President's Speech To Children

By: Chiara Lotierzo Email
By: Chiara Lotierzo Email

On Monday the Office of the President released the text of Tuesday’s planned address to school kids, after some parents grew concerned over its content.

11 News took the speech out with us to ask parents what their concerns were, before and after viewing the text.

Most parents we spoke with said they were not concerned over the speech to begin with.

Sheila Winniefeld says she’s glad to send her son to school to watch the speech, and is thankful the President is taking the time out to talk with the children, “(I’m) just excited that he's really trying to empower them and have them be an important part of the community."

When mother Charis Caldwell read the text, she said it was all she expected it to be, “It doesn't' surprise me, it talks about goals, I think that's a good thing, he talks about that we need to try our best."

But some parents are still not sold on the speech.

Cindy and Boyce Gusler say they still plan to keep their children home from school, saying a pre-released speech doesn’t guarantee the same live delivery, “That's what he's supposed to say but who knows if that's what he's gonna end up saying."

The Guslers say they feel it is their responsibility to raise their children, and no one else's, “We as the parents are fully responsible as to our children's education, not the state, not the federal government."

Mesa County schools will be offering an alternative class for students who don't want to watch the speech.

Montrose County schools will take a similar approach.

Delta County schools say they will not show the speech.

The President's speech will take place Tuesday at 10 a.m.

11 News will livestream the speech on our Web site.

The President's speech will be the first such given to students by a President since former President George H.W. Bush in 1991.

To see the entire text of the speech, click the link below.

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  • by Jessica Location: California on Sep 13, 2009 at 08:40 AM
    Having taught in California public schools for over ten years, I was impressed with the content of this speech. Much of it needed to be said... and students are not always as open to teacher's commentary as we would wish. I hope those who disallow their children from hearing the speech will sit them down and discuss the text outside of the classroom. And yes, Soleil, many of the vocabulary words need explaining...but hopefully teachers will recognize this and complete some scaffolding of the text. Further, I believe the President is saying that if students don't "TRY" and take responsibility for their learning, then they will disappoint...not if they don't succeed. Success is different for every child.
  • by Soleil Location: Gunnison, Colorado on Sep 10, 2009 at 07:27 AM
    Wow, that's no pressure at all. I am a college student who is sttriving to be my best, don't get me wrong I voted for Obama but come on, half the kids he is speaking to won't understand the concept of half of the words he plans on using. If we don't succeed we let our families down, and our country down?? That is not the best way to approach children or young adults in this day in age. What has happened to our school system, that we need to have a pep talk from the president? This is simply rediculous, let's see how the following 3 and a half years goes. God bless.
  • by Patricia Location: Ridgway on Sep 9, 2009 at 08:18 AM
    Shame on any parent for fostering such fear! We all need to respect our President. I went to a Catholic grade school in the 50's and 60's and NEVER were we taught such hatred and backward thinking. If ultra conservative parents are doing such a great job...what are they so afraid of??
  • by cynthia Location: New Orleans, LA on Sep 8, 2009 at 07:06 AM
    Where was all of this "uproar" when previous U.S. Presidents spoke to school kids? Did you ask to review Reagan's or Bush's speech first? Did you refuse to let your kids listen to their speech? Absolutely not! No matter what President Obama does or says, some of you "haters" (and you know who you are) just can not deal with the fact that he is THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! When First Lady Laura Bush visited schools and read books to kids, did you demand to know the nature of her visits or demand to know the title of the books before she read them? I support and respect any President whether black or white who encourages children to do their best in school!
  • by Mike Location: GJ on Sep 7, 2009 at 10:01 PM
    Do you think Cindy and Boyce Gusler know that the state and federal government is educating there children. Maybe their worried there children will come home wearing chairman Mao uniforms and waving little red books.
  • by Valorie Location: grand junction on Sep 7, 2009 at 09:08 PM
    I cannot believe the comments of people not wanting their children to hear the President's speech! This is our President-whatever happened to having respect for our President. This is a President that is interested in the future of our children and our future and the importance of education. What is wrong with all of you??? Thank you Mr. President for the hard work you do for our country.
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