President Obama delivers controversial speech to America's school - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

INSIDE: Read President Obama's speech

President Obama delivers controversial speech to America's school children

ARLINGTON, Va. - President Obama reached out to America's school children Tuesday in a speech that has touched off a national controversy.

The message: Personal responsibility and the need to stay in school.

Many conservative parents feared this would be an exercise in political indoctrination.

The White House posted the text of the president's speech on Monday so educators and parents could decide for themselves.

The president talked about his own mistakes, saying "I did some things I'm not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have."

He's also pointed out how others have succeeded in the face of adversity.

The bottom line: Study now, succeed later.

"Where you are right now doesn't have to determine where you'll end up," he said. "No one's written your destiny for you."

A White House spokesman says if one student hears the message and goes from being a 'D' student to a 'C' student this speech is a success.

White House releases president's remarks ahead of speech to school children

Schools and parents across the country are divided on whether students will hear a message from President Obama on Tuesday.

Some conservatives have criticized his address, calling it 'politically motivated.' Critics call it political indoctrination. Some parents are threatening to keep their kids home from school.

Hoping to end the controversy, the White House on Monday released the text so schools and parents could decide for themselves if students should watch.

The speech is aimed at motivating children to do their best.

"I think it's a sad, sad day that the political back and forth has intruded on anyone speaking to schoolchildren and teachers and parents about the responsibilities that they have," said Robert Gibbs, White House Press Secretary.

The president will tell students their goals can be as simple as doing homework, paying attention in class or spending time each day reading a book.

Last week, the White House acknowledged one of the sections of materials provided to teachers to prepare for the speech could have been written better.

It originally asked students to "write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the president."

It's now been changed to ask students to write about how they can achieve their own education goals.

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