This same day I was conducting my interview in Mantua for our assignment. At the Durham branch of the Free Library, I found myself situated amongst the library manager, children, and the director of local school Montessori Genesis II, Eleanor Childs. She was easily the most interesting and compelling person I talked to that day, and she also had quite a lot to say on the subject. "Honestly, parents were keeping their kids home from school for the day. Saying he was going to indoctrinate them or something. It was ridiculous!"
Although school districts across Philadelphia were able to individually decide whether to air the televised speech, Childs was certain that the argument shouldn't have ever began. As I listened to her speak so avidly on the subject, I was admittedly ignorant of the entire ordeal. What was the big deal in showing a Presidential speech? Why wasn't Philadelphia, the vast majority of which supported Obama wholly and fully during his campaign, eager to have kids put a face to the name, or to connect more with our country's leader?
I'm not sure on the stance of Mantua or Parkside school's but, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, many area schools refused to show the speech while citing parental complaints. What I hope, rather, is that Child's advocacy for the viewing was imitated throughout the neighborhood, particularly one that could use a little pep talk.
-Group 6-Mantua-Emily Freisher and Samantha Williams