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Copyright (c) 2009 Ginny Maziarka. All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Kudos to WB School District - NOBAMA movie for the kids on Sep. 8!

KUDOS to West Bend School District who will NOT be participating in this propaganda ploy, per Supt. Pat Herdrich.


"During the speech, students should be instructed to "think about the following: What is the president trying to tell me? What is the president asking me to do?"

"Another exercise would be to have students write letters to themselves about "what they can do to help the president."

"These would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals," the recommendations suggest."


Unknown said...

I'm sorry, but I don't see what you're trying to say here. The link to the video you posted shows President Obama's support of education. He is not proposing any radical ideas. He is simply stating his beliefs in what students can to do better there education and their nation, through community service. He also shows strong support for parental involvment in their children's education.

As a Senior at West, I do not believe the district's decision was based on it being propaganda, rather it would take up valuable class time and put certain classes behind others.

Unknown said...

Yes, wouldn't it be just catastrophic if we let young people get involved in government? The Bush administration completely ignored domestic situations during its time, and now we have a leader who is interested in reaching out to America's citizens, especially the children, and you think this is a bad thing?

Unknown said...

Can you please explain the "Hitler" tag?

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Aaron, on the contrary. It is my hope and prayer that young people will become solid, responsible citizens who are interested and motivated in government issues.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

MLIS: Please see Part 2 of this post. Really, though, I don't have to "explain tags." Good grief.

Unknown said...

Then why not let the wonderful President motivate them to become "solid, responsible citizens who are interested and motivated in government issues"? If anyone is going to do that, it most certainly should be him.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Aaron: Really? Him? Why, exactly?

Call Me Mom said...

School curriculum is to be approved by the school board and whichever parents choose to avail themselves of the opportunity to comment on it during the meetings specifically designated to address curriculum. For the president, or anyone else, to hijack school time with unreviewed material is, at best, rude.

Personally, I think asking students to ask themselves questions like "how can I help my president?" are propaganda and establish an undesireable view of the president's office and duties in the hearts and minds of children. It is not the president's place to ask our children to take on tasks-even worthy, service oriented tasks, without going through us as parents.
Furthermore, the president serves us, not the other way around. It may seem like a small point, but it's relevant when you consider that our children are the ones who will be charged with maintaining what's left of our republic. Giving children the idea that they are the government's servants is anathema to the very foundations of our republic. (Assuming we manage to keep it even long enough for them to get out of school. Our track record so far is abysmal. Our founder's must be rolling over in their graves.)

But back to basics, without the propaganda stuff, I wouldn't ask someone else's child to mow my lawn without asking their parents first. And I don't approve of the president hijacking any school's curriculum without so much as a by your leave to parents and communities. It's a matter of respect.

Unknown said...

The President represents the majority of our country as a whole, because he was elected freely. Since he is recognized as the face of our government, it should be him who is encouraging the youth of his country to take an active interest in government even at a local level. What he is attempting to do is reawaken all Americans and become active in helping the government. Most of you view this as propoganda, or some attempt to brainwash the minds of the country's children. I view it as a request for help from a government that has been left with the task of fixing the nations economy, saving businesses from failing, reversing our negative effects on the environment, undoing the damage that was done with Bush's utter failure to handle the war on terror, and change America's image to a positive one in the international community. If there is anything I can do to help this government that is desperately trying to help us, I will. And I think blocking out this request for help is both close-minded and counterproductive. The President is not trying to be rude, he is trying to make government relevant for kids who probably grow up either thinking of it as some distant entity that doesn't affect them, or some evil thing that controls everyone's lives. He's trying to tell everyone the truth.

Unknown said...

"president hijacking any school's curriculum"

What hijacking is occurring? My understanding is that it is optional for schools to view the speech. If you don't agree with your local school's decision, that's a beef you have with the local school board (who you have very direct control over), not with the President.

Call Me Mom said...

@Aaron: "The President represents the majority of our country as a whole..." No, he merely represents the choice of the majority of those who voted. It may come as a surprise to you, but there are entire religious sects in this country, some of them quite large, most of them conservative, who choose not to vote. (In my opinion those of the Christian sects are misinterpreting certain verses, but that's my opinion.)

