Even those of you who spent the holiday weekend on a secluded beach, doing your best to tune out the world, probably heard that the president would be giving a speech to America’s schoolchildren today.
It caused some political upheaval in the days leading up to it, with some Republicans accusing the president of trying to indoctrinate America’s kids.
"As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology," said Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer, who charged that the White House was attempting to compel students to fall in line with the president by imposing lesson plans.
In an effort to quiet the political storm, the White House released the text of the speech. (Jim Greer has since backed off his critique and said he’d have no problem with his kids listening to the speech.)
This is not the first time, however, that presidents have addressed school kids, as Steve Benen noted in The Washington Monthly.
If you want to know what the president is really going to say, you’re going to have to read the speech yourself. Here’s the transcript:
"Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.
I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.
I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.
Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."