Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Life Issues > Children > TX school district sets bad example to students by bussing them to hear former Pres. Bush but banned Obama from classrooms

TX school district sets bad example to students by bussing them to hear former Pres. Bush but banned Obama from classrooms

LatinaLista — Last night’s outburst by South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson where he shouted, “You lie” to President Obama during Obama’s joint address to Congress was quickly condemned by members on both sides of the aisle in the only strong show of bipartisanship visible last night.

Former President Bush and current President Obama
Since then, the American public has made its displeasure with Wilson very evident as well by crashing his web site with a deluge of visits, donating thousands of dollars to his declared opponent in the next election and blogging and tweeting how the guy should be sanctioned.
To see the American public and his congressional colleagues take him to task for such behavior is refreshing and reconfirms that no matter what political differences exist the President of the United States deserves to be shown respect.
So, it’s a pretty interesting dilemma one Texas school finds itself in which allowed their school district to basically disrespect the President of the United States but honor his predecessor.

The Arlington Independent School District (AISD) didn’t allow the live broadcast of the President’s “Stay-in-school” speech to any of its students. Yet, no one is raising an eyebrow to the fact that on Sept. 21, the district’s fifth-graders will be bussed to the new Dallas Cowboy stadium to hear former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura talk as part of a youth education program sponsored by the Super Bowl committee.
AISD has said that children will need the permission of their parents to attend. Yet, as everyone knows that’s a common practice for whenever any child goes on a field trip.
It’s a safe bet that these children who will be going are far less interested in hearing Bush speak than seeing the inside of the recently opened state-of-the-art football stadium.
But though the venue is the real appeal for the trip, the Superintendent of AISD needs to explain what the difference is between chauffeuring students to hear a former president and forbidding students to watch our current President.
The message that these particular children are receiving is disturbingly disappointing — that’s it’s ok to tune out our current president but listen to a former one.
In all fairness, and though it would rightfully piss off these fifth-graders, if students were not given the opportunity to hear President Obama on their campuses then neither should they be bussed to hear a former president.
Given that the theme of the event is education, chances are Bush’s comments will be aligned with Obama’s remarks.
Though this arrangement was probably set up long before the unexpected parental reaction to Obama’s speech, it sends a wrong message to children that they don’t have to listen to President Obama.
The fact that he is Commander-in-Chief of our country is minimized by such a thoughtless move on the part of AISD’s superintendent.
There is only one acting President in this country at a time. While all presidents deserve respect, there is only one that commands respect. That is a fact that has been taught to school children from the beginning of our educational system.
Political differences have no room in the classroom when it comes to listening to our President direct a speech to students.
It is a poor message that AISD is sending its students and even worse — it’s a poor example of citizenship.

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  • Aurora Grajeda
    September 10, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Worse yet… They do this:
    The TX State Board of Education has hired 6 “experts” to determine what will be in the books their schools use. Some of these “experts” are arguing that the state’s social studies and history textbooks are giving “too much attention” to some of the most prominent civil rights leaders in US History, namely Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall.
    David Barton, one of these “experts,” claimed Cesar Chavez “lacks the stature, impact and overall contributions of so many others.” Another of these “experts” evangelical minister Peter Marshall said, “To have Cesar Chavez listed next to Ben Franklin”–as in the current standards–“is ludicrous.” He went on to say Chávez is not a role model who “ought to be held up to our children as someone worthy of emulation.”
    The same “expert” wants to eliminate Thurgood Marshall, a prominent Civil Rights leader who argued the landmark case that resulted in school desegregation and was the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court justice. He wrote that the late justice is “not a strong enough example” of an important historical figure to be presented to Texas students.
    Would I be wrong in calling it a racist thing?
    Take action against TX removing Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall from school books

  • Traci
    September 10, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    “Worse yet… They do this:
    The TX State Board of Education has hired 6 “experts” to determine what will be in the books their schools use.”
    Worse yet, even before the schools see the books, Houton Mifflin and McMillan, the two dominant text book sellers in this country, have diversity boards who review every book for political correctness, are producing sterile revisionist history and purge every book of even mildly offensive word.

  • irma
    September 11, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Yes, it is clear that the rejection of
    Thurgood Marshall’s contribution to
    the US Supreme Court and Barak Obama’s speech to school children is BLATANT racism. This IS typical of the Texas
    I grew up – except that in the 60s, it was done in a polite way. The same person who donned white robes at night at the local Klan meeting, would open a door
    and carry groceries for an elderly African
    American woman doing her weekly grocery shopping at the A and P.
    So, it appears that while Texas is still racist, it is no longer polite.
    A lot has changed since I was a kid growing up in Dallas- and not for the better.

  • Evelyn
    September 13, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Texas is a minority majority state and I am sure the many wonderful sane white Americans are not happy how the insane have taken it upon themselves to run that state. Come on Texas, fight
    back!!! Si Se Puede!!

  • Dee
    September 14, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    You are right.
    We must encourage all Latinos and minorities to VOTE in 2010 and in 2012. That is the only way we will be heard!

  • Dee
    September 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Good Job Marisa.
    I just heard on the news they are cancelling the trip to see Bush.
    The only way to hold the power that be accountable is to hold their actions up to the light for all to see!
    Way to go!
    Maybe someday they will get a clue and allow our children to see the President, Democrat or Republican, Black or White or any Minority.
    We are a majority minority state. We have to ensure we ALL Vote!!