@ local MLIS student:
Hijack- to sieze control of(a vehicle) in order to steal it's goods or take it's passengers hostage or force it to a new destination.
If one refers to the public school system as a vehicle of education,(and I have seen it referred to in that way) I contend that this verb was used correctly. The president, by virtue of being the president sent out this last minute speech with lesson plans and etc. to take control of our children(passengers) and force them to a new destination(serving the president)

If your mayor had done the same thing, would you consider it appropriate? How about if the owner of the local car dealership had done so?

On the one hand it doesn't even matter what the message is, the action is inappropriate at best. When you add to the action the fact that the message contains curriculum instructing children to ask themselves how they can serve the individual sending out the speech, the action becomes propaganda. If the questions had been along the lines of "how can I serve my country?" that's a different thing. I still wouldn't approve of the use of the office of the president to hijack the educational process, but at least I wouldn't have to worry about the message...as much.

Or are you saying that you would've had no problem with Mr. Bush asking schoolchildren nationwide to ask themselves how they could be of service to him? If you can say that you honestly wouldn't have had a problem with that, then we can have no agreement, because I would have had a problem with that.

Unknown said...

Here is the prepared text for the President's remarks. Someone please explain to me how this is propaganda, Hitlerian, etc.

Unknown said...

The White House has posted the text for Obama's speech tomorrow. http://www.whitehouse.gov/MediaResources/PreparedSchoolRemarks/

Obama stresses the importance of education and encourages students to do well in school, despite hardships in their lives, and to try again if at first they don't succeed. He even caputres the essence of America in his statement:

"Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future."

He wants kids to do their best in school so that they may improve themselves and their country. He knows that students now will be the ones to carry America on their shoulders, and they must learn as much as possible to be able to live up to the challenge. Through hard work, anyone can become successful. He wants students to make goals for themselves so that they can better themselves. It is just as he says, that "Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide."

Call Me Mom said...

Local MLIS student, I already did that. The propaganda part would be the part where the teacher asks the students afterwards to think about what they can do for the president. They changed the study guides after folks spoke up about it so that may not be there anymore, but it was there and that speaks volumes to those of us who have been paying attention. You say you're a student, here's an assignment, go find a holocaust survivor or someone who immigrated here from Soviet Russia. Ask them to tell you about Soviet Russia or early Hitlerian Germany and compare it to America today.

Well isn't that swell of the president to have posted the text of his speech, what - maybe a whole week before it's supposed to be shown? An assignment for you - go to your local school board meeting and ask about the process by which curriculum is approved for your local schools. Ask if a few weeks notice is sufficient for any other curriculum elelment to be included.
You say yourself there is nothing more than a message to children to do well in school. If that's so, then he could have commandeered the airwaves and had a televised presidential back to school address. (The president does have the authority to do that.)No one would have objected to that. And it would have been truly the parent's choice whether or not their child saw it. The only reason for him to present it like this, (when he has plenty of duties that he should be attending to rather than making study guides and curriculum to impose upon schools at the last minute)is so that he can do an end run around parents who might not otherwise allow their children to watch such a speech. It's disrespectful and anyone who has lived under oppression or lived during the cold war is probably finding it beyond creepy that he has chosen to do so.
"History is indeed the witness of the times, the light of truth."

"Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it." ~ George Santayana

Unknown said...

@ Call Me Mom:

The White House decided to pull the "lesson plans" that were to go with the speech because of this whole controversy. It was a school's choice to show the speech or not, so it was in no way mandatory to view the speech. It was supposed to be a pretty low key thing, as opposed to his address on healthcare he is soon to give. I find it disturbing that people think that our president cannot give a speech on anything without being accused of trying to spread his "agenda."

I think it is great that he shows that he cares enough about education to actually give students a pep talk. Maybe he'll actually do something to help get school districts the funding they need to keep up with educational technology, or, at the very least, to have recent enough text books to actually teach classes. (thankfully, our own district has been fortunate in this area.)

Unknown said...

Actually, "Mom," it may surprise you that despite my age I have a rather expanded view of this country and the world, if I do say so myself. In fact, it does not surprise me in the least that there are conservative Christian sects who choose not to vote. However, they make the choice not to have a say in government and therefore cannot complain that the current administration does not support their views. They are also failing to accomplish one of their duties as a citizen, to vote in presidential elections. So that point is moot. The point of our republic is that people choose the leaders to represent him. So President Obama does represent America's opinion as a whole.

