A middle school in Hudson, Wis., set off a firestorm among parents after showing a 2009 pro-President Obama video that included celebrities pledging service to the Democratic leader.
The video, called “I Pledge” and put together by Oprah Winfrey’s production company in the days after Mr. Obama took office, focused on various celebrities touting the benefit of doing good deeds for humanity — before taking a political left curve in support of the president. In it, Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis says: “I pledge to be of service to Barack Obama,” as he kissed his biceps. And actress Demi Moore wraps by saying, “I pledge to be a servant to our president.”
Hudson School District officials pulled out the video for its schoolwide “Peace One Day” event. Parents, in response, expressed outraged, calling the showing to their children little more than propaganda.
“It looks a little 1940s Germany,” said one parent to KMSP-TV, adding that the video seems more like propaganda than learning tool.
And another added: “It doesn’t seem right.”
The school district issued a letter of apology to parents. And the principal, Dan Koch, sent out a message of explanation to students.
“The reason the video was used was to show students small ways to make a difference in their communities,” the district said in its letter. “Unfortunately, the video also had a political slant. The district is non-partisan and does not endorse the political messages found in this video. This video will not be used in the district again.”
And from Mr. Koch: “The ‘I Pledge’ video … included some messages about serving President Barack Obama. We apologize for any part of the video that was offensive to students, their families and staff. The video conveyed a message that people serve the presidency when in fact our elected officials serve the people.”