« | »

Gibbs Calls Furor Over K-12 Speech Silly

From a bemused Associated Press:

Gibbs: Furor over school speech is ‘silly season’

By Ben Feller, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The White House on Friday dismissed as pointless the furor over President Barack Obama’s plan to deliver a televised back-to-school speech to the nation’s students.

"I think we’ve reached a little bit of the silly season when the president of the United States can’t tell kids in school to study hard and stay in school," presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters. "I think both political parties agree that the dropout rate is something that threatens our long-term economic success."

Obama’s planned address to students has prompted a surprising push-back from some quarters over what the White House sees as an important but innocuous topic

Many school districts have decided not to show Obama’s speech, to be delivered at 12 noon EDT Tuesday, partly in response to concerns from parents.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, on Friday defended Obama’s plan to address students.

"The bottom line is we need the president of the United States of America to use his bully pulpit to talk to kids about the importance of education and to help inspire kids," she said on "The John Gambling Show" on radio station 710-AM in New York…

The White House spokesman said he couldn’t speak to the motivations of some school districts.

"Look, there are some school districts that won’t let you read ‘Huckleberry Finn,’ " Gibbs said

The White House plans to release the speech online Monday so parents can read it. Obama will deliver the speech at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va.

The show propaganda must go on.

And according to Baghdad Bob Gibbs, we are ‘silly’ to even think of objecting to having our children inculcated when they are supposed to be being educated.

Well, Mr. Gibbs’ spiritual ancestor, Mr. Goebbels, would surely agree.

And speaking of lies, both big and little:

"Look, there are some school districts that won’t let you read ‘Huckleberry Finn,’ " Gibbs said.

If any such districts do ban this book it is only because it mentions the ‘N-word.’ And it is surely banned by fervent Obama supporters.

For the record here is how this agit-prop is now being portrayed at the taxpayer funded WhiteHouse.gov website:


Help get America’s students engaged!

On Tuesday, September 8 — the first day of school for many students — the President will talk directly to students across the country on the importance of taking responsibility for their education, challenging them to set goals and do everything they can to succeed. We want to make sure that as many schools and classrooms nationwide can participate in this special opportunity, so we are making the President’s address and all the information that comes with it available as widely as possible. Whether you are a teacher, a school board member, or a member of the media, find information below to help you watch and be engaged with the President in welcoming our students back to school.


Tuesday, September 8th, at 12:00 PM (EDT)

How to Watch

The President’s message will be streamed live on WhiteHouse.gov/live, and broadcast live on C-Span

Downloadable video of the speech will be made available on this page later that day as it becomes available

For school districts hoping to access the satellite feed, it will be available beginning at 11:00 AM (EDT) using the following coordinates:

* Galaxy 28/Transponder 17, Slot C (9 MHz)

* Uplink Frequency 14344.5 Horizontal

* Downlink Frequency 12044.5 Vertical

Classroom Engagement Resources

Menu of classroom activities for students in grades preK-6 to stimulate discussion on the importance of education in students’ lives

Menu of classroom activities for students in grades 7-12 to stimulate discussion on the importance of education in students’ lives

A video contest for students will be launched soon – details will be available at


The “classroom engagement resources,” even after being pruned, are still of particular interest.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, September 4th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

33 Responses to “Gibbs Calls Furor Over K-12 Speech Silly”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    This man(?) lies out of both sides of his face. Never except a promise from a smiling con man!

    Baghdad Booby needs to find another job. He is beginning to not even sound credible to the MSM anymore! Pure Hogwash!!

  2. Anonymoose says:

    Much like the silly “allegiance” video from yesterday, what bothers me is not Obama addressing the students, but all the lesson plans about how Obama inspires and challenges them. The liberals are having a flame out about how other presidents have addressed students, but how many have included this view of how the president affects them personally? It’s almost like a report card on the speech so they can say “Well, we’ll know what to focus on next time.”

    If the plans were “How can you be a better citizen,” or “What you you do for America,” I could buy that, but not this.

    Part of me wants to run out the door screaming, another says, ‘hey, bring it on,’ put this twerp on 24/7 with his personality cult and all the other big name Dems. The ordinary people began to open their eyes with the health care fiasco, so we can’t have too much of a good thing. The more “allegiance” Obama wants declared to him, the more the general populace will pull away.

  3. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    First, I don’t see this as big deal if he gives a standard, get out there and do better motivational speech. Now if he starts going into pledging this and swearing allegiance to that, telling kids to be green, report their parents to flag@whitehouse.gov, then I have big BIG problems with him speaking to the most influential part of our society.

