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Friday, September 04, 2009

Update: "Keep Your Kid Home From School" Day

My cousin is a teacher, here is what he sent me today regarding Sept. 8th (edited to protect anonymity):

just an update on how most schools im sure, are handling the event..

Dear Employees:

President Barack Obama will address the nation’s schoolchildren on the value of education at noon (ET) on Tuesday, September 8. His speech, which will be carried over the Internet and broadcast on C-Span, is expected to challenge students to work hard, set educational goals and take personal responsibility for their learning.

GCS will give students the opportunity to participate by viewing the President’s speech at school. We believe this will be a positive and motivational experience for students, based on what has been shared with us about the event by federal officials. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the speech represents the first time a sitting U.S. President has addressed all of America’s schoolchildren at one time.

We’re also aware that some parents and staff members may have a different view. As a public school district, valuing diverse opinions is important to us, so participation is voluntary. In fact, appreciation of diversity is one of the core values adopted by our Board of Education. If parents do not want their children to participate, they may opt out by notifying their child’s school. Schools will provide alternative learning activities so valuable instructional time won’t be lost.
C-Span is carried within -edited- County on Time Warner Cable channels for C-Span.

The broadcast will also be carried live on -local TV- and “streamed” live on the White House web site For those who can’t watch it live, the address will be made available online and rebroadcast on -local TV-. More information about these options will be shared after the event on Tuesday.

Thank you, and have a great holiday weekend. We look forward to seeing you and hearing from the President on Tuesday.



My reaction to this is that I would still keep my child home if she were in public school. I have many questions I would need answered between now and then before I sent her any way. Like what alternative learning means. I'd also be wary of what happens to children whose parents opt them out. What protections are in place for persecution from other children?

The fact that schools have to deal with this makes me angry. Kids are in school to learn, not to be politicized in this manner. Just think of the outrage from the left if George W. Bush had ever tried this.

I also do not have as much hope as my cousin that "most schools" are handling it this way.

Special thanks to my cousin, one of the good teachers, for the update.

Update to the update:

steve this is the one from tricia's school system..

If you plan to view the President's speech next week, please prepare a permission form for your classroom that will give parental permission for your students to view the speech during school hours in your classroom. We will provide the feed to your classroom through our media services but students are required to have parental permission to participate as a viewer.
Please keep me informed as to what you plan to do.
From: -edited-
Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2009 4:53 PM
To: Principals
Cc: -edited-
Subject: President Obama's address on September 8, 2009


Please refer to the information at regarding the president’s address to students on Tuesday, September 8, 2009. The speech will be presented at . Please make sure your staff understands that this is an invitation to view President Obama’s speech and not a requirement.

We have had a few calls, and probably will get even more as the media gets further information out to the public, from some parents not wanting their children to view the president’s address. Therefore, we need to handle this as a parental permission or approval because of the political controversy. Any teacher planning to utilize the president’s address as a part of the classroom curriculum should create a permission form to send home with students on Friday, September 4.

Teachers need to have supervision for students who are not able to participate.



This one actually makes me feel a bit better. It is more proactive in obtaining permission as opposed to obtaining "opt out" orders.


gsimmons85 said...
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Writer X said...

Since the public schools "value diverse opinions," what's next on the agenda in broadcasting messages? While hearing from a President is a cool thing, President Obama has abused his position and the trust just isn't there for many people. I don't blame parents for being concerned. This feels too "Hugo Chavez."