Our children will be taught by men and women, blacks and whites, gays and straights, conservatives and liberals and every other possible combination. It is OUR job to live the lives that we want our children to live. If we are thieves, the chances are that our children will be thieves. If we are risk takers or prudent or surly or brash or decent, kind, caring, tolerant human beings the chances are our children will have at least some of those traits. We are all exposed, or should be, to all kinds of views and will make up our own minds based on our own experiences. The best we can hope for, is that if we show enough of our values to them, our children will reflect at least some of those values. The only thing we can do is live our lives as well and as responsibly as we can so that some of that will rub off onto our children. It's the best that we can hope for. Hysterical rantings about a President who wants to give a speech encouraging children to stay in school, work hard, get as good an education as possible and try, try, try, is not going to be looked upon favorably by an intelligent child. Anymore than shouting and ranting to the media that they don't want the President asking children to write an essay about how they can help their President. (Which seems like a perfectly reasonable request to me - maybe they are upset that the last President didn't make a similar request?)
Saying that students should not be allowed to listen to their President is unbelievable. What are they afraid of? That he will make more sense than they do? Many previous Presidents have spoken to our children before, there has never been this kind of hysteria before. George Bush was reading to children when 9-11 happened (Did everyone get to vet what he was reading to them?) and he thought it was so important that he continued reading to them even after he had been told about the attacks!
If you don't like his views (After you have listened to them - because like most people's views if you really listen to them, they make sense.) you have ample opportunity to give your children your views. It will make more impression on them too if you just give your views and let the child make up his own mind. Ranting and raving, spewing invectives of hate and being out of control will not impress a smart kid. You live with your children and have many hours to show them how to live.
We can say to our children, "I think you are great, stay in school, work hard, I think you can do better than I did." What is wrong with other people, especially the President reinforcing that message. I can't understand anyone being upset about that. It's the President of the United States talking to our kids about their education for goodness sake.
The only political part of this speech is by the people who hate Obama. Maybe some people are upset because Obama is proof that even a poor person can become the President if he works hard enough!
I'm adding to this on 9/8/09 to repeat what I said earlier in the text of my Blog - our children learn from us, we may be surprised at just what and how much. These things may come up later in life and surprise us! Don't be surprised if your child cheats if you did, they will have learnt that from you! If it's OK for you to cheat, they learned, then it's OK for them. It is also quite amazing how many children of people who committed suicide commit suicide themselves. If it's OK for Mum/Dad to commit suicide then it must be OK for me. Think about that when you are planning to "End it all", as someone told me recently they were thinking of doing, you might be telling your kids that it's OK to do the same.
So, to reiterate, your kids learn the most from you, don't worry too much about what they learn from others, there is really very little you can do about the all pervasive media, except instill your own good teachings and hope that you did a good job. (Apparently I did an excellent job, about the best job on anything that I have done in my life! Either that or she is so smart that she figured it all out for herself!)