Some parents upset about President's school speech

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PHOENIX -- President Barack Obama's plan to deliver a televised speech to students across the country Tuesday is drawing mixed reactions from parents.

President's speech

Parents mixed on president's planned speech to students - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne has expressed concern about President Barack Obama's televised speech to students that's scheduled for Tuesday.

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While the U.S. Department of Education says the speech is designed to be educational, challenging students to set goals for their schooling, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, a Republican, has expressed some concern.

"An important part of educating students is to teach them to read and listen critically. The White House materials call for a worshipful, rather than critical approach to this speech," Horne said in a news release. "There is nothing in these White House materials about approaching the speech critically, or engaging in any critical thinking whatsoever, but only adopting a reverent approach to everything they are being told.

"In general, in keeping with good education practice, students should be taught to read and think critically about statements coming from politicians and historical figures."

According to 10:30 a.m. results of an ongoing azfamily.com poll, most people don't think kids should have to watch the speech.

"The classroom is not the place to push a political agenda," said one voter.

"Their time is better spent on school work," said another.

"If President Obama wishes to speak to the children of this country, he should do it through the parents and not through the school system," was the opinion of another voter.

Others, however, don't have a problem with the president's planned address.

"[Students] need to be exposed to the workings and concerns of our country and how our system works," wrote one person.

"Regardless of if you voted for President Obama, he is our Commander in Chief and he deserves respect and support of the citizens of this country," another poll participant wrote.

"The youth of our nation should have the opportunity to listen and learn from the president of their country. This should be a standard part of their educational experience from the beginning of their years in school," another person wrote.

Still, much of the opposition, both here in Arizona and throughout the country, has been passionate, with people expressing concerns about "indoctrination" and "brainwashing."

Following are several statements from azfamily.com users, expressing both sides of the issue.

"Why should we subject our kids to robotic rhetoric?"

"I don't think there is anything wrong with listening to what the president has to say. It will in fact give the students their own opportunity to judge for themselves. When teachers or parents prevent them from doing so they are actually hurting the students freedom of opinion."

"This is absolutely ridiculous addressing little children that have no idea about politics. Who does he think he is?"

"I thought we were a free people; no one should be forced to watch something they don't want."

"It should be the choice of the parents. Our kids do not need to brain washed by his Socialistic ideas. If my kids' schools are going to force the kids to watch this speech, I will be keeping my kids home from school that day."

"Of course the children should be allowed to watch their president on television. Why not? ... Children today need more instruction in civics, which could go a long way to educate them about how our democratic republic works. After the broadcast, it would be a great time to discuss the president's topics and critique his programs. "

"I do not want my children taught to idolize this man."

"Sounds like brainwashing to me. Hitler also started with young children."

"School is not the place for politics!"

"It seems to me that President Barack Obama is trying to instill allegiance to himself and not the country."

"No, I think it is ridiculous! He can't win over adults, so now Obama is attempting to brainwash our children!"

What's your opinion? ?