    Second, Gibbs is such a puppet his strings are showing:

    “I think both political parties agree that the dropout rate is something that threatens our long-term economic success.”

    Why would kids, the ones at risk for drop out, be encouraged to stay in school by seeing Barack Obama? If anything, seeing a socialist president should make them more apt to drop out as they could deduce they would be given a nice welfare check, food stamps, and tax-payer supplied section 8 housing. And soon, even “free” health care. Many of whom are already receiving the benefits of “social justice” and being taught that it is acceptable to be a leach on society by their parents, most, if not all probably voted for Obama.

    • caligirl9 says:

      *Standing ovation* My thoughts exactly, BbbT!

      Look, the “stay in school” message has to come from parents, period. Yes, kids are influenced by their peers, but when certain things become culturally acceptable, like hanging out on the street or trying your darndest to get something for nothing, it’s time for a parental intervention.

      This isn’t a racial issue at all—it crosses all regions, all socioeconomic classes. A parent has got to do what he or she can to keep a kid in school. Homeschool if the kid hates school—I did it with my dyslexic kid who was dying on the vine in public school and unable to get assistance from the school system because it cleverly avoided the use of the word “dyslexic”—she has a “learning difference” that didn’t qualify her for the minor assistance she needed to succeed.

    • David says:

      The inspire and challenge line struck me as odd to. One, I feel bad for the thinking high schooler who has to find something in the nonsense to fill in this blank. Second, how many teachers would have supported asking their students how Pres. Bush inspires them?

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      “I don’t see this as big deal if he gives a standard, get out there and do better motivational speech”


      But, what I’ve been hearing is that kids (via the teacher corps) are being asked if they will be in school on speech day. Those who raise their hands to tell the teachers that they will be absent are being labeled racists.


      Once again, those “unintended” consequences. (unintended my sweet aunt Petunia’s bathrobe)

      However, at least in the high school environment, I know that kids are smarter than many adults expect. Peer pressure, group think and social acceptance still fall behind when a real thinker goes into action. The problem shows up when the liberal teachers (pronounced “hippy-agitator communists”) try to take action to prevent the critical thinking student from acting independently, against the communist manifesto lovers.

  4. Gary says:

    Newsflash!! Robert Gibbs is the epitome of tool-hood. This guy is truly representative of what joke and house of cards this whole administration has proven to be. Be ready for some turbulence in the weeks and months ahead. These people cannot keep up with these kinds of activities for much longer. It is a little scary, though, to think of what the aftermath will be.

    I am *really* looking forward to working with my child to produce a video about what Obama means to him.

    BTW, when I was perusing the white house site, there is still a video up about the wonderful garden Me-chelle planted. Isn’t that the same garden that ended up being tainted by hazardous materials dumped during the Clinton administration? No post-script on that, however.

  5. ilzito guacamolito says:

    Bob Gibbs is the poster boy for the arrogance of this administration in particular and liberals in general.

    ~ The White House plans to release the speech online Monday so parents can read it. ~
    You know they never planned to release the text of the speech before Tuesday if ever.

  6. Melly says:

    I am confident Barry will include in his address before all the mush heads the following::

    global warming
    bashing America in some subtle fashion
    promoting tolerance
    waxing nostaligic on his alleged Kenyan roots

    God, this Barry guy is one idiot quite frankly – instead of taking the moderate Bill Clinton route and assuring a second term he has showed his true colors by his actions, words, appointees, world apologies etc. etc. etc.

    He really is an idiot.

    I guess it is more important to him to socialize the country while the window is open a little than being a two – term President.

    Have I mentioned that I think Barry is an idiot?

  7. TheChicagoWay says:

    Silly me… Getting my undies in an upoar about such silliness! Tee, hee, hee!.. Here’s a few “silly” things from the “menu of classroom activites” sent DIRECTLY to the principals of OUR schools… (Kudos on the end run around our locally elected school boards. Right out of the chicago machine playbook…)

    The “concept web”: Many strange suggested questions, such as: “Do you remember any other historic moments when the president spoke to the nation?” What does THIS have to do with anything? Does this imply that Mr. Obama is being “historic” here? Geez, following this logic, his first wizz in the white house was “historic”.

    The bullet points under ”guided discussion”: The possibility of Mr. Obama giving another speech, (first in a series?), and the suggested topics of Mr. Obama “inspiring you to do anything”. I do not think it is proper that a teacher/authority figure steer the conversation in this manner. It’s ok to have a simple inspirational speech, but the matter becomes more complicated when the individual who controls the student’s grade is seeking a guided opinion from the very same students… Do you really think that any student will provide an honest answer if they think it does not agree with the president or the teacher’s viewpoint? My son, (and most seventh graders), are savvy enough to know the political leanings of their teachers. This is fundamentally wrong and is certainly not “silly”.

