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