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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
405-521-5774

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For Immediate Release: September 3, 2009

Sen. Steve Russell
Sen. Steve Russell

Sen. Steve Russell says Constituents are Outraged Over Planned Presidential Address to Nation’s Youth

There is a tremendous difference between education and indoctrination—and citizens and parents in every city, county and state of the nation need to pay very close attention to what is planned for September 8, 2009. That’s according to State Sen. Steve Russell, who said he has been inundated with concern from constituents following news reports that President Obama planned a satellite address to the nation’s school children this coming Tuesday.

“I am concerned any time I see parental rights of education at the local level being usurped by federal and state government. But this is more than that. I’ve looked at the U.S. Department of Education’s website and proposed ‘lesson plans’ to follow this speech, and I was dumbfounded by what I saw,” said Russell, R-Oklahoma City.

The lesson plans proposed by the Department of Education can be found on their website at http://www.ed.gov/index.jhtml. Following the speech, the lesson plan explains that teachers may want to ask students, “What is the President asking us to do? How will he inspire us? How will he challenge us?”

“As far as I am concerned, this is not civics education---it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality. This is something you’d expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq,” Russell said. “As an American citizen who fought for the freedoms we hold so dear, I find this approach to be alarming, and it certainly appears to have been coordinated with great care. The President should address voters, not their children. He could encourage parents to highlight the things that find common ground in the American ideals we hold dear. His role should not be to bypass parents in the educational discussion by going directly to classrooms.”

While some schools will be closed on September 8, others will not. Russell urged the parents of children in those schools to take action.

“It is my hope that parents will notify lawmakers, such as me, and their local school officials that they object to this type of government intrusion into local public schools and will call for a block of the presidential and federal government intrusion into the local schools aimed directly at our children,” Russell said.

For more information contact:
Sen. Russell - (405) 521-5618

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