    Gibbs…Thanks for talking down to the “people”, AGAIN…Do you really think that no one is paying attention? Look at the polls…..

  8. caligirl9 says:

    I have no problem with a sitting president addressing students—either party—as long as parents are given the option to withhold their kids from the activity without penalty. Kind of like sex ed—what’s in the program and is my kid old enough to handle it? Or does she already know what I think she needs to know at that point in her development. My kid knew about HIV, AIDS and homosexuality by first grade—but I taught her what I wanted her to know, and being an RN, I didn’t go too far.

    As far as I am concerned, there is NO reason this should ever be done without parental consent. Even in an “emergency” situation, say 9/11 v2.0 (God forbid), I’d sure prefer MY president to be working on the task at hand, not indoctrinating my kid into his way of thinking. I’d have been angry if this had been either Bush I or II or Clinton trying to pull this scam.

    I can’t wait for the media fawning in this area though … wackjob libs abound.

  9. BigOil says:

    “I think we’ve reached a little bit of the silly season when the president of the United States can’t tell kids in school to study hard and stay in school,”

    It is not the president’s job to tell our kids to do anything – that is what parents are for.

    Of course, Barry agitated in a community chock full of single mothers. Maybe Barry views himself as America’s surrogate father.

  10. proreason says:

    Gee, what are the odds that the most political president in the history of the country, if not the world, will slip in a hint or two about his political persuasions to children who are at the most impressionable age of their life.

    It’s not like he uses his family or pets, or hamburger breaks or beer breaks to propagandize about stuff.

    So I don’t see even a slight chance tha little mikey or jenny will come home from school asking about why poor people don’t have health insurance, or why grownups are always fussing and making the President’s job harder. No chance of anything like that.

    We can trust Obamy.

    • Melly says:

      Oh yes – we can all trust Pa Pa Fidel.

      Great points.

    • njyankee says:

      “Oh yes – we can all trust Pa Pa Fidel”

      Judging from everything my family has told me about when Castro came in to power, Obama is following the exact same playbook that Castro did 50 years ago. Which is the exact same playbook Chavez used 10 years ago. Which is the exact same playbook that Zelaya tried a year ago (and I must say I’m still proud of the Hondurans for nipping that one in the bud). And it is absolutely amazing to me how there are so many Americans that just can’t see it.

      And one of the main pages in this playbook is the indoctrination of the small children. And even if for some crazy reason you are actually ok with Obama addressing your kids, I think there is still one simple question that no one seems to be asking: “Why was this only supposed to be aired in elementary schools?” If this were really a geniune attempt at motivating school children, why wouldn’t it be played in middle schools and high schools? Is it because they’re already too old to fall for this garbage?

      And I think a lot of these rediculous policies and initiatives would be stopped in the brain storming phase if they would just ask themselves one question first: “What if Bush had tried this?”. And I know that the way the left continually blames Bush for everything from hurricanes to male pattern baldness, there is no way they would have allowed him to make a pro-Bush video and have it shown to a bunch of elementary school kids. There would have been riots in the street. And one thing they just can’t seem to wrap their minds around is that, “if its not right for one president to do it, then its not right for ANY president to do it.”

    • Melly says:

      njyankee wrote:

      I think there is still one simple question that no one seems to be asking: “Why was this only supposed to be aired in elementary schools?” If this were really a geniune attempt at motivating school children, why wouldn’t it be played in middle schools and high schools? Is it because they’re already too old to fall for this garbage?

      Spot on!
      And who can blame any parent from protecting their CHILD.

  11. nedarc says:

    I want this “Community Organizer”, want to be President…out of my home, out of my church, and especially out of my kids school!!! Put that in your pipe and smoke it!.

  12. Confucius says:

    We are not acting silly, Mr. Gibbs.

    No President has ever directly addressed the nation’s student population.

    And to insist on addressing them while they are in school and without their parents necessarily puts a group of intellectually susceptible and powerless individuals vulnerable to accepting whatever the President wants to say since
    he will be in an unquestioned position of power and authority–one even more powerful than a bully pulpit.

    I remind you, Mr. Gibbs, that the we don’t know what Mr. Obama wants to say. Perhaps you are unaware that teachers are required to submit teaching plans before teaching it. Such precautions exist to prevent silly lessons like the “I Pledge” video from ever reaching the children.

