By Dr. Bill Bosher, NBC12 Educational Specialist
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Each time I think that I have seen the most bizarre challenge to a new school year, someone finds a way to make the start just a little crazier. This year's version is the controversy around the President's speech to students.
First let's stipulate something. He is the President of the United States. Whether you agree with him or not is immaterial, he is the President and we should teach our children to respect the office.
Second, scheduling the President's speech for the opening day must have been the idea of media spinners who have no concept of what it is like to open school...watch a Mom try to load three in a van and then imagine the skill that it takes to manage 25 first-graders for six hours. And if he had wanted symbolism, the President could have waited three days and talked about citizenship, sacrifice and patriotism on 9/11.
Third, ...and for those who resisted politically, remember that if the President had used "children" to pump his health care, economic, energy or education agenda, he should have been fair game for the pundits...and parents.
Fourth, please read the speech and tell me its "color. I defy you to be able to give it a race, ethnicity or origin. In Bill Cosby style, it hit everyone hard...
Fifth, ...And what a strong finish! "So don't let us down - don't let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it." BUT, that's not the closer... the biggest surprise of the speech is yet to come. The President of the United States did not hesitate to say in the public schools, "... God Bless you, and God Bless America!"