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  •  A friend emailed me this letter to parents (16+ / 0-)

    from a school in Duluth that was going to show the President's speech to all of its students.

    It's here.

    Tomorrow, September 8, 2009, Harbor City International School begins classes. The start of a school year is a special day. For each student and for our community, the horizon is filled with endless opportunities for growth, insight, and personal development.

    Tomorrow, on this first day, President Obama will speak to students across the nation. Harbor City International School will show our students the President's speech at the end of the day, mainly because of technological delivery systems and space issues that make showing the speech live difficult. The staff and I believe our decision to show the speech is appropriate because the speech is delivered by our President and his speech specifically is intended to inspire our young people to do their best in school.

    To equivocate in our decision to show the speech is to send our students the message that, at best, our President is either irrelevant in their lives or, at worst, that our President does not have their best interest at heart. Either position carries significant risks to the confidence we have in our way of governing ourselves.

    As the Executive Director of Harbor City International School, I believe the bedrock of our public educational system is to provide an informed and knowledgeable citizenry who have the ability to reason. The express purpose of a knowledgeable citizenry is to apply reason to the kaleidoscope of images, facts, propaganda, marketing, passions, and disparate points of view to arrive at our individual and collective understanding of what is good for us as a nation. In fact, without such abilities, we are defenseless against demagogues or tyrants who would prefer that we make all of our decisions based on our emotions, especially fear.

    At Harbor City International School, we will not teach our students to be afraid, but instead to be courageous. We will teach them to be confident in their abilities to seek the truth through reason, logic, and judgment. In fact, I believe that our decision sets us apart from other public schools in Duluth and that our decision is a source of pride for our entire community.

    We welcome both the President's speech and the controversy that has arisen over his speech because, as an educational institution, the event gives us a chance to practice our reasoning skills. Our students, along with their teachers, will ask appropriate questions, search out the answers to those questions, and through the process of analysis, arrive at our own conclusions about the President's speech. Rather than bend to fear or place our hands over our ears as if we may not have the good sense to rely on our own faculties, we will stand our ground in the belief that we are entirely capable of finding truth.

    When our students leave school on Tuesday, I trust that they will have grown a little taller during the day. I believe they will have taken another step towards becoming confident, critical thinkers. We began the day with hope and we will end the day with confidence.

    (Of course, we will honor the wishes of all parents who do not want their sons or daughters to hear the President's speech. As parents, you have the right to decide what is best for your family, especially your children.)

    Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.

    by Dbug on Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 12:47:25 AM PDT

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