    The fact that you and Mr. Obama don’t understand this and are “surprised” by our outrage tells me you both are very poor parents with equally poor judgments. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that you two should never be allowed to address the nation’s children.

    But now you’ve now decided to release the speech for preview. You must think us dumb. (Perhaps as dumb as an acorn.) Would you have us believe the preview will not be a sanitized version of the original?

    Please. You silly little liar.

    P.S. Stay away from my kids.

  13. catie says:

    Well just received a RoboCall from my daughter’s school informing me that they won’t be showing the One’s address as they just have too much going on that first day. They recommended that parents tape the message and watch it with their child. No, won’t be doing that. I asked about it at my son’s school (she’s special needs as most of you know so she doesn’t go to her home school but another elementary school) and they said they were thinking about it.
    Confucius, when I was teaching at one school we had to submit the lesson plans two weeks out. If we didn’t get to something and it was repeated two weeks later they’d ask why.

  14. LauraLiberty says:

    This is very Mao Tse Tung-ish.
    The Obama/Soetoro (what-ever-the-heck his name might actually be)
    electronic age version of “The Little Red Book”.
    Remember the murder, anarchy and destruction Chairman Mao put into
    motion in the 1960’s when he brainwashed the children and teens of China.

    • nancy_dowler says:

      I couldn’t help but think what LauraLiberty put so eloquently in words.
      Also, does he really need to be telling elementary kids to stay in school? As far as my kids are concerned, they don’t think they have a say in the matter.

  15. JaneLovesJesus says:

    How pathetic is it that we cannot even trust the current resident of the WH to say a few kind words to our children without suspicion?

    Pathetic but true.

    Stands to reason that neither can he be trusted on oh …. affairs of state, the economy, healthcare… uh, anything.

    I anticipate that the address on Sept 8th will be quite benign. But that is only because of the wave of patriots who stood up and said ‘stay away from my child’. Stay on it patriots. He does not deserve our trust and he should have never been given access to the power he has. It seems like the best we can do it to remain informed and carry on the litany: stay away from my child, my healthcare, my constitution, my freedom, my bank account, my ….

  16. canary says:

    Pre-election, Barack Obama’s gave speech parents should monitor and control everything their children watch. Now Obama calls parents silly for monitoring their children.

    “In the case of children, I think it’s primarily the DUTY of PARENTS TO MONITOR what they are watching on television, and in my speech I even suggested that everyone would benefit if parents–heaven forbid–simply turned off the TV and tried to stike up a conversation with their kids…I ended by suggesting that the broadcast and cable industries should adopt better standards and technology to help PARENTS CONTROL what STREAMED INTO THEIR HOMES….In response to my speech, one newspaper editorial intoned that the GOVERNMENT HAD NO BUSINESS
    regulating protected speech, despite the fact that I hadn’t called for regulation. Reporters suggested that I was cynically tacking to the center in preparation for a national race. More than a few supporters wrote out office, complaining…not to act as the town scold.
    And yet EVERY PARENT I know, liberal or conservative, complains about the coarsening of the culture, the promotion of easy materialism and instant gratification,….
    Barack Obama 2006 The AUDACITY of HOPE pg 59

    Gibbs “I think we’ve reached a little bit of the silly season when the president of the United States can’t tell kids in school …,” presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.’

    Gibbs, maybe you should see a doctor if you are self- suffering silly season.

    Gibbs “I think both political parties agree that the dropout rate is something that threatens our long-term economic success.”

    Gibbs, our children hear from teachers and parents the importance of education

    “Obama’s planned address to students has prompted a surprising push-back”

    Obama doesn’t understand protecting our little “cubs”. grrrrrrrrrr

    “Many school districts have decided not to show Obama’s speech, to be delivered at 12 noon EDT Tuesday, partly in response to concerns..”

    woah, originally it was 1:00 p.m. EDT. Trust no one.

    “WH”:The White House spokesman said he couldn’t speak to the motivations of some school districts.”

    Liars causing our children to stumble? shame on the WH and school authorities.

    “Look, there are some school districts that won’t let you read ‘Huckleberry Finn,’ ” Gibbs said…

    Obama’s dreams, makes fun of black people and crackers.

    Also, Obama’s government sites have cookies, and it’s against the law for federal organization to use cookies. Ask Thompson, that ran for President.nched soon – details will be available at

    And that is communism. Period. Another example, is teacher’s not being told, and denying, their school would be doing the program or listening to speech, because the TEACHERS ARE BEING DECIEVED TOO!

