14 September 2010

America, Rated E for...[almost] everyone?

The monday morning office coffee gathering.  It's 7:50 and we open for business in ten minutes. We sit in near darkness to ensure that our customers are aware it's not quite time to rush the doors.  We sip coffee and chat. Let's be real.  It's usually more like griping.

As we run through our post-weekend updates and monday complaints, my colleague rifles through her handbag and pulls out a note written on letterhead.  "Read this, and tell me what you think. I was outraged, to say the least."

The letter was from her daughter's high school principal.  It stated that the President of the United States of America was giving a speech to the nation's school children via television broadcast that week; attached to the form was a permission slip.  All children were required to submit a slip, stating whether or not their parents had given them approval to watch the address. 

Needless to say, a few moral and political issues were raised.

Don't high school students have enough autonomy that they can process incoming messages and make their own decisions? We are teaching them critical thinking and decision-making, right?

Are we really so afraid that the leader of our own country might say something that would be damaging to our children-- that might raise concern with parents?

Have public school systems always required permission slips to show the President on television?

Or is this a matter of protecting the values of conservatism?

Dare we raise the race card, or stamp this as intolerance?

If high school students can watch PG-13 films in class without parental consent, shouldn't a presidential address be rated E...for everyone?

What do you think? As Americans-- Democrat or Republican-- should we take offense to this, or bypass this as a  CYOA strategy on the districts' part?

Image courtesy of allthingsd.com

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