OOOOO! GRISD Students Can ONLY Watch President Obama's Speech if Parents Give PermissionSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


OOOOO! GRISD Students Can ONLY Watch President Obama's Speech if Parents Give Permission

11 September 2010 at 9:33:59 AM

I was looking for info on the football scores and saw this on the GRISD home page.

President Obama "Back To School" Speech
( Press Release)

On Tuesday, September 14, 2010, President Obama will deliver his second annual “Back to School” speech to students across the United States during the school day. Last year, President Obama spoke to students and encouraged students to study hard, stay in school and take responsibility for their education.

Glen Rose ISD will partner with parents to meet the needs of all students regarding President Obama’s speech to school children.

All campuses will show the speech live at one or more locations on campus. There will be no mandatory viewing, but parents may give their child permission to view the speech live at school by signing and returning the enclosed permission slip to the campus office by 8:00 Tuesday, September 14, 2010.

Students not returning a signed permission slip will not be allowed to view the speech live and no individual classroom teachers will show the speech live in the classroom.

At this time, there has been no communication with Glen Rose ISD on how the speech will be broadcast to schools or what time the actual speech will be delivered. Additional updated information can be found at and

If you have any questions, please contact the campus principals or Superintedenet G. Wayne Rotan.

Letter to Parents, Students and Staff (English - Spanish)

Speech Frequently Asked Questions (English - Spanish)

Permission Slip (English - Spanish)

GRISD did this last year, too.  Because God forbid you show respect for the President and enough snap to use his speech as a critical learning exercise by having ALL students listen to OUR president.

I think it's especially ironic that a school is doing this. Schools are, at least theoretically, supposed to be teaching children how to think, consider and weigh ideas, whether one agrees with them or not.  Seems like when you let children opt out of hearing the president, you are saying that he's going to say things that you don't want your children to hear, as if your children need to be shielded from the person that's elected to lead this country.

P.S. Not the first president to address students.

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1 - whitkat   11 Sep 2010 @ 12:35:39 PM 

Whatever the reasoning behind this decision, it comes across as being anti-Obama administration.  Whether this is the case or not, I think the message that being sent is not appropriate for the educational setting.  Students should be taught to respect the office of the President, no matter who is in office. 

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2 - salon   11 Sep 2010 @ 1:07:20 PM 

@whitkat-THANK YOU!

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3 - Brad Mansfield   11 Sep 2010 @ 8:55:39 PM 

Democrat or Republican or whatever, students can be taught the history and respect for office of President of US without being subjected to a yearly speech at school.  I wonder how accepting many people would be if a Republican President gave a yearly speech to schools....... Knowing the liberal media I expect there would be a huge outcry. I personally am glad that we as a STILL free country have the choice as to what we want our kids listening to, because without that choice it smacks of propaganda...... and re-education of the masses

4 - humanbeing   11 Sep 2010 @ 9:49:22 PM 

Then maybe you should investigate the Texas State Board of Education, Mr. Mansfield.

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5 - Brad Mansfield   12 Sep 2010 @ 10:38:13 AM 

No need to investigate, there is a double standard when it comes to our state controlled media on dems and republicans, I would imagine that all Obama would have to say would be that he blames George Bush for the dropout rate anyway.....

6 - citizenB   12 Sep 2010 @ 10:40:40 AM 

I think in the least this should be an "opt out" not "opt in".... you should have to take action to have your child not watch.. which is how it is for all other presentations.

7 - salon   12 Sep 2010 @ 11:06:43 AM 

@citizenb- I agree with you. It ought to be the default that children attend to hear the president's message, as a level of respect and to be consistent. Makes me wonder, how many mandatory presentations are there during a given year that a child must attend? 

@Brad M- I very much doubt that Obama would turn a speech to school children into a lambasting of a previous president or political party. Even more than that, though, I continue to believe that children need to learn that everyone doesn't have to think the same way, but the office deserves respect. And that, after a speech, an appropriate action is to talk about what was said, and dissect the ideas, including at home by involved parents. If Bush had done this, I would probably have okayed my kids to go hear, and then would have wanted to discuss what he said-I suspect, though, that all of them say pretty innocuous things about staying in school, studying hard, etc.

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8 - humanbeing   12 Sep 2010 @ 2:50:12 PM 

I was hoping for a more thoughtful response from you, Brad. I don't see what the media, left-wing or right-wing weirdo, has to do with the issue of propagandizing our students at school where they are a captive audience.

The TSBOE is dominated by right-wingers, prominant in the Republican Party, who intend to promote their fundamentalist religious beliefs by controlling what will and what will not be taught in history and science. This perspective will spill over into textbooks for all the states since Texas is the largest customer of Textbook publishers.

