Oh, you just knew this wouldn’t take long, right?
Texas State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, is wading into the “controversy” over President Obama giving a speech to students next week about the importance of staying in school and getting a good education. Of course, Ms. Dunbar has already charged that the president sympathizes with our nation’s enemies and wants another terrorist attack so he can throw out the Constitution and declare martial law. So what do you think she has to say about his speech to students? Do you need to ask? In a statement posted on the Houston Chronicle’s blog, Ms. Dunbar says:
“His Address is undeniably unprecedented and arguably goes well beyond the scope of federal jurisdiction. It conceivably can be disconcerting for a member of the Federal Government to request the use of classroom time to make a connection with students on a national basis.
Understandable concerns may arise that such an address has the potential to open the door to students accepting an unconstitutional level of direct accountability to National Governing Authorities. The fact this presentation is being made at a time when the parents of these students will not be present to monitor the interaction makes it even more problematic.
Due to all the foregoing, the utilization of classroom instructional time for, what could potentially be, political posturing and influencing our children can be both controversial and arguably inappropriate.
Consequently, I encourage school districts to feel the liberty to refrain from participating in this national address during class time.”
One more time: this isn’t unprecedented, despite Ms. Dunbar’s claim. President Reagan and the first President Bush gave national addresses to schoolchildren in their classrooms. And the second President Bush was reading to schoolchildren when the 9/11 attacks occurred. The act of a president addressing fellow citizens, including students, is a valuable civic exercise in a democratic nation. And it should be particularly welcome when the president is talking about something that unites all parents — a desire that their children work hard, stay in school and get the education they need to succeed in life.
And what is Ms. Dunbar’s nonsense about opening “the door to students accepting an unconstitutional level of direct accountability to National Governing Authorities”? That’s just wacky. Does she really think President Obama is some sort of authoritarian dictator? We wonder if Ms. Dunbar’s personal journal is filled with references to “Amerika” and black helicopters, too.
Ms. Dunbar is fostering distrust in and hostility toward the current duly elected president of the United States simply because she doesn’t like his politics. She certainly has the right to do so — it’s a free country, after all. But shouldn’t we expect members of our State Board of Education to be a bit more responsible than that?