The proposed speech, which is discussed on the Department of Education website, continues to generate controversy, with opposition coalescing in particular along Utah's Wasatch Front, where many were adversely sensitized by the decision of an elementary school principle to show the "I Pledge" video, widely considered to be an orgy of Obama-worship by a bunch of trashy, reprobate Hollywood celebrities. However, a considerable number of parents are now disclosing that they will allow their kids to attend school that day, but then closely question them about Obama's address at the end of the school day.
An unscientific poll appended to the KSL Channel 5 story on this speech shows that, out of 1,070 respondents so far, 57 percent say let them watch it, 23 percent will opt their kids out if possible, and only 20 percent will keep their kids home. A separate Salt Lake Tribune poll, available HERE, asks "Should Utah students watch President Barack Obama's education speech at school?", and out of 2,974 voted so far, 52.65 percent say Yes, 47.34 percent say No. KSL news video embedded below:
KSL has compiled and provided a list of how Utah's school districts intend to handle the situation. The list is current as of this post, and could change:
Handling of Pres. Obama speech by district
County Showing Obama Speech? Opt out option? Salt Lake Yes Yes Canyons Yes, except elem. schools (testing) Yes Jordan Yes Yes Granite Yes Yes Davis Yes Yes Alpine Yes, in certain classes Yes Nebo No N/A Beaver Yes Yes Carbon Yes Yes Daggett No N/A Emery Yes Yes Iron Yes Yes Box Elder Yes Yes Kane Yes Yes Millard No N/A Murray Yes Yes North Sanpete Yes No, but notifying parents Tintic Yes Yes Morgan No Yes, if used in class curriculum Wayne Pending Pending Wasatch Yes No, but notifying parents
Typifying reaction are the following statements by people. Some parents are concerned what will be said may be offensive or too liberal for their children and are even vowing to keep their kids away, like a commenter who says, "I don't think it's appropriate (that Obama) speak to our kids. It's like someone calling my child on the phone and speaking to them without my permission."
But others say as long as there is nothing political about it, they're fine with it. "As long as he doesn't have a political agenda and just wants to get kids excited about learning and going to college and all that good stuff," says a parent. Parents KSL spoke to at West High School were more open and apathetic to the address. "I think [kids] have to listen to all things and make their own decisions," Rebecca said as she dropped her son off at school. "I think it's OK if they want to listen."
Holding students out of school for political reasons is a tactic best used selectively - and sparingly, for maximum effect. For example, holding students out of school on the Day of Silence is valid, since the only real purpose of the Day of Silence is the promotion and protection of the homosexual agenda. However, holding students out of school to avoid a Presidential address, even by one as disliked as Barack Obama, is overkill. I think that knowing the controversy involved, Obama will try to keep the speech as apolitical as possible.