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Obama, parents right regarding speech to kids

President Obama’s address to schoolchildren last Tuesday has been the reason for a large amount of uproar recently. Days before the speech was given, it was met with opposition from Republicans and parents. While the White House maintained that the speech was meant solely to encourage students to work hard in school, many parents were concerned about the speech imparting a political agenda on their children’s minds.

In order to emphasize the fact the speech was not intended to have any political influence on the children, certain controversial lines in the speech were rephrased before it was aired. As stated on ABCnews.com, the speech originally asked the children to “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the President,” but this line was later changed to “write letters to themselves about how they can achieve their short-term and long-term education goals.” In spite of this, many parents across the nation requested that their children be allowed to engage in different activities during the time of the speech and not be forced to hear it.

Wanting to make an impact on the nation’s youth and encourage them to do well in school is not a crime. We believe that Obama was justified in wanting to spread some general advice to the children on their first day of school. That being said, parents do have the right to control what their children see and hear at a young age. Not knowing what the contents of the speech were, parents were rightly concerned about the speech influencing their children in the wrong way. Their concern does not mean that they were completely opposed to the idea of the President talking to their children. Many parents felt that they should have been able to watch the speech in advance so that they would know what their children would be hearing.

We understand the justifications of both the parents of the children and Obama in this case. Both were justified in their causes and ultimately wanted the best for the children of this nation. We also hope that in the future, the President can take advantage of the usage of different forms of media and technology, and post his video to YouTube for parents’ approval before it’s shown to children.