Tuesday, September 8, 2009
President Barack Obama is encouraging the nation's students to find what they're good at and stick with it.
The president told students at Wakefield High in a Washington suburb, and children watching on TV at schools nationwide, that "every single one of you has something to offer." He says all the support from teachers and parents won't matter if students don't fulfill their responsibilities.
Although President Obama's speech didn't include any references to controversial issues such as health care reform, one student asked the president during a small-group meeting before the speech why the country doesn't have universal health insurance. President Obama replied, "I think we need it. I think we can do it."
Mr. Obama isn't the first president to give such a school-opening pep talk. But conservative groups and individuals accused the president of stepping too far into local education. School districts in some areas decided not to show his midday speech.
The uproar was caused in part by an accompanying lesson plan encouraging students to "help the president." The White House later revised the idea.