OK, so here's how it played out. I very much hope those of you that were upset by my taking a stand will read this all, and try to see where people like me are coming from.
After feeling like we were flapping alone in the breeze, other parents started calling me saying they'd follow my lead. Some even voiced some vitriol towards our President that, frankly, I don't share. Then the principal of the school called me last night.
He's an old friend. We've helped each other build homes, we have kids the same age. He said they wouldn't interrupt school to show something to the kids that they themselves hadn't reviewed. They would tape Obama's speech, and if a particular teacher wanted to show it, permission slips would be sent home.
Now that I've read the soft balled speech, I have no problem with my kids seeing it. Those of you that painted it like we were scared of Obama brainwashing our kids into attending school---classic misrepresentation. You identified 'fear mongering' that didn't exist. So what's this really about in the mind of a conservative?
It is with difficulty we send our kids to the government school in the first place. Short of moving, we have no options. I paid over $10,000 in property taxes last year, and about that in State income tax as well. Look at the pie charts---the biggest chunk of that, by far, goes to 'education'. That's OK, except for all the social services at the schools that have zero to do with education...But I digress. The school curriculum is VERY biased to the left. If you're a liberal, you probably don't see it since you consider it the norm. WE are mandated to pay for and send our children to a school that teaches things we disagree with. That's a hard pill to swallow.
What tool do we have? Well, the school board has a little influence. A little. However---if you take your kid out of school for a day the state withholds some funding. So the original plan---President Obama to give a speech about Lord knows what, to a captive audience, then the teachers potentially expanding on it to further their own political views (Firsthand experience with THAT.....) without any resistance, where's the check and balance? What I perceive as a liberal environment, with what I perceive as a liberal President, preaching to our kids. Or, they could miss a day of school, and the school thinks---"Gee. If we stay this course of only presenting things with a left view, it costs us".
Fortunately, the universe tends to unfold the way it should. We resisted. Obama dropped the part about "Write an essay about what YOU can do to help President Obama", and made the transcript public. Now something very valuable can happen---my kids can see their President, a Black American, tell them they should stay in school and work hard. Support for their President and support for Diversity---those are good, strong, bipartisan goals I want my kids exposed to. Exposing them to the unknown, from a man who has demonstrated a strong socialist agenda, would be irresponsible.
I will always trust a parent over ANY government when it comes to their children.