White House press secretary Robert Gibbs blasted the president's critics today for questioning the propriety of Obama's speech to schoolchildren.

"It's a sad state of affairs that many in this country politically would rather start an 'Animal House' food fight rather than inspire kids to stay in school, to work hard, to engage parents to stay involved and to ensure that the millions of teachers that are making great sacrifices continue to be the best in the world," Gibbs told reporters on Monday.

Some conservatives have questioned whether it's appropriate for Obama to give a speech to students. The White House would point out that several past presidents — including Republicans — have given similar addresses.

Click here to see an advance copy of Obama's planned remarks.