Obama's address to school children meeting controversy

President Obama will be addressing America's youngest citizens next week. It's the first time a U.S. President has specifically spoken to school children in a nationwide address.
President Obama will be addressing America's youngest citizens next week. It's the first time a U.S. President has specifically spoken to school children in a nationwide address.

(CBS) - President Obama will be addressing America's youngest citizens next week. It's the first time a U.S. President has specifically spoken to school children in a nationwide address.

Nationally, some parents are already promising to keep their children from seeing it.

The White House says the remarks focus on staying in school and civic responsibility. They'll be shown in classrooms across the country.

School districts across the country have already been getting calls from parents worried the speech and the accompanying academic materials will have political undertones. Some schools are skipping the address altogether, and others are sending home permission slips. Instead of watching the speech, some students can opt to attend a study hall.

In Northwest Ohio, schools we talked to say they have received a few calls from parents but do not yet know if they will carry the speech. A logistical problem is that the speech is at noon -- a time most schools are serving lunch. We'll get more details on local school reaction as the September 8 speech gets closer.

Comments

Do you have an issue with Obama addressing school children nationally? It will be through the Channel One educational channel installed in many schools. It will also be available online after the address. Log in or register below to leave comments.

The controversy was the talk of Talk Radio. Conservative host Michael Berry and many callers echoed critics' worries that Obama cannot help but be political, even with children. "This President is the most partisan president we have ever seen," said Berry. "My rights as a parent are being circumvented so this President can speak to my children. My children will not be going to school ," said a caller.

On the soccer fields on Stella Link near the South Loop, some parents had a different view. "Everything is hypersensitive," said Keith Jenkins, a Houston parent. Jenkins thinks critics are reading too much into the power the President has over an 8-year-old. "I think most kids don't know politics one way or another. I don't think he can influence that. I think parents at home will have an influence on their kids' politics views," said Jenkins.