White House Backtracks on Brainwashing Schoolchildren

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Photo: Marisa Woocher; photo by Getty Images

President Obama has ulterior motives for the special back-to-school video address in the works for September 8, conservative commentators and politicians claim — turning our nation's children into an army of liberal, socialist zombies. How do they know? Because in materials the Department of Education created to be handed out to teachers at schools where Obama's address will be shown, it's suggested that students be asked to "Write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president. These will be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make students accountable to their goals." We're pretty sure that if Ike Eisenhower or Ronny Reagan were asking schoolchildren for help, it would be viewed as good old American patriotism, but that's not how some people see it now. Like this guy:

I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama's socialist ideology,” Jim Greer, Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida said, “The idea that school children across our nation will be forced to watch the President justify his plans for government-run health care, banks, and automobile companies, increasing taxes on those who create jobs, and racking up more debt than any other President, is not only infuriating, but goes against beliefs of the majority of Americans, while bypassing American parents through an invasive abuse of power.”


Wow, that would have been quite a difficult lesson plan for most children to digest. Of course, you also have to consider that that's not what Obama is going to talk about at all.

In the address, which is airing online and on CSPAN and is obviously optional for schools to show, Obama will "challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning," according to Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Therefore, the idea was "that students should think of how they could help the President in terms of reducing the national dropout rate," explains White House spokesman Tommy Vietor. But despite this seemingly reasonable explanation — some kids are actually still wide-eyed enough to be motivated by the president of the country — the Department of Education has changed the language to remove all doubt regardless. Because why risk offending people who are happy to ignore context in order to purposefully misinterpret and vilify your intentions?

WH, Dept of Education Revise Language on Students Outlining How they Can “Help the President" [Political Punch/ABC News]