Larry Mantle |

"President Obama Wants to Indoctrinate Our Kids"

So went the criticism from conservative talk show hosts and some parents, who were outraged that the President would choose to directly address students on next Tuesday's first day of school.

What particularly raised their ire was the Administration's admittedly poor choice to include in an accompanying lesson plan a question about how kids could help the President with his work. This was the same odd question that President George H. W. Bush included in materials released along with his talk to students years ago.

Fortunately, the new materials omitted the question. However, you have to wonder who's responsible for writing and reviewing these proposed study plans.

The text of the speech will also be released on the White House website on Monday. That will give parents, teachers, and administrators a chance to review the comments and determine how best to incorporate them into discussion, should they so choose.

Do you think this should be a routine greeting for students offered by each President at the start of the school year? Do you think a President speaking about focusing on education will make a difference to students? What are the potential benefits or waste that a talk like this presents? Is it harder for you to be okay about this if it's a President with whom you strongly disagree?

I would've expected many of our listeners who opposed the policies of President George W. Bush being unhappy with him if he had asked to address students on opening day. That didn't happen, so we won't know. However, there was certainly heavy criticism of his father and of Ronald Reagan when they made their speeches to kids in the classroom. Is any of that criticism fair?

Please share your thoughts with me on this page over the Labor Day weekend. We had some good callers this morning, and I'd like to keep the conversation going. Have a great weekend.