Obama School Speech Raises Conservative Concerns

Fresno, Calif. Congressman Jim Costa of Fresno thinks it's great. "Anytime an American President, regardless of their party has an opportunity to address our students, I think it's a wonderful opportunity." Costa said.

But while the transcript of the speech has been made public, and seems harmless to most, Dr. Andre Minuth, a member of the Fresno County Republican Central Committee fears the President will deviate from the script.

"Presidents have often changed. They change a sentence, a paragraph. That's their prerogative, always." Minuth said.

Minuth is afraid the president will turn the speech into a political address.

Some parents have called Fresno Unified, saying they don't want their children to see the speech. But they appear to be in the minority.

In an exclusive Action News Poll conducted by Survey USA, when asked, "Would you tell your child to pay attention to the President's speech, 78% said yes. 5% said no; but 14% said they would keep their child home from school rather than let them see the speech.

In Fresno and Clovis schools, students will not be required to watch the speech and it will be up to individual teachers to decide if they want to show it in their classrooms.

Political analyst and retired educator Don Larson has read the speech and thinks the President's personal appeal to students, using himself as an example of what hard work and study can do, is an important message. "When the President of the United States can say I was raised in a single parent family my mother really forced me to do my work, made me responsible, we didn't have a whole lot and we struggled, I think there are a lot of children who can identify with that today. There are a lot of single parent families."

Presidential addresses to students started in 1988, with President Reagan. Presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush made similar speeches.

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