Leading Off

1) Think one of the lessons the kids at Evolution Academy charter school learned at the Obama rally is how using school taxpayer dollars to support a political campaign is certainly unethical, if not actually illegal? (Today’s vocabulary word is [click me].)

2) Want to see what happens when you marry the best 21st Century technology with worst 20th Century values?

3) Dallas County jail overcrowding means shoplifters and vandals may be getting tickets instead of a ride to Lew Sterrett. This should go well. Radical idea: Maybe there would be more room to jail people who steal and damage property if we weren’t busy jailing people who aren’t harming anyone.


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19 responses to “Leading Off”

  1. ROJ says:

    Item 1 reads like the campaign is getting money from we the taxpayers through the school. This doesn’t seem to be the case as its not mentioned in the article or, let’s see, blared all over everywhere.

    If you think going to a political rally is the worst thing that can happen to these kids (or our school tax money – which seems to be mnore of your concern anyhow) boy should you go hang out at DISD schools for a day or two. I think it’s great these kids are enthusiastic and learning about the process.

    And I’m not sure which of the Democrats I’ll be voting for (since Kucinich is no longer in the running), but I’d feel good about my taxes sending them to see McCain, Huckabee or Paul too.

  2. DoubleT says:

    Agreed with ROJ.

    What a shame that we might actually get the next generation involved in the political process…maybe even get them to care about where this city/state/country is going. SHAME ON THEM.

    Of course, I’m surprised they went to the event as there won’t be any questions about it on the TAKS test.

  3. Nathan says:

    Trey, you can add all of Wick’s favorite friends who advertise in the Observer to your list of people who don’t harm anyone.

  4. Matt says:

    Trey — what percentage of Lew’s population is there for pot possession? Do you have figures, or are you just blowing smoke? (so to speak)

  5. david says:

    I’m with ROJ. I don’t see it as indoctrination. I’d be thrilled if one day my daughter’s school went on a field trip to see a presidential candidate speak (Republican or Democratic). It’d be exciting. And I can always de-program her in the evening, bribe her with Barbie DVDs and pizza, to see things MY WAY. 🙂

  6. Cracker says:

    So, would it be okay if I set up an only white business owned directory? How about having a NAAWP award show? How about college scholarships that only white people are eligible for? What’s that? If I do that I’m a racist and a biggot? I’m so tired of this race double standard.

  7. NB says:

    Read between the lines. They weren’t there as neutral observers.

    Not only were they eager to discuss the rally, but they repeated the bullet points from his speech: health care for those who want it, getting troops out of Iraq, eliminating tax breaks for the wealthy, helping the poor and the middle class.

    Evolution Academy principal Marlys Rowlett — even though she wore an Obama T-shirt to the event.

    “How will you keep your passion? How will you contribute to American society if he does not win?”

  8. Bubba says:

    When I was in high school I was forced to go to a Bush 2000 rally. Our high school band was paid to perform for him. Thoughts on that indoctrination Trey?

  9. Jim says:

    Maybe it is the former journalist in me that won’t die, but I say if you bring these kids to an Obama rally, you then HAVE to bring them to a McCain rally. Memorize both platforms, have a class room discussion about pros and cons, and turn in a five paragraph essay on who you would vote for and why (even if your reason is as simple as it was fun to get fired up by Emmitt Smith because, you know, football is cooler than politics) – due March 4.

  10. Buck says:

    I wish more teachers would take kids to rallies and get them excited about voting. They have plenty of time to make up their own minds.

  11. Sean says:

    Damn, I’m old, Bubba. In high school, I had to be part of a “choir” that filled out the upper rafters in Reunion Arena for a “prayer breakfast” during the Republican Convention in Dallas or some crap like that.

  12. MushMouth says:

    You know if you get kids interested in the political process you just might, might, get them to vote in primaries once they turn 18.


  13. nemo says:

    in the less than 72 hours since the obama revival, two other candidates have spoken in dallas. those students didn’t attend those.

  14. jrp says:

    yo, wastoid, you’re not gonna blaze up in here

  15. Huh says:

    My son’s class (4th grade, PISD) sent a student to the rally. This class sent, as far as my son is aware of, no child to any other candidate’s gatherings. Completely unacceptable.

    Now my son, 10 years old, completely ignorant to the reality of politics, completely ignorant to fiscal responsibility, is behind a client because his friend said it was cool.

    Do I care if he supports Obama? No. As a matter of fact, I will support him standing behind a belief/issue. But he doesn’t know anything except: “he is going to make sure we all have healthcare.” I asked him how Obama would bring that desire to house and senate, and how it would be funded, and he had no idea (of course).

    The problem with taking 10 year olds to these kinds of gatherings is you are not poking holes in anything. They can’t comprehend that yet. He11, I could convince my son’s entire class of anything if nobody questions it.

    Allow the children to watch a speech from each candidate in a controlled environment and invite them to discuss each one with a list of Pros & Cons. Poke holes in The Patriot Act. Poke holes in Universal Healthcare. Poke holes in everything and let the kids really think about it.

    If you don’t want to do that, don’t do any of it. Let the parents teach their children politics if you are going to be biased.

  16. Bill M. says:

    Let me get this straight: We’re complaining because most people don’t even bother to vote. And we’re complaining because young people seem disengaged, uninterested. And we’re complaining because politics has been the exclusive preserve of the party hacks. And now we’re complaining because a school sent its kids to watch politics in action?
    Take a couple aspirin and lie down for an hour or two. Wick’s overworking you.
    (Though I would have made the teacher wear something other than an Obama t-shirt. But if you imagine this is going to indoctrinate her students, you need four aspirin and a really long nap.)

  17. Folks:
    I raised the issue of fairness both in interviews and, um, in the story. If Clinton or McCain were to have had a rally in Reunion Arena, the school would have loved to have taken the kids. (Less so, I’m guessing, for Huckabee or Paul, since the chance that either will become the GOP nominee looks to be Powerball slim at this point…) But this was the only game in town when it was announced. The logistics were doable (compared with, say, an outdoor, early morning rally in near-freezing temperatures). And yes, it was a candidate that some of the students were jazzed about. Should the school have not taken them because of that? Like Obama or not, his campaign *is* making history, and it sure seems to me like it would be a good thing to get students a first-hand look? I did not have room in the story for all the details I gathered, of course. But the government teacher has discussed McCain’s positions with her classes. The principal made a huge point in her questions to keep the kids thinking beyond this particular candidate. Had I seen *official* bias — beyond a bias to get the students interested in the political process — I would have written about it. I intend to follow up before the general election, to see if they do take the kids to a McCain local HQ and to gauge whether the students’ interest in politics persists after the rally recedes in their memories.
    (And Trey, thanks for the link!)

    Jeff Weiss

  18. HSH says:

    There were students from numerous Dallas high schools and private schools, including a large group of students from Hockaday. I talked to the Evolution students on the DART train after the rally. They thought it was a great experience. Our schools no longer have the time or money in the curriculum to teach the importance of voting, so sending students to this event was a teaching tool.