President Obama plans to deliver a live speech to kids on Tuesday as they head back to school. But some angry parents don’t want their children watching the President. Education leaders in the region are scrambling to figure out how to handle the controversy.
School districts in Connecticut and across the country have been hearing from parents who want their children excused from watching President Obama’s live back-to-school addres. In a memo to superintendents on Friday, Connecticut Education Commissioner Mark McQuillan described the calls as stemming from quote “cable news and conservative radio characterizations of the speech as socialist or Nazi-like propaganda..suggesting that the President is attempting to mind control your children” unquote.
McQuillan says he finds the whole controversy surprising. "The message actually is a very simple message. It isn’t even controversial. Its… you have to take responsibility for your own education and know that as a country we are counting on you to work hard. I can’t think of a more important message to convey at the beginning of the school year than that."
McQuillan is leaving it up to local districts to decide how to handle the matter. Teachers at Amity High School are being told to allow students to opt out of viewing the broadcast. In a memo Friday teachers were told that if they show the speech they shouldn’t use any materials provided by the White House and discussions should be free of political commentary. Glastonbury students won’t be watching the speech live. School officials have decided to tape the broadcast.