It may or may not come as some surprise to my readers that I was not excited about sending my children to public school. I am a firm supporter of parochial schools, for several reasons. However, after long debate, I relented, and both my girls have had excellent experiences in their early elementary years.
Like many Park Ridgers, I have been following the news regarding President Obama’s speech, which is to be simulcast today in our schools. While I haven’t succumbed to any seizure-like activity from the prospect of my children hearing our president speak, I admit that I had a sliver of paranoia about his message. I never bought into the idea that he was using this speech as a form of indoctrination. At the same time, I don’t like the idea of political figures talking to my children without my permission.
And that is the crux of the matter for me. Ask me my permission. I am the parent here. I am sovereign in my children’s lives; I should be aware when my children are going to listen to a speech by a political figure.
And my children’s school has respected this. They announced to the parents that Obama’s speech was going to be aired today and that any child could opt out of the speech. No child who opted out would have to view the speech at a later date. It was completely voluntary.
I would like to thank whomever it was who made this decision and applaud him or her for supporting my position of authority in my children’s lives. This decision fosters the respect and trust that I have for the district and its administration.
By the way, I chose to let my children view the speech–not because I am thrilled about them viewing it, but because it will give us a chance to talk about the content and how we show respect to our governmental officials (especially when we don’t support their politics).