Also, can anyone tell me just what subversive propaganda the President is indoctrinating our students with? Is it more powerful an influence than what the TSBOE is doing?

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9 - silenceisgolden   12 Sep 2010 @ 4:41:22 PM 

Well, I am the parent of a Senior.  And like most of you I get my information through the schools web site.  When I read about this, I asked my daughter if she had a permission slip for me to sign.  She said that she did not because she did not want to see the Presidents speech.  I have always taught her to speak her mind, but before she needed to think about what was going to come out first.  She has listened to her Dad and I discuss politics, watched on TV and listened to the radio, and read on the internet.  And in her own words she has told us that why would you want to vote someone into office, when most of them lie just to get in.   And once they are in office, they don't do what they say they are going to.   

As parents of a young adult we have tried to teach her the importance of getting out and voting.  And the reasons why we should get out and vote.  We have taught her about God and caring for one another and trying to help out others that are in need.  Sometimes parents don't set the best example, but isn't it up to us and wouldn't it be our fault if our children grow up not knowing what this world is like or what it can be like if we just make it that way.

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10 - Brad Mansfield   12 Sep 2010 @ 7:50:42 PM 

To human being: As to a thoughtful  response, yes I probably should have put more thought into it, I let my disgust of the current administration show through and I probably shouldnt. I should again clarify that I personally see no need for the POTUS whatever the party in power, to give a yearly speech to students. It is clear that Salon and I differ on right wing vs left wing politics, but I still appreciate what you do Salon. I do wonder why human being felt the need to say "right wing weirdo" in the post?? Why be insulting?? Do you feel that gives your post more strength? Thank GOD we do still have a free country (for now) and when the Republicans win at least one side of Congress in Nov at least some of Obamas socialist agenda maybe maybe can be stopped.

11 - humanbeing   12 Sep 2010 @ 10:33:41 PM 

To Brad: I used the term 'weirdo' because, in my opinion, the most prominent right-wing media personalities are pretty weird and insulting to the point of just plain lying and misinforming those who listen to them. Unfortunately, by choosing to use that word, a word that is inflammatory to you, I derailed the conversation. Clearly, I should have edited that out.

Putting the media problem aside, the questions I was trying to address with you are this: if you really do have a problem with propaganda aimed at " of the masses.", why do you not have a problem with how the TSBOE is propagandizing our students?  Is their propaganda OK because the TSBOE represents your view of the world? And what has President Obama said to our students in the past that is in anyway propagandizing for the Democratic Party?

To Silenceisgolden: Thank you for your very sensitive post above. You remind us of the difficult challenge parents are facing today in raising their children in a world that is changing so fast and facing so many problems. How does a parent today teach their child not to be cynical? How does a parent show that child the wondrous quality that life can have? How does a parent embue their child with hope for the future?

Yes, I do agree with you that we are the ones responsible for what we are creating and that we are the only ones who can make our world a better place. Thank you for this.



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12 - citizenB   13 Sep 2010 @ 7:36:18 AM 

My 10 year old wants to watch, even though our household is more of a "republican" mindset...Sometimes even when we "endoctrinate" our children with our ideas, and mindsets, their curiosity shines through.  This gave me pause to consider whether I have shown the respect to the office of President of the United States that I should, or have I become cynical and let my personal feelings override my duty as an American citizen?  And I believe as Americans we should show the commander-in-chief the respect he deserves.  I hope that I have shown and taught my children that you can disagree with the agenda of a party and still have and show respect for them in an appropriate manner.

13 - salon   13 Sep 2010 @ 10:51:43 AM 

I also don't agree with a whole lot of what the current president does. I voted for Obama, in both the primary and the election, but his actions have disappointed me greatly, although probably for entirely different reasons than others might have. I was very surprised that he let the telecom companies off the hook for spying on Americans, that he fought against prosecution for those that were torturing people, I didn't want him to bail out the banks and Wall street fat cats, and on and on. In other words, a lot of the same policies that I heavily objected to when G W Bush was president, Obama continued. Unfortunately, I lost my enthusiasm for the whole national political scene by following the sausage making too closely for 4 years.

That said, Obama is the president and, regardless of whether I agree with him on every decision he makes, he was elected and for that, regardless of anything else, deserves a level of respect for his office. Doesn't mean that he shouldn't be roundly criticized, debated with, etc on the ideas and policies that he promotes. 

And it's our children, right? I always wanted well-behaved children, that were respectful and considerate, but also not cowed by abuses of authority, and that would learn how to critically think and consider rather than spitting out rote answers to tests. Suppose Obama WERE Hitler, for example. Wouldn't it be better to have a child listen and have the parent be able to discuss the ideas presented so that what happened in Germany can never happen again because there is an informed and questioning populace?

