of her first day, she came to my classroom and told me of a failed marriage ( to a minister, no less!), and how she had decided to go to college to become a doctor. This was great news, but the thing that floored me was her admission that while she was in my class, she didn't have the best homelife and that my telling the students that they could be whatever they wanted to be had a profound effect on her decision to go to college and med school later in life. She also said that when one of her professors asked what her motivation was for working hard that I was the reason. Of course you can imagine I was in tears at this point. If anyone can inspire any child to work hard and accomplish anything in his/her life it is a very good thing.

  38. Anonymous8:50 AM

    Gryphen ~

    Thank you for inspiring me to be smarter. And your commentors keep me on my toes, too.

    Tina Nelson

  39. FEDUP!!!10:06 AM

    I wish the parents who kept their kids out of school today because they do not want their kids to see/listen to the speech, commit to the consequences and get their kids OUT OF PUBLIC SCHOOL - because, after all, that is a socialist thing - to have the government pay for something that benefits many!
    Make those parents take their kids to a private school.
    Also, those public schools that refused to let their pupils listen to our President - make them lose their public funding, and THEN see where their Big Mouths are!

  40. Congrats to Laura Bush for coming out in favor of this speech. Although she must live a miserable life (she did make her own bed), she often can be counted on doing the right thing when it comes to education and reading.


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