Also, your continuous references to America closely resembling a socialist or authoritarian society such as those of the USSR or Nazi Germany at the time of WWII, are completely fictionalized metaphors designed to discredit the liberal community. I could argue that modern America more closely resembles the Roman Empire around the time of its decline and collapse. And I assure you many more people have argued this viewpoint and have much more evidence to support it than the view you and Ginny maintain regarding Russia and Germany.

Call Me Mom said...

Once again, Mr. Obama does NOT represent America as a whole, merely those who voted for him and he didn't win by that much. As few as 500,000 total different votes in a few key places and you'd be calling Mr. McCain president now. (Not that I think he would be much better, personally) Secondly, even if he did represent a huge majority, the president has a responsiblity to govern in a way that maintains the individual freedoms this country was built on for everyone, not just those in agreement with him. The USA is a republic, NOT a democracy. The majority doesn't rule and there are good reasons for that distinction.
I'm with you on the comparison to Rome in the respect that Alexis de Toqueville was right in saying that the country would last until the Congress discovered they could bribe the people with the people's own money. That is essentially what happened in Rome and that is surely the point at which we find ourselves.

Neither the White House nor the Dept. of Education has the authority to make curriculum, in fact they are prohibited from doing so. (Just a quick quote from one of the many "newsletters" I get from organizations both conservative and liberal. This one has an interest in law and tends toward the conservative viewpoint. "Federal law expressly forbids the Secretary of Education, or any
other officer, from exercising "any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration,
or personnel of any...school or school system."
) So I won't give them any brownie points for pulling what they should never have provided. The reason for that law is that a community's parents are supposed to work with their educators to decide what is to be taught to their children. This speech has set an entirely ominous precedent in which the president is not only allowed to order curriculum to be made but the he/she may, without notice, hijack the public school system to present his/her own curriculum(And his speech does count as curriculum regarless of the lack of study guides and prepared exercises.) and I am appalled.

@Aaron again,
As for the comment that my "continuous references to America closely resembling a socialist or authoritarian society such as those of the USSR or Nazi Germany at the time of WWII, are completely fictionalized metaphors designed to discredit the liberal community". No, they are not. They are a reflection of what I am hearing from people who have lived under those governments and so have the experience upon which to base their claims.
But if you don't believe me or those folks, whose comments are easily found in this miraculous digital age we live in, perhaps you will believe Pravda. When I was young, Americans scorned Pravda as the politically correct, state owned paper of the USSR and as such, not a reliable source for information. Once the cold war was over, Pravda began experimenting with being an actual newspaper with the freedom to print whatever they wanted witout censorship.What are they saying about America?

Our Congressmen are being told what they can and cannot say to their constituents and how to word what they will say.

Which one sounds like cold war era soviet society and WW2 Germany to you?

And when you are done with that, you may want to watch this to learn a little bit of history that probably wasn't covered in your history class.

Unknown said...

The amount by how much President Obama won the election is immaterial. He won nonetheless. Unfortunately, the majority often does rule in this country. With the majority of Senate seats the Democratic Party has a fillibuster proof Senate and could pretty much pass whatever they want. So yes in this case the majority does rule. Essentially what happened in Rome was the overstretching of the Empire's military, and huge reliance on hired mercenaries in subjugated territories. The minute Hun invaders appeared to have a chance against the Senate's army the mercenaries joined them, along with other barbarian tribes. The Empire imploded on itself from war and economic collapse. We have overstretched our power both militarily and politically. We have also witnessed the worst economic decline since the Great Depression. I suppose those were the similarities I was referring to. The point is President Obama represents the nation, as every president has regardless of political affiliation. He is actively taking interest in domestic affaris, and conservatives view this as threatening to democratic society. Which is immensely disappointing.

Call Me Mom said...

Aaron, "He is actively taking interest in domestic affaris, and conservatives view this as threatening to democratic society"
No, he is actively taking an interest in depriving us of our freedom, that is what conservatives are objecting to and I, for one, am extremely grateful that there are those who will fight to retain our freedoms.
Our republic was designed to provide the highest amount of freedom with the least amount of government. That's a good thing.