By SANDY DONNELL
President Barack Obama's speech on Sept. 8, 2009 to the children of this country was very good and directed to our young students. This was not a party speech or a political speech but just an inspiring speech regarding issues that affect our children and grandchildren.
I am sorry for those school systems that choose to opt out from hearing it. Since I live in Wilson County where they opted out of allowing students to hear the speech it saddens me, especially knowing that in the past our country looked forward to speeches by presidents. This was a perfectly sensible speech, not a party speech, but just a good esteem builder for our young people.
In his speech, President Obama gave encouragement to the poor, through the example of Jasmine Perez who came from a poor family and now is a Doctor. He talked about Donnie Shultz, a brain cancer survivor who through hard work and determination will be attending college.
The president suggested that students set goals for education through reading, studying and extracurricular activities.
He also suggested that students stand up for those who are bullied, to look out for your fellow students. He asked that students commit and work hard at being successful. He said, "to be successful you have to work hard and even though you don't succeed the first time, that's O.K., just continue to work hard and you will succeed." He said that students must not let their failure define them, instead it must teach them to work harder.
This was an encouraging speech, a good speech that even former First Lady Laura Bush was in favor of students hearing.
I am sorry and embarrassed that Wilson County Schools opted out of allowing their young people to view this historical speech and would hope that these students are offered an opportunity to hear our President if another program is scheduled.
Editor’s Note: Sandy Donnell is a resident of Old Hickory. She is a former Wilson County commissioner and a children’s book author. Her most recent book is The Adventures of Myrtle the Turtle, Myrtle Goes to the Grand Old Lopry.