Here's a letter sent by my nephew Matthew, a lawyer in Columbia, South Carolina, regarding President Obama's talk with students about school, studying hard, and other controversial subjects:
Please be advised that my children, Caroline Sullivan and Logan Sullivan, will not be in class on Tuesday September 8, 2009. It is with great sadness that I learned today that school districts across the country including, apparently, Lexington School District 1, have been thrust into an appalling controversy simply because the elected leader of our nation wishes to speak to our children about the virtues of staying in school and focusing on their education.
Let me be clear: for my wife and I there is no controversy. Mr. Obama is the duly-elected leader of our country pursuant to Article II of our Constitution, the same Constitution I swore to uphold and defend when I became a licensed attorney. Tuesday’s “speech” is not about politics. It is about the leader of our country speaking to our children about the value of our education. My wife and I expect nothing less from our President.
My children will always be fortunate whenever they are given the opportunity to hear the chief executive of our nation speak to them directly about the most important issue in their young lives: the importance of obtaining an education. This is true whether the President is a Republican, a Democrat or a member of any other political party.
Tuesday’s address is not a novel occurrence. According to a Los Angeles Times story published today, both previous President Bushes have spoken to school children. In fact, President George H.W. Bush spoke to children across the nation via teleconference about avoiding drugs…a similar non-political topic as Mr. Obama’s planned topic of discussion on Tuesday. My children would have been equally fortunate had one of their school days been spent, in part, by having President George H.W. Bush or President George W. Bush speak to them on such a topic. It is an event I would have enthusiastically supported my children attending.
Therefore, to ensure that my children do not miss this excellent educational opportunity, they will watch The President’s speech live with their parents on C-SPAN this Tuesday. Hopefully they will learn about the value of completing their formal education, and maybe they will learn a little civics as well. Regrettably, this experience will pale in comparison to the experience they would have had had they been able to watch it with their classmates and teachers and have been able to engage in an age-appropriate critical discussion afterward as intended by The President.
Matthew Sullivan, Esq.