    Hmmmm. Okay, Obama does not have the authority to enforce this. State
    superintendents passing it, that individual districts are making the calls. So, I can’t possibly see that a student that refuses to participate or watch speech,
    being graded, suspended, punished, if they explain, they do not have to watch or follow curriculum. So, for those that can’t go to school with their child, I suggest a written note, especially for young children. Make sure you give a contact number. Nice 3 day weekend that many parents just learning, can not call schools, and most likely are going to get the run around. One small district ddenied and denied. And I said, yes you are, and sure enough. Talked to another conservative state, and same deception going on. It’s the teacher’s union. Sorry, for the long post. But, there are times, I children can say “no” to grown-ups. ;)
    p.s. some of the schools are recording it, to show at later dates.

  17. sheehanjihad says:

    To my great surprise, our Superintendent of Schools in our county just stated that the Bomama propaganda piece wont be shown in our school system at all. It will be available on the school systems website for those parents who really think their third grader is ready to be immersed in the delicate art of persuading a child that the government knows better than their own parents. There is a ton of heat from the left, sighs of relief from the right, but the superintendent saw the handwriting on the wall once he got word of the mass exodus of students who’s parents didnt want their children to be a part of the indoctrination attempt by the obama administration. So I dont know if he did it to be prudent, or because he actually doesnt believe in kids that young being exposed to the bald faced lies of elected officials so soon. We will see. But at least here, school will be as normal as school passes for nowadays…the teachers will be lying to the kids at the behest of their union leaders and the President’s appearance will be on the back burner.

    • texaspsue says:

      Same here SJ… to my surprise our liberal County isn’t falling for this brainwashing either. (I think they fear the parent’s reaction.) I can’t believe the WH thought they could get away with this as it’s right out of the Communist handbook. This is crap that Saddam, Fidel or Hugo would do.

      I’m soooo tired of Soros running our Country.

    • sheehanjihad says:

      you know, school boards are elected. Methinks they wish to keep their jobs. Thus, no propobamaganda! At least they are aware that parents vote….a thought lost on those in Washington apparently. Aim small, shoot large!

  18. TwilightZoned says:

    Elementary level.

    “After the speech:
    • Students could discuss their responses to the following questions: 
    What do you think the president wants us to do? 
    Does the speech make you want to do anything? 
    Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us? 
    What would you like to tell the president?” 

    While these questions appear harmless, I know where Barry and his puppet masters want to take this country. One of the first rules good teachers follow is to preview all material prior to using/showing. With not knowing exactly what Barry will say (but I can guess the undertones), I’d be extremely skeptical to show this sight unseen. (viewpoint as a good teacher) As it’s voluntary in my school, I won’t show it in my class period! (personal opinion as a conservative) Any student who wants to see it may, in the library.
    I love the last question. Does that include teachers also? Somehow I don’t think Barry wants to know my thoughts.

  19. canary says:

    My nightmares have been worse the last days.
    I wonder what will happen when the parents find out after the dirty deed is already done. This district has the auto phone calls, (such reminder there is no school Labor Day, have a great holiday) they have e-mails, flyer’s, and it will be too late for students Tuesday to get the principal approved written authorization to not watch.
    I have moments I was to go and hold a sign up Tuesday morning, but think it would not be safe alone. Prehaps let the chips fall. Also, it’s a school law, that the school must inform parents of anything of this nature, in an event where values or morals are being taught. It’s proved worthless in past.

    Any advice ?

    • TwilightZoned says:

      “Also, it’s a school law, that the school must inform parents of anything of this nature,…”

      Hmmm…seems to me you could use this to your advantage. Keep the kids home and say you were not properly notified of the event so the absence needs to be excused, unfortunately the kids pay by having make-up work. OR, if you are able, take the youngins to school and request to fill out and turn in the proper paperwork right at the front desk. If you are unable, type up a note stating the policy, received no such notice, want your child exempt, sign, and send. Where I’m from it would be honored for fear of lawsuit. At least you can ease your conscience that you tried to do something. Seriously, if none of this works, go to the next school board meeting and voice your displeasure as a parent and tax payer. At the very least, send each board member a letter of disapproval. Good luck!

  20. VMAN says:

    Gibbs is a TOOOOOOL!!! Why do they let children play at the White House?

  21. MinnesotaRush says:

    In the history of this Country, there has never been a bigger collection of condescending and arrogant boobs than there are in this entire administration (and gosh, I’m thinkin’ we may have to include, Congress).

« Front Page | To Top
« | »