mickeytopogigio saidAll the Presidents have made addresses to schoolchildren. I never remember it being an issue before.
Even though I was no fan of Reagan/Bush/Bush, I can't imagine even remotely questioning their decision to address the children. They all say the same thing: stay in school, get a diploma, don't do drugs. What the fuck are these bat-shit crazies worried about?
In many cases, the Presidents are in one classroom, visiting and talking with little kids as recent news photos of the Obamas, for example, show; not a planned, nationally organized television broadcast to classrooms with "lesson materials" and assignments coming from the White House. That's one difference.
I'm only forwarding some of the reactions I've read elsewhere about this:
Reagan addressed kids on television immediately after the Challenger disaster happened and many kids had been watching the launch in classroom TVs. This wasn't quite the same as the current thing planned for Tuesday.
I believe there were criticisms I read about of Bush Senior's addresses, or maybe it was W's addresses seen as too "political" or "campaign advertising".
The current effort unfortunately fits in very conveniently with the conservatives'/Republicans'/libertarians' points of view about the "socialistic" conspiracies afoot in government. This is an Orwellian wet dream to them.
What's the real purpose and intent? Hard to say from the press releases. I think the original announcements from the Education Dept. were admittedly poorly crafted and worded, and have since been quickly amended (as have the "teaching assignments" materials as I understand it) to tone down some of the unfortunate overtones of the news releases about Obama's direct addresses to school children across the country on a mass scale.
An example is the effort needed right here to re-phrase the 'What can you do for the President" into other words and more palatable and probable meanings geared toward - "education is important, stay in school, learn, get as much education as you can" etc. And it's voluntary -- many schools will not be showing this on Tuesday but will/may have the address saved for later use, I have read.
This was too vaguely planned and launched, if you ask me (not that anyone did). Much the same has happened in the health care/insurance reform announcements and discussions -- a lot has got out of the barn before it was sufficiently groomed and crafted, IMO. That shouldn't happen at this level from the White House or Congress. No wonder we're working uphill.