A significant part of Barack Obama's plan to "change" America involves having the federal government take control of public school curriculum, plus compiling a database of personal information about each student. The takeover is planned to be accomplished by talking directly to the kids in their schools and by attaching extraordinary strings to the $128 billion of stimulus funds shoveled into education.
Obama's announced Sept. 8 speech from the White House Website to every schoolchild in America kicked up a storm of controversy. A study plan for his speech produced by the U.S. Department of Education, which exposes the political motives, was pre-circulated.
The politics of Obama's extraordinary Internet visit to all classrooms was reinforced by the Aug. 28 showing of the "I pledge" video at an assembly of the Eagle Bay Elementary School in Farmington, Utah. This four-minute video calls on viewers to pledge "to be a servant to our president" and pledge "to be of service to Barack Obama."
This video presents about 50 celebrity-type persons saying "I pledge ..." to take some left-wing action, such as supporting health care legislation, advancing stem cell research, working for UNICEF or signing up with Serve.gov to do community service.
Many of the "I pledge" statements support goals of the left-wing environmentalists, such as pledging "to sell my obnoxious car and buy a hybrid," to reduce use of plastics, to buy less bottled water, not to use plastic bags at the grocery store and not to flush a toilet after only urinating. One pledge parodies our traditional Pledge of Allegiance: "I pledge allegiance to the funk, to the united funk of funkadelica."
After vigorous criticism from parents, the Utah principal apologized for showing this video, but the children had already been propagandized to support Barack Obama.
Regarding Obama's Sept. 8 speech to all schoolchildren, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent advance instructions to all school principals urging them to use this "historic moment" to have their students and teachers watch the president's speech "so they can compete in the global economy." Duncan told them to make use of the "menu of classroom activities for grades PreK-6 and for grades 7-12."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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