Monday, September 7, 2009

#306. Write an editorial on a subversive issue

Obama on Education

Well, I don't know how subversive this issue is, but it does seem to have stirred up some controversy so what the heck, I'll editorialize.

On Tuesday, President Obama will address the nation's students on the importance of education. This seems simple enough; however, some people have made this issue needlessly complicated. It seems that some conservative parents think that Obama will be using this speech on education as a guise to push a political agenda. If you think this is crazy, you are right.

First of all, this makes no sense. Why would Obama feel the need to be political when addressing people who are not old enough to vote? He is the president. If he wanted to give a political speech, he would do it. What is this paranoia?

Second, if he is using this as a platform to push his agenda on health care (and I cannot imagine why), so what? Today's youth should be informed. I'm not saying they should support his stance on healthcare (that's a personal choice), but I think they should be given the option to form their own opinions. What parents are worried that Obama is going to turn their child into a fanatical, liberal Democrat? Do these parents have no faith in their own teachings of their children? Really? Plus, if he even mentions the word "healthcare" in the speech, every political pundit would be condemning him for not being forthcoming on the news that night. It would be a borderline scandal. People would be shouting from every soapbox that Obama was trying to corrupt America's youth. It's almost too stupid to think about.

I'd also like to address how involved some parents are today. I'm guessing that some parents who would want their child to opt out of watching this speech still allow their child to be entertained by music that glamorizes sex, drugs and violence. Where exactly are the priorities here? Imagine metaphorical scales here: the president speaking on education on one side and hiphop aritists rapping about smoking weed on the other. Which is having a larger impact on a teenager's sensibilities? I'm not calling for censorship in anyway, but parents seem to be very selective (with the help of politicians) on what is appropriate for their child. Parents want the right to filter the information given to their children. While this might be appropriate when choosing movies, television shows or Internet sites for their child's entertainment, this is NOT appropriate for the president's speech on education. After a child turns ten (probably before) filtering information from them is impossible. We live in the Information Age. Some place, some time, they are going to find things that are inappropriate for their age. Wouldn't it be better to let them feel like they can come to you to discuss what they saw, rather than hide it from you because they feel they've done something wrong? Granted this is reaching a lot farther from my original topic, but I don't really understand parent's sensibilities sometimes.

I read one parent talking about the need to review this speech before bringing it into the classroom. He said that it was no different than any other curriculum. A teacher should review it before teaching it. Really? This is a speech by OUR president. This isn't a video on youtube. What are you afraid of? We elected him as president because the majority of Americans voted that he was the best candidate to run the country. How can a speech on the importance of education be suspect? The president is held to certain standards, and I doubt that he'll suddenly drop the F-bomb in the middle of his speech. It's utterly ridiculous. As a side note, this speech is going to be on the Internet. I hope that people who want to censor the speech can block it on their home computer so their child won't accidentally see it.

I do have a feeling that all this hubub is simply stirred up by other politicians looking to undermine the president as a political tactic. I believe this because it's so irrational. I would hope no parents would feel the need to opt their child out of watching this speech in the classroom. If they do, I'm at a loss for words.

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