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November 22, 2008
The Obama's School Choice
Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has graciously declared :
CNSNews.com) - President-elect Barack Obama and his wife Michelle "have every right" to send their children to public or private school, and no one should "criticize" their decision (snip) when asked if the Obamas should send their children to public school, Weingarden (sic) said "none of us" can relate to being in the position of president of the United States.
"Look, none of us knows what it's like to be a president of the United States of America or a president-elect," she said. "I think Senator Obama and his wife have every right to make a decision that works for their family and their kids, and none of us should criticize it." Governor Tom Vilsack (D-Iowa) agreed telling CNSNews.com that "it's a very personal decision" that the president-elect and his wife need to make and the issue "should not be subject to criticism or comment."
"That is a very, very, personal decision that the president-elect and soon-to-be first lady should make and should make in the best interest of their children, and no one should be critical of whatever decision they make. I'm sure they're going to make the best decision for their children. I feel very strongly about that," Vilsack said.
"That is their number one responsibility despite all of the enormous job (sic) he's undertaken and will undertake here on January 20. He loves those two children, and he's going to make sure that they are properly educated, and that's really a personal decision, and it really shouldn't be subject to criticism or comment in my view."
The AFT wholeheartedly endorsed Obama (D) in the recent presidential campaign. As a former teacher I wholeheartedly agree with Weingarten and Vilsack; I think anyone, Democratic or Republican, religious or secular, of whatever inclination or background and for whatever reason has every right to send his/her child(ren) to a public or religious or private school without explanation, without apology, without being subject to criticism. It is a "very personal decision" based on parental desires, student interests and nobody's else's business.
Obama, has in fact, decided to send his kids to the famous Washington, D.C. private school Sidwell Friends. Another private school, Georgetown Day School, was also under consideration. Security concerns had a lot to do with the choice of schools as Sidwell has seen many children of presidents and vice presidents go through its doors.
I just wonder though if Weingarten, Vilsack and other Democrats would have been so agreeable, so understanding, so accepting so criticism free about this "very personal decision" had a Republican president made the same choice? Based on previous statements, I don't think so.