Schools Won’t Air President’s Speech

School districts in six states are refusing to show President Obama's upcoming back-to-school speech to students, set to air next Tuesday on C-SPAN, after schools were inundated with angry calls from parents. While the speech aims to encourage students to work hard and stay in school, critics accuse the White House of forcing a political agenda on children. "As far as I am concerned, this is not civics education—it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality," said Oklahoma State Sen. Steve Russell. The suggested lesson plan that accompanied the speech originally asked students to "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president." Obama administration officials removed that exercise after critics complained. Schools aren't required to broadcast the speech, and districts in Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia, and Wisconsin have decided not to show it. Some Republicans, egged on by conservative pundits, are urging schools and parents to boycott the address on Tuesday. President George H.W. Bush made a similar address to students in 1991.