CORRECTION: Cranston Schools to Show Obama Speech at Later Time

I hate being wrong. And I hate thinking that I upset anyone’s beautiful Labor Day Sunday with misinformation. Earlier I posted a letter to the editor that provided second-hand information about how the Cranston Schools are handling President Obama’s speech to children. This letter was apparently based on misinformation. Stephanie Culhane, my School Committee Representative, has since provided clarification on how the schools will be handling President Obama’s speech. Here it is:

Kiersten, I’d like to clear up any confusion about the president’s speech. The speech is being aired around lunch time. The directive given to the principals was that they were to tape the speech and then have the teachers show it to their students at a more convenient time. They will then have discussion based on the speech.

Any student whose parent does not want them to view the speech will have an alternative lesson during that time.

I just spoke with the superintendent and he explicitly expressed to me that no one has been told that they cannot show the speech. If anyone has any questions or concerns they should feel free to contact the superintendent directly. Hope this clears up any confusion.

The lesson plans can be found on the US Dept. of Ed’s website.

Thank you, Stephanie, and I apologize to readers and to school officials for creating any undue confusion. Hopefully I have learned my lesson on this one.

16 thoughts on “CORRECTION: Cranston Schools to Show Obama Speech at Later Time

  1. The net has two transcripts of sane, dignified statements, one from a school principal, one from a Republican politician–to the effect that we should respect the President and it’s good for students to stay in school. Don’t have the links–work is the curse of the blogging class, and i’m laboring on labor day.

  2. I read the most recent text of the speech, I’ve got on qualms with it.

    I’m not sure what the big deal is. Presidents can inspire students and have in the past.

    My dad has told me a couple times of when he met(saw) JFK when he was a kid.

    1. I don’t get the controversy.80% of the kids will sleep,throw spitballs,pick their noses,or do some other unproductive activity as they do when anyone “important” speaks to them.

  3. I liked that the President acknowledged that students may be facing challenges in their own lives and encouraged them to take responsibility for doing what they can to succeed in school.
    I would never object to my child seeing a Presidential speech regardless of who was President. That’s a civics lesson, and history in real time.

  4. It would be nice to think that the right-wing hyperventilation over this speech would ease now that it’s been broadcast, and that it’s been shown that a.) George H. W. Bush broadcast a message of his own to schoolchildren when he was President, and b.) the Florida GOP chairman who was so vocal in terming Obama’s speech “indoctrination” has his own history of making political statements in schools.

    Alas, I think I’m asking too much. After all, even before anyone saw or heard the speech, the right-wing screechers were already at work for four days attacking the idea of a stay-in-school speech.

    Not to mention, they’re the folks who want to push religion on schools, ban books, and wipe out responsible sex education — all of which have done far more damage to the nation’s schoolchildren than one speech by the President.

    Two links for reference:
    — Fox attacks Obama, ignores HW Bush:

    — Florida GOP Chair pushes Republican views at schools:,0,3762186.column

  5. Oh, and lest we forget: Wasn’t it eight years ago (nearly to the day) that we had a President in a classroom, talking to kids?

    Remember the example he set for the kids?
    Remember the deer-in-the-headlights look?
    Remember how it turned out that he read more of The Pet Goat than his PDBs?

    Okay, okay, I won’t pile on any more.

  6. BTW k:

    Did it just suddenly get a little quieter around here? There’s not so much “distance” between our posts — have you noticed?

  7. Somewhere there is a little boy or girl who has suffered nothing but discrimination and ridicule–and they are glowing with hope and pride after seeing the President speak–because he’s shown the nation that it’s okay to be smart.

    1. Nancy-I know you idolize Obama,but he’s not the first smart President-most Presidents were highly intelligent,with a few exceptions.
      None of them exactly promoted being ignorant or uneducated.Intelligence is something we have no control over.Maybe you meant to say he showed that it’s okay to apply yourself in school.THAT attitude has become endangered.I think he was right to emphasize that point.

    2. NN:

      After eight years of anti-intellectualism and mistrust of everything governmental (including critical services like schools and emergency response), it is about time that kids see someone with brains — who isn’t afraid to be seen using them — in a position of power.

      I, like you, hope the kids pick up on the message.

    3. I like Joe, think the idolization goes a bit far. I know many people who were just as inspired by Bush, the younger. May seem odd to you but he connected with people in a way Obama doesn’t. Obama has a great way about him but I think we cannot forget that kids glow with pride any time they get a chance to be addressed by a sitting president.

      They don’t have the shackles of experience (read: biased opinions) to make them think about party affiliation or liberal, moderate, or conservative ideology.

      It’s refreshing but it’s not unique to Obama in sense of the word.

  8. the hullabaloo is ridiculous. i’m genuinely surprised by CPS stance. when my 8th grader said they didn’t see the speech, i just kind of blinked. really? really, cranston? this is what it’s come to? we are talking about the president of the united states. giving a pep talk to american students. sheesh…when i was a kid, i think we would’ve been called commies for not embracing this. i’m kidding (sort of)… but at this point, i hope that in social studies class, they discuss why or why not such a message may or may not be seen as controversial, and what this means to us as citizens & as americans. it *was* just a good message to kids, but now it’s an entirely different type of civics lesson, on many levels.

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