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Saturday, September 05, 2009


Appleton Public Schools: Outstanding, Reasonable, and Generally Non-Political

As a parent who has been concerned about some of the problems in public education in this nation, I'm happy to observe that our Appleton School District has remarkably good leaders and a competent school board. Working with many great educators in our area, they have kept the District focused on education and avoided many of the problems sometimes seen in other parts of the nation. For example, some parents on both sides of the political spectrum have questioned the wisdom of giving up an hour of school time to let the President speak to the kids at a time of political crisis for the Obama Administration, where the temptation to influence the public through children will be hard to resist. The Appleton School District has said no to this, as I understand. Parents can let their kids watch it later, if they wish.

Likewise, I don't think any of our schools are going to be asking our children to pledge to be servants to President Obama and "be the change"--unlike the children in a Utah school and possibly others, who were subjected to the highly manipulative and arguably un-American "I Pledge" video asking children to pledge to be servants to Barack Obama. Pledging to be a servant to any politician is just so backwards, so contrary to what our country is about, where the politicians are supposed to pledge to be servants to us. They are to be our temporary representatives, not our kings or lords. Thank goodness Appleton Schools get that. I'm fine that a bunch of celebrities and leading journalists have made the pledge to serve the President 24/7, but don't ask my children to.

We've got a responsible, education-focused school district here that has the wisdom to say no to some inappropriate things. A district that has pledged to be of service to you and your children. I kind of like that.
If this were a Republican president, you and others like you, wouldn't have any problem with this. It's pure partisianship, at the very least.

Presidents have addressed school children before. The fact we finally have an articulate president who wants to involve all citizens, and can communicate well to the American people is not something to be afraid of but rather to embrace and use as opportunity to maintain constructive dialogue towards solving problems and building a better future for America.

After years of an Administration creating layers of secracy and stubberness, I'm thankful to have an effective leader not resting on his laurels but actively engaging in new ideas, answering tough questions, and yes, thinking about our nation's young children and providing them hope for the future. Encouraging them to focus on the path that lie ahead them, and to think about ways they could act to provide themselves and their communities better opportunities is not indoctrination - it's leadership. And that is what we elect presidents to do.

My kids have strong role models. They call them their parents. No matter what bad words, or bad behavior they see or learn from others, they ultimately fall under our guidance act according to our leadership to them. A TV show, a kid on the bus, or a president speaking on monitor in the classroom for an hour, isn't going to change them for the worse.

I listen to talk radio. A lot of it. I also tune into Fox News. I voted Republican in every single election until last November. I used to never expose myself to other viewpoints, as right-wing talkers make certain of by lecturing to their listeners, rather than having a conversation or presenting the other side. There is so much skew and slant to the information you're getting, if you primarly get it from those sources. Obama is a Nazi, a socialist, a marxist, the bogey man for god's sake - it's so much extreme frenzy and false rage, I wonder how anybody believes it. But they do. And they fear the black democrat president. And they fear he'll corrupt their children's brains. In one hour, in a talk about their education. Give me a break.
truly some disturbing times this country is facing. You'd have to be pretty blind not to see the power grab of this administration, and how it flies in the face of everything the founding fathers tried to establish. Don't let your hatred (no doubt, media-fed) of the last administration cloud your understanding of the actions of the current administration.
Jason M. wrote: "If this were a Republican president, you and others like you, wouldn't have any problem with this. It's pure partisianship, at the very least."

Jason, I'm surprised that you would jump to such conclusions so quickly and start making accusations with the cheap "people like you" phrase, as if anyone who doubts one of your truths automatically falls into the same pigeon hole. I've actually spent far more time criticizing the previous Administration and apparently have voted Republican less than you have. There are many on both sides of the spectrum who question the wisdom of turning an hour of time over to a political leader, and I certainly would have been just as concerned for this unusual move if it were President Bush. They get to speak to America all the time. Endless coverage. Why take up time in the class room too?
So far, I've not found any reports of children's brains melting, from having heard that evil socialist president of ours encourage them to work hard, stay in school, and be confident in their own ability to achieve.

I'm disappointed my kids didn't get to participate at their school. It was an awesome message.
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