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Obama Talks To Students

POSTED: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 - 2:06pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:24pm

President offers words of encouragement, avoids politics...

After days of controversy, President Obama delivered a 16 minute pep talk to the nation's school children Tuesday.

The address was aired in classrooms coast to coast.

"You can't drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You've got to work for it and train for it and learn for it," said the President.

The focus of his message was personal responsibility.

"Here in America, you write your own destiny. you make your own future," he said. "What's your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve?"

Conservative critics feared the event would be too political and didn't want a president playing parent.

In the end the speech wasn't exactly propaganda.

"I hope you'll all wash your hands a lot," said the president.

Many schools wrestled with the decision to show the speech and many didn't.

Though the president's words didn't seem to resonate with everyone, some found inspiration.

"I liked the fact that he took it out of his time to come talk to us as students and let us know what we need to start doing and let us know that it's not a game and we really need to step up," said one student.

"I’m going to take it more seriously because like he said that we are the, basically the next leaders," said another student.

It was a speech and a controversy turned into a civic lesson for America’s youth.

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