An Open Letter to the Prior Lake/Savage School District Superintendent

Dr. Gruver,

I was utterly floored to learn that your school district has expressed (by strong implication) concern over the value and appropriateness of a message from President Obama to the school children of our country.

I am equally flabergasted that you would bend to pressure from what really amounts to a small minority of "astroturfers" and "dittoheads" (as they are called) who scream bloody murder every time our democratically elected president utters a word.

If this was your decision, I question if you are fit to be in your job, and I say that with a heavy heart. It is your place to stand up FOR, not against rational thought and civic duty. You should be ashamed. If, on the other and, this was the doing of your school board, then they should be ashamed, and at the next opportunity, replaced. I assume that over the coming weeks we will learn who is behind this preposterous, embarrassing decision.


Greg Laden

Note: This is the letter sent out and placed on the district's web site:

President Obama Address

Many of you may be aware that President Obama plans to address America's children with a back-to-school message on Sept. 8th. This live broadcast will not be aired in our schools. The address will be recorded and the use of portions of the presentation will be evaluated by building administration and teaching staff to determine if the message is appropriate for curriculum and instruction. If taped portions are shown, students may opt out of hearing the broadcast.


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Thanks Greg.

By Jason Sexton (not verified) on 04 Sep 2009 #permalink

We just had a flurry of emails from the administration sparked by one moronic parent demanding that her child not be shown the speech. The final result was that if a teacher is going to show it, the parents must opt in. Insane. We don't even require they opt in for sex ed.

Owen - Is that from the Prior Lake Schools?

By Jason Sexton (not verified) on 04 Sep 2009 #permalink

I wrote to my daughter's school principal to protest that in their school the decision is given to individual teachers! What a terrible position to put a teacher in first of all, and secondly what a shock that we as a nation are subjected to McCarthyism again.

Nope. Outside of Sacramento, CA.

Thank you so much for posting that letter. I think uneducated people are afraid of an Educated President.I am poitive that the children would understand more of his speech than the parents who don't want this shown.

By Melissa Sexton (not verified) on 04 Sep 2009 #permalink

Melissa, how do you explain that to people whose very conception of public schooling is "indoctrination?"

What's the real estate market like in Canada? How about the job market?

Just askin.'

Thats a very good question.Unfortunatly there are people out there that still believe that Dinosaurs and humans lived together like the flinstones. There are alot of close minded people, and not much can be done unless people are willing to educate themselves and others.Maybe people should turn on a sciene show or History show now and then instead of reality shows that depict the morons of this country.I think with time, hopefully the youth of our nation will show the way to those who are lost.

By Melissa Sexton (not verified) on 04 Sep 2009 #permalink

Is it still McCarthyism if the person being vilified is the president? That sounds more like sedition or treason to me. Or at least that's how it would be branded by the right if the left were to complain like this.

I just found out that my school district is doing the same thing. The speech will be recorded and teachers can use it, but must let parents opt out if they want. I hope the district had the same policy when the first President Bush spoke, or else maybe the might be open to charges of discrimination. Or something. It's really pretty disgusting.

Thanks for posting this letter. I will be sending something similar. In addition, I will be taking my kids out of school so they can view the speech at home. I would encourage others to do the same thing. The school district needs to understand that we simply cannot tolerate this kind of censorship because a few uninformed people demand it. It is inexcusable.

By Lee Haakenson (not verified) on 04 Sep 2009 #permalink

I also thought the same thing. The school wants to censor what they want the kids to hear. What happend to freedom of speech.

By melissa sexton (not verified) on 04 Sep 2009 #permalink

Just found this in a Wall Street Journal story dated 5 Sept 2009:
Some conservatives say the furor over the speech by the right threatens to discredit Republicans as they battle with the White House and Congress over health care, the budget and other important policy issues. "People should chill out a little -- they don't have to criticize [Mr. Obama] for everything he does," said Frank Luntz, a onetime strategist for Republican candidates. Conservative critics, he said, need to "pick your battles," or "at some point the public will stop listening."
We can only hope.

I've been a bit out of the loop.......I've been attempting to find a unbiased report of exactly what President Obama is planning on discussing in his there a way to google a history of previous Presidential school addresses, so that a comparison can be reached between this particular incident or previous Presidents? Why is there such a huge comspiracy theory on everything this particular President either does or utters? Are the people of this once proud country truly returning to a separatist state of mind?

Sue, if they ARE returning to a separatist state of mind, I really wish they would just do it already. Go.

As Newell @ Wonkette put it the other day, in response to that ridiculous secessionist rally in Texas:

"Our favorite is the second speaker â a Paultard lady â saying, âWe are aware that stepping off into secession may in fact be a bloody war.â Yes, there will be much blood when a few F-18s utterly obliterate your new countryâs infrastructure and murder most of its population before lunchtime."

Exactly. And that's why these bedwetting cowards aren't fucking going anywhere. They, led by their sad little overlord Glenn Beck, are all about talk, but they don't have the courage or brainpower to pull off anything of the kind.

Here's the Wonkette link:…

I don't even like Obama and this just irks me. Parents who don't like it, should read a transcript or listen to it, then discuss it with their child at home. Great opportunity for a teaching moment about authority - if of course they can find something that actually works out as objectionable.

I suspect that the slightly saner people who object, object because they're afraid that he won't say anything that is actually objectionable. They don't want their children to hear something from an edumacated "liberal," that they can't turn around and rip to shreds based on their non-liberal values. Because gods forbid that their child hear something from someone they perceive as the antithesis of their ideological posturing, that they can't then scream and stomp their feet about.