Monday, September 7, 2009

An Open Letter to Biloxi Public School Administrators: President Obama's Message To American Children

Dear Dr. Tisdale, Principals, Teachers, Administrators and all,

As a parent of three children attending Biloxi Public Schools I encourage you to support the President of the United States Barack Obama by showing his important educational message to American students in our public school system.

I fully understand the polarized political landscape we find ourselves in currently, but to support the notion that our own president should be rejected is in direct contradiction with American and pedagogical interests.

School administrators like you set and enforce policy and curriculum in school districts every day and there is no "a la carte" option for parents to reject exposing public school children to strictly defined educational efforts.

That said; I can only reiterate that this is our own nation's leader expressing the benefits of education and encouraging words of support.

Here is a summary of President Obama's speech:

Be good, be responsible for your own actions, stay in school, pay attention, put in hard work, turn off the gaming systems and televisions, we're in this together and don't give up even when things are difficult, you can do it for yourself, for your family and for your country.

I am sure you will agree that these are wonderful concepts and values that should be taught in school and no one should fear or reject such an expression simply because they are from President Obama.

Simply put, students are motivated by role models and successful leaders.

This message proactively encourages this motivation and it is offered by the most successful leader currently in the world.

An American president addressing American school children about staying in school should not ever be censored.

When American parents fear allowing their children a brief look at the president while in school, then something has gone very wrong, but when school teachers and administrators allow the option of rejecting a message about the importance of education from a sitting president then a bigger problem is being perpetuated, one of approving a negative view of our president via representative authority.

Whatever you decide, this entire exercise will be an important lesson for all of our children about just how divided and polarized this country has become and how far away we've moved from the value of respect and civility even in disagreement.

Each student will come to realize that this incident itself is history in the making and their parents, their teachers and their school administrators are fully participating in it along with them in real time and are setting the examples for our future generations.

Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this important matter.

Sincerely and respectfully,

Steve Schlicht