Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Encourage education or Indoctrinate students?

Do well in school, try hard, explore your talents, become an asset to your community. In short this was the message that President Obama delivered on September 8th to students in America. It was short enough to pay attention to and had a clear message.

The time has come for the President of America to serve as a role model for students instead of a worry or disappointment. The motives behind this speech were not to encourage the political agenda of the President but simply motivate students. Students have been told these same things their whole lives by parents, teachers, principals, and other authoritative figures. Why should this be any different? Not every student has a parent at home encouraging them to do well in school. Not every student hears a voice telling them they are special. Most assuredly, students do not hear that their failures are simply leading the way for success.

At Nashua High School South the speech was not made mandatory viewing as it was in some schools. I didn’t get the opportunity to watch it in school but many students did. Junior Alden LeClair said, “No bad can come from hearing the leader of the free world talk to us about the value of education.” He continued to point out that the precedent for this type of a speech was set by a republican president, and now the republicans are the ones who are trying to use parent’s fears to make this into a questionable speech.

I get it; parents are concerned about what precedent this will set for the future. But indoctrinate students? That really is a stretch. President Obama has been under the microscope from day one attracting more attention to little issues. After listening to the speech there is no way that you can try and say he was attempting to brainwash students. The lesson plan that was originally established, and later taken away may not have been the best idea. However, by writing a letter to the president about how they can help America shows creativity and support. Picture yourself an 11-year old student being told that you can help change America. By writing this letter you are confirming the thought ‘hey, maybe I can contribute somehow’. Parents need to understand that children benefit from few words of encouragement when said by the right person.

To appease controversy releasing the speech earlier was a necessary move. Hopefully by doing this parents were more open to the idea of their students watching it in school. The bottom line is—students need the encouragement and message to be repeated more than once throughout their education. What better way to hear it then from the mouth of the nation’s leader, and respected role model.

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