  • Maria
    September 24, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Aurora said..”Would I be wrong in calling it a racist thing?”
    Well, it is ludicrous to put Cesar Chavez in the same category as Benjamin Franklin. I would argue that Cesar Chavez would agree with me, as he was a wonderful humble farm worker and unionizer with little education, while Ben Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers, a scholar, a writer of the Declaration of Independence and influenced the Constitution. He was a world renown scientist of his day and a journalist. How does that compare to Chavez? They’re obviously not in the same league. Unless you want to let ethnicity or race get in the way of your judgment, you have a losing argument. I’m Latino, but I won’t get roped into your race bating routine.

  • Juan
    September 25, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    “To have Cesar Chavez listed next to Ben Franklin”–as in the current standards–“is ludicrous…………..”
    While Chavez is a noble character in American history, he hardly measures up to Ben Franklin. A brief biography of Franklin………….
    Benjamin Franklin was a hero of Colonial America and a man of amazing talents. His achievements are too varied to sum up easily; they include signing the Declaration of Independence, publishing the famous Poor Richard’s Almanack, serving as postmaster of Philadelphia, founding the first American fire insurance company, living in Paris as American ambassador to France, and inventing useful objects like the lightning rod, the Franklin stove, and bifocal glasses. Franklin was born in Boston but at age 17 moved to Philadelphia, where he worked as a printer, wrote pamphlets on public issues, and eventually bought The Pennsylvania Gazette. By 1732 he was publishing Poor Richard’s Almanack, a blend of practical information, humor, and homilies like “A penny saved is a penny earned.” He grew into Philadelphia’s most famous citizen: a blend of businessman, inventor, philosopher, public planner, and civic cheerleader.
    As the Revolutionary War approached, Franklin wrote many pamphlets promoting union among the colonies; he was a Pennsylvania delegate to the Continental Congress, then spent much of the war in France as a diplomat, charming America’s French allies. He helped negotiate and write the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War, and in 1787 he signed the new U.S. Constitution. During all these years he never lost his interest in science, and in particular spent years studying electricity. (In a famous 1752 experiment, he flew a kite with a key attached to prove that electricity exists in the atmosphere.)
    Compare this to Caesar Chavez
    Cesar Estrada Chavez was born March 31, 1927 near Yuma, Arizona. Chavez was named after his grandfather, who escaped from slavery on a Mexican ranch and arrived in Arizona during the 1880s. Chavez’ grandparents homesteaded more than one hundred acres in the Gila Valley and raised 14 children. Chavez’ father, Librado, started his family in 1924 when he married Juana Estrada. Cesar was the second of their six children. Librado worked on the family ranch and owned a store in the Gila Valley. The family lived in an apartment above the store.
    Chavez began school at age 7, but he found it difficult because his family spoke only Spanish. Chavez preferred to learn from his uncles and grandparents, who would read to him in Spanish. In addition, Chavez learned many things from his mother. She believed violence and selfishness were wrong, and she taught these lessons to her children.
    In the 1930s, Chavez’ father lost his business because of the Great Depression, and the family moved back to the ranch. However in 1937, a severe drought forced the family to give up the ranch. The next year, Chavez and his family packed their belongings and headed to California in search of work. In California, the Chavez family became part of the migrant community, traveling from farm to farm to pick fruits and vegetables during the harvest. They lived in numerous migrant camps and often were forced to sleep in their car. Chavez sporadically attended more than 30 elementary schools, often encountering cruel discrimination.
    Once Chavez completed the eighth grade, he quit school and worked full-time in the vineyards. His family was able to rent a small cottage in San Jose and make it their home. Then in 1944, Chavez joined the navy and served in World War II. After completing his duty two years later, Chavez returned to California. He married Helen Fabela in 1948, and they moved into a one-room shack in Delano. Chavez again worked in the fields, but he began to fight for change. That same year, Chavez took part in his first strike in protest of low wages and poor working conditions. However, within several days the workers were forced back to the fields.
    In 1952, Chavez met Fred Ross, who was part of a group called the Community Service Organization (CSO) formed by Saul Alinsky. Chavez became part of the organization and began urging Mexican-Americans to register and vote. Chavez traveled throughout California and made speeches in support of workers’ rights. He became general director of CSO in 1958.
    Four years later, however, Chavez left CSO to form his own organization, which he called the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA). The name was later changed to the United Farm Workers (UFW). In 1965, Chavez and the NFWA led a strike of California grape-pickers to demand higher wages. In addition to the strike, they encouraged all Americans to boycott table grapes as a show of support. The strike lasted five years and attracted national attention. When the U.S. Senate Subcommittee looked into the situation, Robert Kennedy gave Chavez his total support.
    In 1968, Chavez began a fast to call attention to the migrant workers’ cause. Although his dramatic act did little to solve the immediate problems, it increased public awareness of the problem. In the late 1960s, the Teamsters attempted to take power from the UFW. After many battles, an agreement was finally reached in 1977. It gave the UFW sole right to organize field workers.
    In the early 1970s, the UFW organized strikes and boycotts to get higher wages from grape and lettuce growers. During the 1980s, Chavez led a boycott to protest the use of toxic pesticides on grapes. He again fasted to draw public attention. These strikes and boycotts generally ended with the signing of bargaining agreements.
    Cesar Chavez died on April 23, 1993.

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