Obama speaks, East Texans listen

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The president has spoken, and now East Texas is speaking out. He spoke inside a Virginia gymnasium, and his message was heard all the way inside the Tyler Public Library.

"It was great," said Jomero Booker-Jones. "It was positive."

"It reminded me of being at a commencement address," said Vicki Powell.

"Everything he was talking about was the reality of American education," said Fred Bowie.

Bowie was one of four at the make-shift screening. He thought the speech was apolitical, something Powell was concerned about.

"There was so much bad press, and I'm sure he knew that," said Powell. "Probably what he wanted to say in the beginning, is not what he said, now."

But, was the president's speech necessary?

"That's what teachers are for and parents are for," said Powell. "It shouldn't take a president to do that."

"I should have been giving it," said Reginald Jones. "I should have been talking to my future."

Reginald and Jomero Jones have two kids in college and one in high school.

"As a parent you need to be in connection with your child, or children to try to understand what it is they need," said Booker-Jones.

Gina Beggs and her home school group watched the speech in the park, finding it to be inspiring, but with some reservations.

"Just because he said all those things doesn't mean every kid is going to just stand up to the occasion," said Gina Beggs.

"I was thinking some kids won't really care," said Hannah Beggs.

"Why don't we say, 'Parents, do what you're supposed to...parents, lead your children in education. Make sure they get their homework done,'" said Gina Beggs.

Back at the library, things got personal. The message was not just for the kids.

"For us to succeed and be true leaders in our community we have to have knowledge," said Fred Bowie.

"I can identify in my life with the things I have not done and I know I regret it today," said Powell.

"It told me to make a commitment to talk to my future because our young people are our future," said Reginald Jones.

And, the discussion...continues.

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