Students in the Albuquerque Public School District will now be allowed to opt out of next weeks Welcome Back To School address by the President of the United States. The option comes after a handful of parents watched a FOX News report and then called and emailed APS.
The ABQ Journal reports some of the parents believe the speech is more like an indoctrination. They also objected to an element which asked students to write describing how they could help the President. They objected to their children participating because they said it was forcing the children to "sign a contract" of support for Obama.
State Dems were quick to repsond. The Democrat Party of New Mexico's Executive Director Josh Geise said, "Only the Republican Party could politicize the president welcoming students back to school."
After listening to parent's concerns, APS Superintendent Winston Brooks has decided to allow parent to opt out of the program which includes appearance by singer Kelly Clarkson and basketball start LeBron James.
APS said they made their decision after checking with several other urban school districts.
The White House said, "The President will challenge student to work hard, set educational goals and take responsiblity for their learning.
We've learned the paper assignment has been withdrawn from the program.
The Bernalillo County Republican Party Vice Chairman told the APS Board he thought the speech violated the district's political solitication policy.
Following the morning speech, the President will appear in a 30-minute documentary featuring singer Kelly Clarkson and Cleveland Cavilier LeBron James.
The program marks the kickoff of an education initiative by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Viacom Inc. Called "Get Schooled."
The five-year campaign is aimed at improving this country's dismal high school and college completion rates.