Teachers were the ones to make the call on whether or not Plainfield kids got to see President Obama's back-to-school pep talk Tuesday.
Plainfield 202 and Troy 30-C superintendents last week sent e-mails to teachers and principals giving them a heads-up that the president's annual school speech was coming up. Administrators wanted to let educators on the front lines know that they might be getting parent input on what has come to be a politically charged autumn ritual.
They left it to each teacher to decide if the talk fit in with their curriculum and if would have any meaning for their age group. Kindergarten and PE classes? Maybe not. Social studies and government in higher grades? Works for them.
"We teach civics. We teach government. The president is a part of government," Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202 spokesman Tom Hernandez. "We're not going to direct teachers in the public education system not to let students listen to the president of the United States."
But, as far as Hernandez knew, no one in his district was tuning in. Nobody answered the call for video gadgets they'd need show the speech.
Last year, District 202 made a conscious decision to bring Obama's speech into classrooms. The district got a lot of calls from parents weighing in on the educational encouragement speech last fall. About half called it political indoctrination. The other half said why not hear the prez out.
This year the political heat had cooled down. Only two District 202 parents piped up. One called Obama's speech indoctrination. The other said why not?