Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The closed minds of those who want to close them

"As the superintendent of schools, I am not comfortable with school district resources being used for this purpose; therefore Prescott Unified School District will not carry the speech either via television or via computers in our schools." --- Kevin Kapp, superintendent of schools, Prescott, Ariz.

Countless public school students were subjected to darkness at noon Tuesday through the combined efforts of an uncontrollable and scarily unaware right-wing mob abetted by a gaggle of spineless school officials. The object of their disdain was President Obama's televised pep talk to students channeled into class rooms across the country. Some of these politicized officials, a majority in Republican Red State school districts, were not even honest enough to concede their personal bias against Obama - the first president to be denied access to classrooms. Others, with wilting knees, merely passed the buck to teachers to decide whether they wanted the students to hear what Obama had to say.

My, my! The cry against the speech ranged across the spectrum from top-serving educators to alley cats. Arizona's state superintendent of schools, Tom Horne, argued against the speech (before hearing it) because he felt it would be "worshipful" of the president. To be fair, the daily temperature around Phoenix these days is in the blistering three figures. It can do strange things to sanity. We hope he's recovered his senses now that the upbeat motivational speech is history.

On the other hand, one mother who spoke out against the event on CNN, tried inexplicably to explain: "I'm against gay marriage and I'm against abortion and I don't want that stuff shoved down the kids' throat." Others continued to raise the specter of Big Brother, who derives from a book that I have a hunch most of them never read.

The problem faced by the schools that succumbed to a foul bath of hogwash is that their retreat will not satisfy the alarmists. They will try to build on their winnings by returning for still greater control over the classrooms. That's how it works, particularly in a nation where the education system is in a deep slump and where, say in Kentucky, only 51 pct. of the people believe Obama was born in America. America? Where's that on the map?

Tuesday was not one of the country's better days.

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