Verdict is in on president's speech to students

By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - At East Texas school districts, the calls flooded in, all concerned with whether schools will or will not air the president's speech on education.

"I think the reality is that all he is trying to do is set the stage to pre-program yet another generation to see things his way instead of letting people make up their own minds about what they believe," said John Lydy, a Tyler resident.

And, while many school districts answered the calls Thursday, two of the biggest schools here, Tyler ISD and Longview ISD, announced their verdict Friday.

Tyler ISd posted a letter to parents on their website. Like Lindale and Winona ISD, they say the district doesn't have the right technology to air the video stream. So, they won't be showing the speech in classrooms on Tuesday.

"We are requesting that our elementary and secondary teachers show that in the coming weeks," said Angela Jenkins, with TISD. "So, then at that point, if the parent wishes their child to participate or not, they can notify the campus."

"Well, I think they should show it because it should be a good input for the kids to listen to what they have to say because they are our next generation," said Michelle Johnson, a mother.

However, Longview ISD is one district so far that will be airing the speech.

"We want the opportunity to be there because as we see it, President Obama is our president," said Brian Bowman. "We are trying to teach our students to be respectful of all leaders regardless."

But, Longview ISD officials say if parents don't want their child to watch, they can opt out of the viewing. The White House plans to release the speech online Monday so no matter which side of this divide you fall...

"I just don't think they should use our children to push a political agenda," said Pat Goldston, a Longview resident.

"I feel like it's probably OK for the president to encourage students to stay in school and achieve all they can," said Lloyd McGowen, a Longview resident.

Now, here's a list of what districts have decided concerning the president's speech.

  • Arp ISD says, due to technology constraints, not all of their classrooms will be able to watch the speech when it is first broadcast, but they are encouraging student participation and will be providing a link to the speech on their website if students want to watch it later.
  • Bullard ISD says they will not show the speech due to technology problems.
  • Elkhart ISD will not be showing the president's message to students do to technical difficulties.
  • Harmony ISD will not be showing the president's message.
  • Jacksonville ISD says they will record the speech and show it on Wednesday, September 9th to students with parental consent to watch in their government and rotational classes.
  • Lindale ISD says they will not show the speech because of technology problems, but there will be a link on their website if students want to watch it later.  They will also send a DVD home with any student who requests one.
  • Longview ISD will carry the speech, but has sent a letter home to parents saying whether or not their children watch it is optional.
  • Pine Tree ISD says they will show the speech, but parents have the choice to opt out of their children watching it.
  • Troup ISD says they will show the speech to students with signed permission slips from parents.
  • Tyler ISD says they will not show the speech because of technology problems. The district will request that secondary social studies instructors show the speech at an appropriate time in their lessons in the upcoming weeks. Parents who wish to exempt their children from watching the speech when it is presented in class must provide the school with a written request to opt out.
  • Whitehouse ISD says they will not view the live broadcast. They will archive the speech and provide the link on the school's website.
  • Winona ISD says they will not show the speech because of technology problems.  They will have a link on their website to the speech.

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