Although I am a teacher with the local school district, I speak only for myself in this letter.
There has been a lot of discussion regarding the speech to kids by President Barack Obama.
My Facebook page carries opinions from those who cannot understand the outrage and some who cannot understand why there isn't more outrage. Some people I greatly respect declare that President Obama is not allowed to speak to their children in any way.
There is much in these conversations that I don't understand.
You see, my values, beliefs and morals are very comfortable with questions. I considered many sources when I decided those values, beliefs and morals were mine.
Over my 40-plus years, I have kept most of the ones I learned from my folks and gathered a few more through experiences.
Like me, our kids should have the same opportunity to learn and ponder and decide about what matters to them before they begin life on their own.
They need to determine and examine their own values, beliefs and morals because these elemental qualities create the foundation for their futures. They deserve the opportunity to discuss and evaluate what will become the compasses of their lives.
They should not compromise their values, beliefs or morals just because a teacher, police officer, pastor, world leader or any authority figure tells them to do so.
They should be so comfortable with these qualities that no one person, no one speech, can cause our kids to falter.
Parents and community, I ask you to do a simple, but difficult thing.
Believe in your children. Let them hear what a world leader has to say.
Have discussions at the dinner table. Question speakers and their speeches. Ask why people say what they say. Talk until there are no more words to say.
Perhaps you could tell your kids what I tell them.
"Take the information that you find useful, and leave the rest wherever you found it. Think for yourself. Decide for yourself. Stay true to yourself. Believe in yourself. And the rest will take care of itself."
When you are confident in yourself, there is nothing you cannot discuss.