EDITORIAL - Parental misguidance: In America, the president can't even talk to children

Written by Susan Mannella on .

The culture-war paranoia set off by President Barack Obama's plan to give a pep talk to America's schoolchildren on Tuesday marks a troubling moment in the life of the republic.School districts in Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota and Mr. Obama's home state of Illinois are refusing to air his speech because some parents object to the president's attempt to "indoctrinate" their kids. What has the nation come to?

The Upper St. Clair School District, one of the best in Western Pennsylvania, is among those that will record the talk to play later if it "fits" the curriculum.Aides insist that Mr. Obama's speech, which will be streamed live on the White House Web site, will convey a message that all parents can support -- the importance of staying in school and studying hard.Because education is one of Mr. Obama's priorities, he wants to welcome students back to school with a message that affirms the importance of academics and discipline. Yet some parents feel threatened by even this. They want to spare their children exposure to Mr. Obama's "cult of personality" and "socialist propaganda."It's a sad phase in our democracy when some believe a speech by America's president calls for a parental advisory sticker.

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