NBC12 Viewpoint: President Obama speech to nation’s school children

By Don Richards, NBC12 Regional Vice President and General Manager

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Teachers have a really demanding job even in the best of times.  So when state budget cuts eliminate resources their job becomes that much more difficult. But at least they have the full support of the parents and community...or do they?

President Obama is making a speech on Tuesday directly to our nation's school children. He plans to talk to them about the importance of their education and their personal responsibility to be attentive and work diligently. As President he is an effective speaker and his message will carry weight for many children. What a great opportunity to start the school year with a motivating message.

Some school districts have made the decision to not offer the speech live to the students. They cite that it will disrupt their plans for the day. Many parents have put pressure on the schools to not show the speech due to concerns that the President will insert his change agenda into the message. There are some concerns that the materials provided to the students may contain a biased agenda. Don't we trust our teachers to decide which classroom materials are appropriate?

Isn't this really a teaching opportunity for parents of our school children? An opportunity to say that while the grown-ups debate and disagree over health care, financial stimulus, the wars and other issues, there is no debate or disagreement about the importance of getting a good education. We can do what we repeatedly ask our politicians to do. Set aside partisan differences and work together for the future of our kids.

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