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A Call to Arms for Parents Upset About Obama’s Public School Address

Why parents should lobby schools against broadcasting the president's September 8 speech.

by
Barbara Curtis

Bio

September 3, 2009 - 12:18 am

President Obama’s co-opting of what is, for many, the first day of school — not only taking unprecedented access to 50 million impressionable minds but pushing a curriculum turning children’s hearts towards Obama — has riveted the attention of conservative parents nationwide.

Consider the proverbial frog who will immediately jump out of a pan of hot water, but when the water is heated gradually will be boiled to death. Public school parents have in many ways been that frog, compromising and letting things go as our schools slid towards social engineering, producing citizens leftists could use to their advantage.

In the midst of that gradual temperature rise, this sudden power grab, using the executive branch to intrude into our local schools, has sent the temperature soaring so suddenly that many complacent public school parents have finally jumped.

Looking back at the pot, they see something frightening brewing. Consider these questions included in the Department of Education package of pre- and post-speech “Classroom Activities“:

  • Why is it important that we listen to the President and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?
  • What is the President trying to tell me?
  • What is the President asking me to do?
  • What new ideas and actions is the President challenging me to think about?

How narcissistic, manipulative, and self-serving!

Substitute the word “God” for “the President,” and it should be clear why something Obama supporters call benign is malignant to those who teach their children to put God and family first.

As a mother of 12, ranging in age from nine to 40, I’ve raised two generations of children — public school in the 80s, homeschool in the 90s, and back to public school since 2002. When we moved to Loudoun County, Virginia, we placed nine kids in six public schools. (This year we’re down to five in four.) My experience has given me more perspective than most; I have seen firsthand that an informed and active parent community is absolutely vital to the future of our country.

Having kids in public school today is actually a profound responsibility.

Parents, this is a different world than the one in which you grew up. And your kids in public school need more help and support than your parents might have given you.

Public school parents cannot afford to be passive any longer. You cannot simply delegate your child’s education to others — some who are wholeheartedly committed to subverting the traditions and values you hold dear — and walk away. You must be prepared to work as hard as homeschooling parents when the need arises.

You must make every effort to know what is going on in your children’s schools — and now, obviously, coming down from the executive branch — and become a parent activist in what in some places is beginning to look like a resistance movement.

You need to understand that there are teachers, principals, and administrators who see themselves on a mission: to rescue students from the “provincial,” “backwards,” and ignorant parents of the progeny in their care.

You need to know what they are hearing at the National Education Association. From a 7/19/2009 column by Peter Heck, former NEA member:

It was indeed a heartwarming moment. With teachers, representatives, and affiliates to the National Education Association’s annual convention gathered around, the NEA’s retiring General Counsel Bob Chanin took to the stage to deliver his outgoing remarks. His inspiring and uplifting message asserted the profound commitment held by the NEA to the betterment of American society: “We are not paranoid, someone really is after us. Why are these conservative and right-wing b****rds picking on NEA and its affiliates? I will tell you why: it is the price we pay for success.”

Like most liberals, many liberal teachers see conservatives as evil and stupid. Posing as the tolerant class, they dehumanize and vilify those philosophically opposed to their political agenda. They will do their best to “deprogram” your children and convert them to the religion of liberalism.

We must work harder to stay informed, have the courage to go in to discuss classroom situations where teachers have gone too far, and gather like-minded people to work on specific projects that need addressing. We need to attend school board meetings and hold our members accountable. We need to run for school boards ourselves.

Above all, we must stop letting leftists define us and control the discussion.

I just completed 24 hours working successfully to make sure that Obama’s September 8 address to students would not interrupt Loudoun County’s first day of school. Though the speech will be canned for future use as teachers see fit, I find that a lot less threatening than 57,000 students plugged in to a totalitarian-type telecast. And I trust my own local teachers here to be fair-minded and conscientious in any future use of it.

In a neighboring county recently, a grassroots effort to overhaul the excruciatingly morbid selection of required books for middle and high schools was successful. All it took was a parent taking the time to read every book and cite specific content which was extremely objectionable.

Leftists would call this censorship — but when you’re talking about children 11 to 13, I call it discernment.

The key for parents is to take the time to find out from your kids what is going on in school. Ask good questions. My grandson says that his economics teacher is pushing ObamaCare — in other words, giving only one side of the argument and not equipping children to see both sides and think for themselves. My grandson will be gathering information calling ObamaCare into question. Our children need to be encouraged to learn how to debate and they need to see us as strong role models.

Be sure to let your teachers and principals know that you support their efforts and that you would never let political differences interfere with a mutually respectful relationship.

But above all, conservative parents who’ve remained in the closet need to come out now and prepare themselves to defend their schools and their children.

Barbara Curtis is a wife, mother of 12, and author of nine books, including Reaching the Left from the Right: Talking About Social Issues with People Who Don't Think Like You. Visit her at www.barbaracurtis.com or at her blog www.MommyLife.net. Her fourth son will begin Marines OCS in January.
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