President Reagan’s Speech to Studentsby
Far-right members of the Texas State Board of Education critical of President Obama’s planned speech to students next week apparently have selective memories. While they’re concerned that the president will politicize classrooms and try to “indoctrinate” students with a political agenda they oppose (even though the speech is simply about the importance of staying in school and getting a good education), they’re ignoring an earlier president who actually did drag politics into the classroom: Ronald Reagan.
As Media Matters reports, on Nov. 14, 1988, President Reagan addressed and took questions from students from four middle schools. The event was broadcast by C-Span and fed to schools across the country. During the event, President Reagan launched into a defense of tax cuts even in the face of growing budget deficits. He pressed the case that lowering taxes actually increases government revenue, an argument that Media Matters notes is sharply disputed by economists.
So we wonder whether far-right members of the State Board of Education will now denounce President Reagan for trying to indoctrinate students with his political agenda. But we won’t be holding our breath.