Interesting fact #1: Some parents did not allow their kids to go to our school two days ago (Tue, 9/8/09) because Presiden Obama was giving speech to all American school children.
Interesting fact #2: School authority was actually forewarning parents via email if they do not wish to have their children listen to the Presiden’s speech. Below is an example of what was emailed to us parents from school, without disclosing anybody’s name:
We have received a few inquiries from parents about President Obama’s speech to school children scheduled for Tuesday morning, September 8 and how the district is planning to address this event.
The speech, estimated to be approximately 15 minutes in length, will be taped. Then, like other materials teachers may use in a classroom, it will be previewed and a determination will be made to show it as appropriate. Parents who request that their children not watch this address may do so. The students will have an alternate activity for the time the speech is aired. We are not planning to use any discussion materials provided by outside entities. Those decisions will be made by classroom teachers.
The information we have received has indicated the President’s speech will focus on three main ideas: encourage students to set high goals for themselves, work hard, and accept responsibility for their learning.
If you have specific questions, please contact your building principal.
Like hubby said, it’s probably a political thing and the school just want to be ‘safe’ not to step on anybody’s toe. He thinks it’s a sad testament to the awful polarity of today’s society.
Which will take us to the interesting fact #3: The day after the speech, just yesterday, my kids told us that there were Cub Scouts Master talking to them during lunch, promoting their organization and to lure the kids into joining them. My son was beaming, “It’s really cool! We will be making cars, roasting marshmallows, go camping, and sleep in a tent! I want to be a Cub Scout!”
How ironic is that -to use hubby’s words- we find ourselves feeling obligated to allow parents to ‘opt out’ of their children’s participation in listening to this country’s highest elected official, but not reciprocating this option for an organization that so openly discriminates against atheist/agnotic children (example here and here).
The school was trying very hard to address certain group’s feeling abouttowards the speech; but failed to address our (atheist/agnostic people) feeling towards this whole Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts thing. Were we just to assume that all the kids are religious (Christian)? Why wouldn’t the school forewarn us like they did to the Presiden’t speech? Maybe I don’t want my atheist/agnostic kids to listen to their promo and want to ‘opt out’ my kids from it.
But before we abruptly say ‘no’ to our innocent kids, hubby did a research about Cub Scouts and the like. And we were right, they are an elite religious/military-like club and definitely will not accept our non-religious children. Luckily, our kids are smart enough to know the difference and were OK not to join.