districts across the country have been inundated with phone calls from parents and are struggling to address the controversy that broke out after Education Secretary Arne Duncan sent a letter to principals urging schools to tune in.
Districts in states including Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia and Wisconsin have decided not to show the speech to students. Others are still thinking it over or are letting parents have their kids opt out.
Some conservatives, driven by radio pundits and bloggers, are urging schools and parents to boycott the address. They say Obama is using the opportunity to promote a political agenda and is overstepping the boundaries of federal involvement in schools.
"As far as I am concerned, this is not civics education - it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality," said Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Steve Russell. "This is something you'd expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein's Iraq."
Well, thank you very much. Please, be seated. You know, this is a real treat for me, having you here, and to have in a little while the chance to answer some of your questions. Let me also offer a special hello to those of you who are watching on C-Span, or the Instructional Television Network. Thank you for inviting us into your home or your school today ...
And that is a vision that goes beyond economics and politics, it's also a moral vision, grounded in the reverence and faith of those who believe that with God's help, they could create a free and democratic nation ...
Because you see, the taxes can be such a penalty on people that there's no incentive for them to prosper and to earn more and so forth because they have to give so much to the government ...
There was talk about having a gun ban in California. It didn't go through. But I got a letter from a man in San Quentin Prison. And from the prison he wrote me the letter to tell me he was in there for burglary, he was a burglar. And he said, "I just want you to know that if that law goes through, here in San Quentin there will be celebrating throughout the day and night by all the burglars who are in prison."
-- Ronald Reagan, speaking to our nation's school children, November 14, 1988
At every junction of their decision tree, they choose the path of greatest hypocrisy.