Thursday, September 03, 2009

Utah Democratic Party Outraged by School Districts’ Reaction to Presidential address

The Utah State Democratic Party has been receiving calls all day regarding the reactionary position some Utah School Districts have taken in response to a very small minority of right wing extremists expressing paranoia over the President’s scheduled address to students around the country on Tuesday morning. The Department of Education has made abundantly clear on its website and through communications with local schools throughout the nation the purpose of this address is simply to encourage students to work hard and commit to achieving the best education possible.

The Utah State Democratic Party is extremely troubled by reports district administrators are caving to extremists by “warning parents” of the president’s speech. In the newly formed CanyonsSchool District waiver forms are proactively being circulated via their website.

President Obama is not the first president to address students and appearances by presidents in public schools to promote literacy, science and other aspects of the educational experience are common. The address by our president to the nation’s school children is in this tradition and is not a political speech. It has become clear the right is intent on politicizing everything in an effort to derail the presidency of Barack Obama and this politicization will not stop even at the school house door.

According to Utah State Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Holland “It is a sad day when even a very small number of Americans respond to a plea from our country’s leader to value the educational opportunities our schools offer with fear and paranoia. I am disappointed local districts are in turn responding with letters warning parents of the president’s speech.”

The Utah Democratic Party urges school superintendents, principals, and teachers to show our president the respect he deserves. While as Americans we value the right to disagree over how best to respond to various issues, a call by our nation’s highest elected official for our children to work hard and live up to their full potential is surely something all of us can agree on regardless of party affiliation.

© September 3, 2009 Utah State Democratic Party


Victory In Progress said...

Unfortunately it's an issue of timing. I was opposed to the "I Pledge" video being shown to elementary school kids. However, I don't think for a second that the president will use this address as an excuse to tout one political philosophy over another. It seems to me that the overreaction is based on a well founded discomfort for the video shown in Farmington. I don't believe this would be an issue if his address would have happened a week ago.

Anonymous said...

You, sir Mr. Holland, are a disgrace to the utah democrat party for going so low as to name call concerned parents "right wing extremists", as it will only serve to ailienate your party further from the common constituent. It is rather childish to resort to name calling of parents making a choice for their children who are impressionable. I believe that is a parents duty to their children.

John B Talcott said...

The Nebo School District Board of Education voted to block the showing of President's address on Tuesday for the specious reason that they were not informed well enough ahead of time. This is in spite of the fact that Arne Duncan sent a letter to the nation's principals on August 26, a full two weeks ahead of the speech. They also took exception to the fact that the federal office of education did not go through the "proper chain of authority" to get permission for the president to address Utah's school children. I hope they were referring to the state office of education by that remark, but in Utah one can never be sure. One more time the Nebo District has set itself up for national ridicule just like in the Wendy Weaver debacle. They just don't seem to learn from their mistakes.