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President Barack Obama plans to deliver an address to the nation's schoolchildren Tuesday about the importance of working hard and taking responsibility for their learning, but at least one Arkansas school district has decided to tune him out.

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Arkansas, Pages 13, 15 on 09/04/2009


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Archived Comments

  • reallife77
    September 4, 2009 at 8:22 a.m.

    Shouldn't students know who their President is - along with how to vote and keep America free? GOD BLESS AMERICA! AL

  • wesman58
    September 4, 2009 at 8:42 a.m.

    ' Asked if parents who wanted their children to watch Obama had called to voice their support, Hoffman said, "It would be nice to hear both sides, but that's not the way it usually happens." '

    And "it would be nice" if those with legitimate concerns about his intent and the content (based on the President's previous conduct and the "original lesson plan") could both preview his speech and provide a balanced response if necessary so that the students could "hear both sides", but "that's not the way it usually happens"!

    The only conclusion one can draw from her statement is that Ms. Hoffman's appreciation for those parents who take an active interest in what their children are hearing in the classroom only extends to those who agree with her. She and the LR School District may want to rethink that position.

  • JCook
    September 4, 2009 at 9:41 a.m.

    Are these criticisms really about the message? Or are they about the messenger? Shame on you!!

  • wesman58
    September 4, 2009 at 10:42 a.m.

    It seems that you think I am criticizing the President. Quite frankly, my agreement or disagreement with some of his policies is irrelevant. At this point I am not criticizing the message or the messenger--I'm just seeking more information from this more "transparent" administration.

    Perhaps I did not do a very good job of expressing myself. We don't KNOW the content of the message, but the administration's own revision to the original draft raises questions about it that the White House could easily answer. (I seem to remember that President Kennedy famously challenged us to consider what we could do for our country, not for him.) Reasonable, responsive leaders understand other's concerns and address them rather than ignore or marginalize them.

    If I have misunderstood the LRSD's position on this issue of parental involvement (as stated by Ms. Hoffman), I look forward to their clarification. Her statement seemed as full of bias to me as mine apparently did to others.

    I would be more than willing to listen to GHW Bush's 1991 address; if it was a "campaign commercial" directed at those children, then it was wrong and I'd oppose it vigorously. I have no reason to feel "shame" at asking questions about the actions of this president or any other, whether he (or she) be a Democrat, Republican, Independent, or Loony-bin. I will respectfully and forcefully support your right to do likewise. We can disagree on the issues, but we must support one another's right to disagree. That may be a tired saying, but it is still true and too little tried.

    Since I tend to be a little wordy, out of respect for others that will be my last comment on the matter.

  • carmandan
    September 4, 2009 at 1:22 p.m.

    If we only listen to the ideas that we agree with then we will only have the ideas that we already have.. If we had frozen our thought 50 years ago, jim crow would have been the rule in Ar as well as most of the south..Informed people listen to al sides and take in all information,left,right and center.. there is always some truth to each. If you only listen with a pre-tuned ear then jou are like a person with one strong leg and one weak one.. and you will tend to just wander in a circle and not go anywhere.. All of the Limbaughicans around here need to realize that Barack Obama won the election and he is THE PRESIDENT!!OF ALL OF US!!!If they want to live in a one party nation.. there are plenty of those your Bumpersticker states..AMERICA:LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT!!.. I have heard some on local talk radio all but compare The President to a Communist.. ??We, of both sides of the political spectrum must believe that the President(whoever that might be) has a deep and genuine desire to make this country better.. they deserve our respect for their efforts .. disagreement with a policy is one thing,but the name calling and denegration of the person is another..When the President speaks..we should at least have the courtesy to listen..

  • MomOfThree
    September 4, 2009 at 1:52 p.m.

    I'm completely appalled at the state of our country and how little respect is shown for our country's President. We send our family members to fight and die for other country's rights for freedom and free speech, all the while we are allowing factions to erode our own freedom of speech bit by bit here at home.

    If our President wants to take the time to encourage our young people to work hard, set goals, and to take their learning seriously, just as he obviously does with his own two girls, why on earth would any parent have a problem with that? To keep children from seeing the President speak to them is nothing short of censorship. And the fact that some majority-white school districts in this state (that have a reputation for discrimination) have chosen to block the President's speech simply screams racism.

    Are we really going to allow so many people to stoop so low as to impune our elected leader before he has even opened his mouth without calling them out on it? It's as though some people think that by watching one speech by the American President it will plant some bug in their child's brain to allow them to think for themselves and not buy into their own "Hitler, Socialist, Marxist" propaganda that they are so hard at work spreading like manure around the country.

    This paragraph sums it up pretty well, and is something we should all stop and think about:

    "America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship; you've got to want it bad, because it's going to put up a fight. It's going to say, 'you want free speech?' 'Then let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land's the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising their right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms, then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free."

    Until we are all allowed to not only voice our opinions, but allowed to listen to other's opinions equally, we are not truly exercising or protecting our First Amendment right of Free Speech as our Founding Fathers intended.

  • BAH
    September 4, 2009 at 1:58 p.m.

    I am thinking that perhaps the parents who are objecting to their children listening to their President are either Color blind or Republicans. I am not sure if these parents are even qualified to raise their children. Where is the Christian home? Do you not want your children to be encouraged to do well in school and be able to go on to college and perhaps get a really good job?
    I am not FROM Arkansas, and in the last few weeks I am glad to say that, what with all the rudeness and shouting at the Town Hall meetings and now the refusal of some schools to allow this wonderful and encouraging speech by OUR, that's right, yours and my President of The United States of America. Come on people get the hate out of your hearts and start being Christians or whatever religion you are.

  • tafoni
    September 7, 2009 at 9:11 a.m.

    As an educator for 30 years, our job and love is all about stimulating a personal need and want to learn, and if the president is going to address that need, this is a great vision (and I didnt vote for him). What is being explained as NOT political motivation by the Fayetteville School District, is indeed political. Do your job -- to educate, motivate, and help us to create strong adults and better citizens. I am embarrassed and saddened that the FSD doesnt understand their very purpose. Even in a political arena, this is a learning tool. It is now 'cool' to be rich, beautiful and/or obnoxious, but SO uncool to be clever and educated and this was exactly that chance ... it's a sad day in the Ozarks.

    September 7, 2009 at 10:33 p.m.

    It is astonishing to me how this state always seems to be so backwards. Going back to the Central High Crisis to now boycoting a sitting president's speech. The election is over. Barack Obama is the President of the United States. This seems to be an unprecidented attempt to invalidate and disresepect the outcome of the election. It is another great embarassment for Arkansas.