I don't think so
In a small town in southern Minnesota, an elementary school teacher I know was forbidden to bring the address into his classroom. His principal told him that if he did so, he would lose his job.
A middle school teacher in St. Paul was threatened with the same tactic. Her principal told her that the address would be taped, previewed, discussed by faculty - and if found acceptable, presented to the students. She too, was told that if she brought the content into the classroom, she would lose her job.
"We need to protect our families," one of the principals said, "from this pied piper of health care."
You remember the legend of the Pied Piper.
The Pied Piper came to Hamelin to drive out the village rats. All he needed, he said, was his pipe, his personality and a chance.
The year was 1284, and the little town of Hamelin, Germany was suffering from a rat infestation. When they thought all hope was lost, a marvelous man arrived, dressed in pied clothing. He brought hope to the little town,
He played a musical pipe and promised the village elders he could lure the rats with a song. He told them he could drive all the Hamelin rats into the Weser River. Once in the river, he promised they would drown and free Hamelin of the infestation.
The village elders agreed to pay him a handsome amount of gold if he would do as he promised, And so the piper piped, the rats were eradicated from the land. And if everyone had behaved as they promised, the story would have ended there.
But the elders refused to pay. The piper asked for what was promised him and the elders, knowing full well their problem was solved and they need not follow through on their agreement, refused. The piper was furious - and left Hamelin filled with rage. Little did the elders know that the rage would turn against them.
It happened on the feast day of Saint John and Paul, while the town elders were busy in church. The children were playing in the town square when the piper returned.
This time when he played his pipe, he called all the children of Hamelin to his side.
One hundred and thirty boys and girls followed him out of the town, where they were lured into a cave and never seen again. The village elders, devastated at their losses, tried to make sense of the disappearance of all the children. The answer to their questions came from one little lame boy who, because he used a crutch, was left behind as the others danced to the piper tune and disappeared in the mountain. He alone survived to tell the tale.
Great story - but Obama is not a piper of Hamelin or anywhere else. He is the president of the United States - the brightest and the best we have had in decades.
Even so - his desire to speak directly to our children about education, perseverance, courage and commitment threatened many people in this nation. Not because the nation is afraid of the charisma of our dynamic leader. No - they are afraid of him because he is the President of the United States, a Democrat and a strong, happy black man.
Parts of this country are frozen in racism. Let's be frank about this - if Obama were tall, dark, handsome and white, no one would think twice about him speaking to American children.
But our president isn't white. He's black. He's aggressive with an agenda to change America. His name is odd - and simple folks are frightened by him.
So much so that they don't want their children watching, hearing or talking about him.
Not a word of the speech has was published prior to its release. Nonetheless, the speech became immediately controversial because the White House issued a set of lesson plans for teachers. These lesson plans included suggested ways for educators to encourage discussion of the speech.
The plans suggested that pupils write letters to themselves on what inspired them about the President and how they could help to achieve his goals.
Apparently that was too much for certain Americans.
I watched the speech. He wasn't too much for me. If I had school age children, I would have done whatever I needed to make certain their classroom was plugged in on the day he spoke.
But then - I'm a citizen of a nation who made a promise to us - to uphold the constitution of the United States of America. I'm on his side.
And I've never been too fond of the village elders.