The shocking details:
President George H.W. Bush gave an address to schools nationwide in 1991, from a junior high school in Washington, D.C. News reports from the time said the White House hoped that the address would be shown at schools nationwide, and Bush began his remarks by saying he was talking to “millions” of students “in classrooms all across the country.”
You can read Bush’s complete remarks via the Web site of his presidential library. Here’s an excerpt:
“When it comes to your own education, what I’m saying is take control. Don’t say school is boring and blame it on your teachers. Make your teachers work hard. Tell them you want a first-class education. Tell them that you’re here to learn. Block out the kids who think it’s not cool to be smart. I can’t understand for the life of me what’s so great about being stupid. …
“If you don’t work hard, who gets hurt? If you cheat, who pays the price? If you cut corners, if you hunt for the easy A, who comes up short? Easy answer to that one: You do. You’re in control, but you are not alone. People want you to succeed. They want to help you succeed.”
The presidential library noted that the president spoke at 12:15 p.m. and that his remarks were “broadcast live by the Cable News Network, the Public Broadcasting System, the Mutual Broadcasting System, and the NBC radio network.”
You may have guessed this already, but news reports from the time indicate that Democrats criticized Bush for giving the speech.