Local districts will not show President Obama's school speech live - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/3/09

Local districts will not show President Obama's school speech live

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By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - President Obama is set to make history by addressing the country's youngest citizens inside their classrooms via web cast next Tuesday. Some parents are calling the speech "controversial."

Some are concerned about the possibility of politics playing a role in Tuesday's speech. However, the Department of Education says the speech is about succeeding in school. Local administrators say because they can't hear the speech before it airs, they won't show it without first watching it. 

Thursday afternoon LISD, Lubbock-Cooper and Frenship announced they will not show the President's address live inside your child's classroom. "With information from the Department of Education, the President wants to start school with the message to study hard, stay in school and set high expectations for themselves," said Nancy Sharp.

Nancy Sharp with LISD says the Department of Education invited schools across the country to participate but because they don't know what will be said the district decided not to show President Obama's address live.

"Our plan is to capture the president's remarks and save them to DVD. Our curriculum folks will review and then we will develop some activities to go along that could be used," says Sharp.

She has taken calls from concerned parents and believes part of the controversy comes from the supplemental classroom activities provided by the Department of Education.

"The main concerns I believe are those questions because some sparked concerned that could be perceived as politically charged, I'm not sure that was the intent," adds Sharp.

One of two study guides had parents concerned. It encouraged children to write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the President. The letters would then be collected and given to the glass later in hopes of keeping students accountable for their goals. The White House recently changed this question to ask students to write about how they can achieve their own educational goals, instead of the President's.

"It's created some controversy," says Lubbock-Cooper Superintendent Pat Henderson. He says he's received 10 calls so far. "They are asking us what we are going to do and these particular parents say if we air it that their kids won't be in school that day," adds Henderson.

Like LISD, Henderson says because of the uncertainty about what will be broadcast next Tuesday Cooper will record the speech and review it first. "Lubbock-Cooper will not air it live. If there are things our teachers and principals see that fits into the curriculum, then we'll certainly allow it," says Henderson about the district's plan.

Frenship ISD Public Relations Coordinator issued this statement: "Frenship ISD has chosen to forego the viewing of the president's message during the school day. Frenship encourages those parents who would like their children to view the message to present it to their children at home."

LISD and Lubbock Cooper school administrators say if you are concerned about your child watching the speech you can contact your child's principal.

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