Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hysterical Blindness ... Apparently

My elementary age school children did not get to see, while at school, Obama's lovely speech about the importance of staying in school. Let's think about this... an educational institution did not show the students a speech from our President about the importance of education. Tell me that sounds as crazy to you as it does to me. And what about the parents who were willing to pull their child out of school so they wouldn't have to have the message of "stay in school" crammed down their throats? omg. I could weep. The only explaination... hysterical blindness. They got so crazed, they lost sight of the simple message.

I was so concerned about this decision, I had to find out what happened. Where did this ball get dropped and can we put it back up in the air again? I spoke with our school principal who post speech, seemed a bit embarrassed. He said he fielded 15 - 16 emails/phone calls the week before against showing the speech. I told him I would have called in favor of it, however never in a million years did I not think my school would not show it. Do I really need to contact him every time I feel he's made a good decision? He's phone would ring constantly. He said the staff and he talked about it and decided that parents would eventually show the speech to their children via youtube or other links that were quickly posted on social networks and websites. (thank God we have that technology in a large percentage of homes and certainly in public libraries today... This would not have been so easy even a decade ago. The district said they would provide the speech, going forward, for teachers to show in their classroom. Whew.) Here's my concern about the alternate plan... we're relying on parents to do this. It might not seem like a big deal, but the kids who's parents are disconnected from their children's education and perhaps most of their children's lives, won't show that speech to them. Why? Because more than likely, THEY did not see the speech. They are just that "way" and for numerous reasons. More than likely, they will not get on a computer and find the speech for their child, despite links and emails to guide them there. (My sons teacher is sending a link to print out the entire speech and link to watch the speech at home as often as we want). There are parents of all socioeconomic backgrounds who just won't. Disinterest? Maybe. Intentionally wanting to mess with their children? Very doubtful. It's just the way they are. Heck, there are parents who still hope their public school will teach their child about sex education!!! ( On the flip side, there are parents who do not want the public school teaching sex ed.) I fear these are the same parents who are not having discussions with their child about the importance of an education. About expectations we have about them being not only what they want to be, but finding joy in what they do too. As a parent, we are their BEST advocate. How good of an advocate are you for your child? If a parent can't be a good mentor, leader, guide, advocate... thank God there are others out there. Neighbors, granparents, aunts & uncles, teachers, coaches, family, our President, parents of your child's friends... there are a lot of people out there root'n for the success of your child. Every child should know they have a team behind them. People they've never even met, are wanting the best for your child. That's a lovely comforting truth.

I think for many children, hearing President Obama say he has expectations of them, is huge. That may be the only time in their life they hear that from an adult. It could be an epiphany... a turning point... a realization that there is a way out. I love this quote from the speech "Where you are right now doesn't have to determine where you'll end up. No one's written your destiny for you, because here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future." President Barack Obama. Seriously... who doesn't want their child to hear that? As an adult, I WANT TO HEAR THAT! Especially some child caught up in a gang... or they are watching their parents working two jobs each to make ends meet... or they are having to work themselves to help the family pay the bills. This isn't a cast system here in the United States. Obama made sure kids knew that we adults are going to make sure you have the tools to get where you want/need to be. You just have to demonstrate it's what you want. Kind of a "you don't get anything unless you ask for it" route... and I like that.

One friend on facebook said he thought President Obama was the wrong messenger for this speech. WHAT? Really? REALLY???????? Who better... and I'm serious about that? Who better than our President? My husband sarcastically suggested Jay Z. But seriously... my kids school spent 3 days on a mock election last year. President Obama is the most recognizable and most credible person to give this speech hands down. My father actually suggested that Obama should have given that speech to only the parents. After a little discussion, he and I both agree both students and parents need to hear it. The problem is... getting the attention of the parents who don't want to hear it. How do you reach a full grown adult who knows better, but won't do better? I don't know. Then I had another person say the Democrats are simply wanting to brainwash our kids. Thankfully another friend on Twitter said he sent his children to school with tinfoil hats so the brainwashing wouldn't work. LOL!!!! Oh... I needed that. Brainwashing? Wrong messenger? Hysterical Blindness I tell you.

Even sweeter... I have a nutty neighbor who has put her child in 4 different schools in almost as many years. Her son is currently at a Catholic school, despite them not being Catholic. She was telling another neighbor "Praise Jesus that my son goes to a Catholic school where they won't push a political agenda down the kids throats". I am happy to report, her school SHOWED the speech! LOL! Classic. And I am so glad they did... because there was nothing political or religious about it. It was a good old fashioned pep talk about staying in school and why we need kids to. You all know how much I like pep rallies...

So really. Hysterical Blindness. I'm hoping that's all it is.

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