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Commentary: Opposition to Obama's speech went too far

President Barack Obama's nationally broadcast talk to students Tuesday has to have been the most controversial stay-in-school speech ever delivered.

On the way to the suburban Arlington, Va., school chosen as the setting for the speech, he was met by protesters. One carried a sign saying, "Mr. President, stay away from our kids."

In Arlington, Texas, administrators decided not to interrupt the school day to let students see the speech live. But on Sept. 21, the district will bus some fifth-graders to Cowboys Stadium to hear a similar message from former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura.

It appears that not all interruptions are created equal.

Now that the speech is done, there's an opportunity to examine what Obama said.

First, some facts: The Texas Education Agency reports that the state had a grade 9-12 dropout rate of 10.5 percent in 2008. Many critics say the rate was much higher. Even if you take TEA's figures as correct, that’s still 31,437 students who entered high school in 2004 but were officially declared dropouts by the time their peers graduated in 2008.

A disproportionate number of dropouts were black (7,105) or Hispanic (17,554).

Some kids, it seems, need a talking-to.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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