So much for the teachable moment

AP Photo / Charles Dharapak

How times have changed since George H.W. Bush delivered his “Just say no!” televised speech to the nation’s students in 1991, which raised barely a political eyebrow. Not so with President Obama’s speech on education, which sent shock waves through our PTAs. Some parents suspected it might be a sneaky way of feeding their children pro-health-care propaganda. So Clark County School District Superintendent Walt Rulffes did the responsible thing—he offered “alternative” activities for that 20 minutes.

Exactly what activities did that entail? CCSD spokesman Michael Rodriguez explained that not every class planned to show Obama’s speech “unless it fit the course curriculum.” (But Obama was talking about education, right?) The “alternative” activities, he explained, were a “class-by-class decision, based on curriculum.”

A few alternative activities do, indeed, come to mind: 1. Selling candy to help keep Glenn Beck’s show on the air (for communications classes). 2. Writing letters to Sen. Max Baucus, telling him what a great job he’s doing killing health-care reform (health classes). 3. Brainstorming ways to get federal stimulus funds for their schools (political science). 4. Reading My Pet Goat (remedial presidential English). 5. Getting flu shots, because let’s face it, if they get sick, their out-of-work parents are screwed (home ec).

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Magazine's managing editor, having previously served as associate editor at Las Vegas Weekly, assistant features ...

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