Much Ado About Nothing?

Bianca Rainwater
Bianca Rainwater

Prior to President Barack Obama’s address to the nation’s students on Tuesday September 8, 2009, some of his detractors announced that they opposed the idea of having the President speak to the students.

They claimed that their opposition was because they believed that the President was attempting to brainwash our young people. They said the speech would be politically motivated, and possibly an attempt to indoctrinate the young people with a Socialistic ideology.

Several school districts throughout the nation refused to show the speech, and some parents kept their children home.

However, the speech was intended to encourage and inspire students at the beginning of a new academic year.

Further, other Presidents have addressed the nation’s students in the past. In 1988, Ronald Reagan addressed our students and so did George H.W. Bush in 1991.

Yes, there were some protests against Presidents Reagan and Bush, but nothing close to the level of opposition experienced this year, and the question is, “why?”

I believe that it is ridiculous, unacceptable, and downright outrageous for a student to miss an entire day of school to avoid a 20-minute speech. We regret that some parents, teachers, principles, and misguided activists overlooked President Obama’s focus…the importance of education.

All students should have been allowed to hear this inspiring and positive message.

The text of the speech was released beforehand so that all Americans could see that it was not politically or ideologically motivated. Instead, the speech was timely, realistic, and motivational. The President’s speech follows below in its entirety.

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