I'm shaking my head after reading about schools allowing parents to prevent their children from watching President Obama's address. Let me get this straight: Federal dollars contribute large portions to public school budgets, and an important function of education is to foster listening, discussion and decision making. It will not be a political address. Obama's intent is to welcome and encourage children to stay in school.
If parents who oppose the president feel that hearing him speak will endanger their children, why are they in public school?
Can those children not understand that issues have different sides and that, in a democracy all citizens may participate? Or do their parents not want them to? Do those parents really believe in democracy, or do they want to manipulate the system because they didn't get their way at election time? Are they the same people who continue to subscribe to untrue allegations about the president and who refuse to participate in a civil manner at public meetings?
What about respect? Barack Obama is the president of the United States. When I was a child in public school, that meant something to citizens and educators alike, regardless of personal political beliefs. Students were expected to accord presidents respect.
While my children attended public school, I never received permission slips for addresses by Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, nor would I have prevented them. Moreover, everyone who didn't vote for the last President Bush suffered through inarticulate speeches and Karl Rove-inspired propaganda because he was the president, despite administrative policies that killed thousands of U.S. and foreign citizens and enriched many a millionaire and billionaire before crippling our economy.
Never mind that racism might play into the actions of American parents' refusal to allow their children to watch the president on TV. By refusing, they disrespect the office of the president as well as the man who occupies it, which is disgraceful, if not unpatriotic.
As for the school officials who haven't the gumption to stand up for the principles of education, I can only shake my head - again.
Julie Moore, Durango