Kudos to Sirko | AspenTimes.com

Kudos to Sirko

Dear Editor:

I would like to applaud Aspen Schools Superintendent Dr. Diana Sirko for allowing unrestricted access to the speech that President Obama delivered to our country’s school children. Thank you, Dr. Sirko, for not playing into the venomous partisan politics that appear to be driving the fears and concerns of some adults in our valley.

One might expect that any school district would have, at the very least, allowed their educators the option to view the speech with their students. To ban the speech from a school district, or require parental permission to view the speech, could send a derogatory message to children concerning our nation’s elected leader.

And by the way, has anyone observed the extreme, vitriolic fears that have been conveyed lately on some of the conservative talk shows? I am certain that partisan “propaganda” factored in with the pressure placed on Superintendent Haptonstall to impose the ban on our president’s speech.

Doing what is right, instead of what is popular, is not an easy task. However, I believe that it is an indicator of an administrator who is more concerned about educating our children than bowing to the pressure of parents.

Any educator who refused to show the speech based upon its lack of connectedness to a school curriculum has missed the point. President Obama’s speech was designed to deliver a message of inspiration, determination and perseverance. These were powerful key points of his message. The transcript of the speech was readily available on-line for viewing the day before it was delivered. For a superintendent to ban a speech without knowing its content is truly an example of not doing one’s “homework.”

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What an opportunity this was to bond together as a nation and embrace President Obama’s election mantra of “Yes, We Can!” To me, that was the echo of his speech; to believe in your education, and to believe in yourself. Thank you, Dr. Sirko, for seeing the value in that moment.

Thomas Hills

Snowmass Village

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