LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - For Mrs. Harbison's Practical Writing class at Longview High School, the president's speech was a learning lesson, but some students took away much more.
"I thought it was really inspiring," said Tristian Moss, a senior. "I benefited a lot from the speech. When he gave the examples about the children that are fighting the different challenges to get to the points they want to be in their life, that really hit me hard. I actually teared up and cried at that part a little bit because that really hit home with me."
One student who the speech did not hit home with was Chris Malen a junior.
"Honestly, I'm not going to lie to you, I'm not really a fan of Barack Obama," said Malen. "I'm conservative, let's put it that way."
Malen, a football player, is one of 20 high school students who "opted out" of watching the speech.
"Honestly, through a conservative point of view, I thought it was going to be political propaganda," said Mallen. "Kind of manipulated it and put it through children."
From manipulation to inspiration, the high school students all view it differently.
"For him being able to relate with so many different situations, it's just better because he understands," said Taveshia Drain, a junior. "He's been there and obviously he's made his way out of it, so it shows possibility."
"I felt like it was an important speech," said Spencer Borns, a junior. "It didn't inspire me that much because I'm already a good student that tries to do his best."
And, in the end, students doing their best is all that matters.
Longview ISD says there attendance rate as a district was down a little over 1% Tuesday. District officials say less than 70 of the district's 8,200 students opted out of viewing the speech.