Student reaction to US President Barack Obama's speech on education


(8 Sep 2009)
Upper Marlboro, Maryland – 8 September 2009
1. Various of students walking in corridor
2. Various of 10th grade class watching US President Barack Obama’s speech on tv
3. SOUNDBITE: (English) Corey Crim, Student:
“I changed about my mind about going to…because I don’t want to be an anaesthiologist or a lawyer because I didn’t think I was going to be president but I would like to be president or I could just go to law school, because it really changed my mind.”
4. Close-up of student Paul Parenti
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Paul Parenti, Student:
“He did state some things that you know kind of hit hard to me because he said all the struggles and everything that he went through as a kid, going to school and everything and that really affected me, it was nice.”
6. Parenti taking notes
San Francisco, California – 8 September 2009
7. Various exteriors of McKinley School building
8. Wide of school children in playground
9. Wide of students watching speech in classroom
10. Close-up of screen with Obama speech
11. Students watching
12. SOUNDBITE: (English) Jason Carranza, 5th Grader:
“I might change a lot so when I am doing something, not to quit, try my best.”
13. Wide of students clapping
14. SOUNDBITE (English) William Geist, 5th Grader:
“Because of all my life I had George Bush as a president and he never let kids speak. He was always ‘let the adults do the work, not the kids’, the kids need a voice and that’s what Obama is doing.”
15. Screem showing Obama speech
Arlington, Texas – 8 September 2009
16. Wide back view of people watching speech in Cornerstone Baptist Church
17. Wide of audience
18. SOUNDBITE: (English) Broderick Gamble, Parent:
“We really don’t understand where the brainwashing effect would even come from I mean in past, we’ve had other presidents to give speeches of this nature to our students and to our government, to individuals. So I am really not understanding where this will come from, this negative vibe or this negative attitude for a man that’s merely trying to, like I say, promote higher education, that’s all, that’s what I got from the speech.”
19. Wide of Gamble and Taelor Littlejohn
20. SOUNDBITE: (English) Taelor Littlejohn, Student:
“It was very inspiring. He was just you know helping us to set better goals for ourselves and just to think positive about things and just to know that education is number one overall.”
21. Wide of church with big screen showing speech
22. Close-up girl sleeping
23. Wide of people watching speech
24. Mother and daughter watching
US President Barack Obama steered clear of politics on Tuesday in a pep talk to students that sparked controversy among conservatives, who accused him of trying to indoctrinate America’s children.
Presidents often visit schools, and Obama was not the first one to offer a back-to-school address aimed at (m) millions of students in every grade. Yet several conservative organisations and many concerned parents warned Obama was trying to sell his political agenda.
The concern was caused in part by an accompanying administration lesson plan encouraging students to “help the president,” which the White House later revised.
In his speech, Obama challenged the nation’s students to take pride and ownership in their education and stick with it even if they don’t like every class or must overcome tough circumstances at home.
“Every single one of you has something that you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer,” Obama told students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia, and children watching his speech on television in schools across the country. “And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is.”
His speech hit home with Maryland student Paul Parenti.

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