President Obama will deliver his second back-to-school speech Tuesday. On Friday the Boulder Valley District sent a letter (pdf) notifying parents that elementary schools would “offer students the opportunity to view the speech” but that parents who do not want their children to view the speech could opt out. “An alternative activity will be provided,” the letter said.
Last year, enraged Colorado parents fired up by an intense anti-Obama-anti-health care town hall campaign, demanded their children be exempted from any speech given by the “socialist” President.
Conservative Colorado Springs school district 11 received dozens of calls from irate parents in 2009 who said they would keep their children home from school out of earshot from the president. The Colorado Springs Gazette said the calls were part of a “burst of outrage… apparently fueled by talk radio hosts and bloggers, who warned that Obama intended to indoctrinate the children with political propaganda.”
The president’s message was much the same in 2009 as the back-to-school messages delivered by previous presidents. He asked young people to stay in school and to be diligent in their studies.
“I want to focus on… the responsibility each of you has for your education,” he said. “I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself. Every single one of you has something that you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.”
This year, Obama will be speaking from the Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School in Philadelphia. The speech will be streamed live at WhiteHouse.gov.