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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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?Indoctrination? unfair label

By Whitney Fitts

During his presidency, President Franklin D. Roosevelt held what was affectionately referred to as “fireside chats” with the nation. These radio broadcasts addressed issues of the day and helped foster a sense of openness and clarity in a less-than-tranquil time.

Had FDR tried to hold one of his chats in today’s political climate, there would be those who throw their radios out the window in a display of childish objection. That’s just about what happened to President Barack Obama concerning his speech to children in schools last week. Obama hoped to tell children in a Utah County school district to stay in school, work hard and be self-reliant. This idea, however, was too frightening for some parents and schools who worried Obama would take the opportunity to try to indoctrinate the children with his liberal ideals.

Indoctrinate my eye.

The context of the speech was no mystery8212;parents and administrators had a list of topics to be addressed, such as the importance of school. Granted, they didn’t have the entire text before the speech was given, so there could have been the slightest room for liberal thought, but that should be OK. Isn’t it indoctrination when you are only allowed to hear one side of the issue? The best way to fight against a closed mind is to open it up.

I was a little embarrassed for Utah when I heard that the Nebo School District decided not to broadcast the speech, and I was a little relieved to find out they repented of their ways and decided to show it (albeit a week and a half late).

This speech was about setting goals and staying in school. Higher education researchers William Bowen and Michael McPherson, president of the Spencer Foundation, said the greatest weakness in American higher education is that less than half of all college students complete their bachelor’s degree. That ranks down with the lowest percentage of countries in the developed world. Although Bowen and McPherson said there are other factors such as saving money, the biggest factors are “inertia, lack of information, lack of forward planning for college, and lack of encouragement.”

It seems to me that solutions to all these issues were found in Obama’s speech last week.

I don’t always agree with Obama myself, but I do believe it’s important to perk your ears up when the man running your country has something to say8212;not only to be aware of what your government is doing, but also because every once in a while, he might have something positive and productive to say. Let’s not totally disregard someone just because we have differences of opinion.

Willus Branham

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