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14 - Brad Mansfield   13 Sep 2010 @ 11:33:12 AM 

to human being--- Please give me specific examples of TSBOE propaganda?

15 - humanbeing   13 Sep 2010 @ 12:17:28 PM 

I guess you weren't watching much news last Spring. The controversy over the TSBOE got plenty of national attention. For starters:

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16 - dukesplace   14 Sep 2010 @ 12:01:42 PM 

Mr. Mansfield: please elaborate on the comment in your post,"state controlled media"?

17 - Brad Mansfield   14 Sep 2010 @ 7:54:53 PM 

To human being- I watch a lot of news and read a lot of news but I read the New York Times about as much as you, I suspect watch Fox News. New York Times is much much too liberal for me. Is that liberal slanted paper all the evidence you have or do you have any from a wide variety of sources?

18 - Brad Mansfield   14 Sep 2010 @ 8:09:11 PM 

To dukesplace--- The  state controlled media is the mainstream media that feeds a steady diet of liberal agenda it was actually a play on words. But I encourage you to watch your network evening news you will never hear Obama being taken to task over his mistakes like Bush was crucified for. It doesnt take a genius to see it but you do have to open your eyes. For instance Bob Shieffer recently took John Boehner (R) to task over the fact that he smokes....silly I agree, but how much do you hear about Obama and his smoking habit? interesting. You think if GWB sat in a church every sunday for 20 yrs that preached hatred and the preacher sad "Not God Bless America, but God D$# America and that Americas chickens have come home to roost when the WTC were attacked, that the media would let it slide?? Yet Obama sat in Reverend Wrights church that long but nothing is ever said??? You think if GWB was friends with a KNOWN terrorist like William Ayers the media would not say anything? Yet Obama was and still is friends with Ayers. just saying

19 - humanbeing   14 Sep 2010 @ 8:33:03 PM 

You're right, Brad, I've never watched Fox News in my life and don't intend to (and I don't watch the so-called liberal media, either). I don't have cable and don't watch much TV (I get most of my news online). When I do watch TV news (when the daylight hours are short), it's usually The Newshour (PBS) or Frontline (PBS).

I posted those articles from the NY Times because it was easy to research and convenient for me. Nothing personal, you understand, but I'm not about to write some kind of dissertation here just for your convenience. I've got very important things to do like mowing (and mowing and mowing), getting the dishes washed, vaccuming, doing the laundry, relaxing, reading, watching the moon rise, etc., etc., etc!  You can Google this issue and research it for yourself.

The point is, for me at least, ANY political intrusion into something like the TSBOE, is inappropriate. I guess since you said you had once been on the school board here in GR that you followed this kind of thing.

ps. There are Conservative writers in the NY Times, too, like David Brooks. I like to check out a variety of sources, even those I'm sure I will not agree with. I try to be open even though at my age one tends to have definite opinions about things. Oh well...

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20 - humanbeing   14 Sep 2010 @ 8:49:55 PM 

Brad, mainstream media is not 'state controlled', it's corporate controlled. The deregulation of the communications industry has allowed a few corporations to control all the media. This is the problem.

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21 - Brad Mansfield   14 Sep 2010 @ 8:56:17 PM 

human being---- as to being on the school board, yes there was a time that I did follow things dealing with schools much much more closely until I found out nobody cared when I tried to bring up what I found or rather try to open up. You see I took the role of SCHOOL TRUSTEE very seriously as in responsible to the taxpayers, Instead it was easier to just label me a trouble maker. My time on the GRISD board was the most frustrating time of my life. My hat is off to the ones that serve and truly want to improve on things and not serve just to be in the limelight (as it were). I even had a super tell me one time "I dont care if you like or agree with what I do because all I need to make happy is a majority of the board....kinda depressing huh? But human being, I may not agree with your political views but I would fight to the death for your right to voice your opinion. I know we will never see eye to eye on politics but then again its that diversity. I think that this nation was based on.

22 - humanbeing   14 Sep 2010 @ 9:57:12 PM 

Thank you, Brad, for your very sincere post. I may have been one of those who didn't 'care', way back when, about school boards and such, because I didn't have children and didn't pay attention to what was going on in our schools. However, I now know that our (your) children will inherit this world and I do care so much about our world and what they do with it in the future. I want them to have the opportunity to know some of the lovely experiences of life that I have known.

As one who has always gone against the grain, I can sympathize with your dilemma those years you served on the board and did not receive the support you deserved. But you can find some solace in the fact that you did your job the best you could and did it with integrity. One does what one can.

Politics is not important. What is important is that we are all human and we all want pretty much the same things out of life. Working together is what is important now. I do believe this.

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