THE BLOG
11/09/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Priceless: Texas School District Refuses Obama Speech, Sends Kids to Hear Bush

(Update Added Below)

Arlington, Texas certainly knows its priorities.

School officials in the town, home of the new $1 billion Dallas Cowboys football palace, declined to show President Obama's pro-education speech on Tuesday.

Later this month, however, the new stadium is hosting an event featuring special guest George W. Bush. The district will bus selected classes to bask in the glow of the former leader's remarks.

Football is king in Texas, of course, and local residents voted for increased taxes (hundreds of millions of dollars over many years) to build the facility. It seems only fitting that future generations, saddled with debt, should get a firsthand look at what they'll be paying for into middle age.

The explanation offered by district spokesperson Veronica Sopher is that the two events are somehow different.

"The distinction is it's a field trip that parents have to grant permission for students to attend," she tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She adds what for her seems to be another profound distinction: Bush isn't slated as the only speaker.

Funny, parents didn't get the option of granting permission for their children to hear the current president talk personally and movingly about how important an education is to all students and to their country's future.

But George W. Bush can talk football, or actually show up in person to read "My Pet Goat," and it's perfectly fine.

This explains a voting public that graduates high school without knowing when the American Civil War occurred. A public that in adulthood can't name the Chief Justice of the nation's Supreme Court.

No wonder they don't want Obama telling little Johnny about the importance of staying in school. They're embarrassed by their own shortcomings.

UPDATE: The Arlington school district announced September 14th that they were backing away from sending 28 fifth-grade classes (about 600 students) to hear Bush at the new Cowboys stadium. The combined spotlight of the media and the blogosphere on the embarrassing hypocrisy apparently proved too much to bear.