President’s “Back To School Speech” Scheduled For Sept 14th

President Obama will be giving an address to schoolkids again this year. Stay tuned for the cries of "indoctrination !"

Last year President Obama’s nationally televised speech to school children caused many conservatives like Michelle Malkin, Glenn Beck, and even Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty to go apoplectic over what some claimed, bizarrely, was an attempt at indoctrination. As it turned out, the speech a fairly innocuous address that basically just encouraged kids to do their best. Of course, that still caused some people to consider it the outrage of the day.

Well, they better brush off their old arguments, because the President will be making another speech to school children on September 14th:

VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass. — President Barack Obama is planning his second back-to-school speech to the nation’s students.

The White House said Wednesday the vacationing president will make his remarks on Sept. 14 at a time and place to be announced.

The White House says the president wants to speak directly to students as they resume their fall studies. And he wants to encourage them to “study hard, stay in school and take responsibility for their education.”

Last year, the president told students in a speech from Arlington, Va., that each of them had something they were good at, and something to offer the country.

Since I’m sure the outrage machine will latch on to this one at some point, let me just provide everyone with the talking points courtesy of Michelle Malkin’s post about this from last year:

“ABC” stands for All Barack’s Children. On September 8, young students across the country will be watching television. Yes, they’ll be parked in front of the boob tube and computer screens watching President Obama’s address on education.

Instead of practicing cursive, reviewing multiplication tables, diagramming sentences, or learning something concrete, America’s kids will be lectured about the importance of learning. And then the schoolchildren, from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, will be exhorted to Do Something — other than sit in their seats and receive academic instruction, that is.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan dispatched letters to principals nationwide boasting that “This is the first time an American president has spoken directly to the nation’s school children about persisting and succeeding in school.” But the goal is not merely morale-boosting. According to White House event-related guides developed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Teaching Fellows, grade-school students will be told to “listen to the speech” and “could think about the following:”

The activist tradition of government schools using students as junior lobbyists cannot be ignored. Zealous teacher’s unions have enlisted captive schoolchildren as letter-writers in their campaigns for higher education spending. Out-of-control activists have enlisted their secondary-school charges in pro-illegal immigration protests, gay marriage ceremonies, environmental propaganda stunts, and anti-war events.

Of course since the actual speech last year turned out to be much ado about nothing maybe the “all panic all the time” crowd will leave this alone.

Yea, I’m not optimistic about that one either, but I’ll be pleasantly surprised if it happens

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. just me says:

    I mostly see this as a waste of academic time, but as far as the speech goes it is pretty innocuous.

  2. Steve Plunk says:

    Yawn.  Maybe they could learn a new word to go along with the speech.  Narcissist.

  3. Dantheman says:

    And of course no one bothers to point out this has been done <a href=””>in the past</a> by Republican presidents.  another sterling example of the so-called liberal media in action.

  4. mantis says:

    IOKIYAR, but if you’re a Democrat, it’s fascism.  Rinse, repeat.

  5. Wayne says:

    As I recall, last year speech was greatly revise from the original because of the outrage. Also the pressure from the Department of education to show the speech and do the prep “teaching” was back away from. Also the question that was supposed to be asked by the teachers before and after were revised and backed away from.
    I pretty sure they won’t make the same mistakes this time and there will unlikely be much if any controversy.  Unless they are foolish and try to pull a similar stunt like Obama saying “you need to do home and tell you ignorant parents who don’t know as much as you do to vote for Democrats” then there will be.
    Mmm mmm Obama.



    Mmm mmm Obama.

  6. mantis says:

    As I recall, last year speech was greatly revise from the original because of the outrage.
    Translation: I believe every bullshit theory I read on wingnut blogs.  I don’t care if there’s any truth to them.  In fact, I’d rather they didn’t.


  7. Wayne says:

    Translation: As a liberal, I can make up any facts I want and misrepresent what others say and do. I can pretend that last year’s controversy was simply over the President wanting to say hi, welcome back to school. The truth is irrelevant to us liberals.