Teachers are excused on inauguration day

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Richmond County Superintendent Dana Bedden is making a special exception for teachers and staff members wanting to take off Jan. 20 to participate in activities for the presidential inauguration.

Students will be out because the school calendar set that Tuesday aside as a professional development day. The day before is a federal holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Dr. Bedden developed a special exception for educators wanting to be excused from work on inauguration day.

"We figured for a unique historical event we wanted to create flexibility," he said Tuesday.

Immediately after the election, requests began coming in for time off Jan. 20, Dr. Bedden said. Some principals granted the requests, and some did not. There was no consistency, so he stepped in, allowing principals to permit as much as 5 percent of teaching staffs to take the day off for the inauguration.

There's a catch, however. Teachers must submit the request in advance and present a plan for how they will incorporate the experience into the classroom when they return.

"We expected a pretty sharp uptick (in requests for time off)," Human Resources Director Norman Hill said, but by the close of business Monday only 22 requests had been made.

That's about 1 percent of the system's teaching staff, Mr. Hill said.

Dr. Bedden recalled times while teaching in Washington, D.C., that schools made similar accommodations for significant historic events, but this is the first time he has seen this outside of the nation's capital.

Richmond County spends about $22 million a month on personnel, which comes to about $1 million a day, the superintendent said.

The inaugural day flexibility extends only to Tuesday. Anyone stretching the time off to Wednesday risks losing a day's pay.

"We wanted to be supportive, but also we wanted to be accountable," Dr. Bedden said.

On Jan. 20, the staff development day might also schedule a break coinciding with the inauguration, he said.

Jeff Hubbard, the president of the Georgia Association of Educators, applauded the flexibility of Dr. Bedden and the school system.

"We've had a number of school systems that are being extremely inflexible," he said. "We've had people put in for personal leave months ago, and they've been told if they miss that day they'll be docked pay and it will be put in their personnel file."

Regardless of whether the president is a Democrat or a Republican, a presidential inauguration can provide dramatic teaching moments for students, he said. If school systems can allow time off for class reunions and football games, then they should certainly allow time for such a historic event, Mr. Hubbard said.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (161) Add comment
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harrisjr
0
Points
harrisjr 01/07/09 - 11:07 am
0
0
S eagle, why don't you tell

S eagle, why don't you tell us how you really feel!

Lorraine
140
Points
Lorraine 01/07/09 - 11:09 am
0
0
takemeto, I agree with your

takemeto, I agree with your comments. There were scarce comments if any from the right wingers when Palin visited. First of all in all likelihood most of these readers that have negative comments to state about teachers having the day
off aren't teachers. If a teacher
wishes to take the day off, it
is his or her decision to do so.
On the other hand, if a
teacher wishes not to take the
day off, it is still his or her
decision to make. The option is left up to the teacher.

christian134
1
Points
christian134 01/07/09 - 11:09 am
0
0
Oh my dear jack234 it just

Oh my dear jack234 it just doesn't get any easier does it?..:-)

jack234
719
Points
jack234 01/07/09 - 11:11 am
0
0
For once I can agree with FOX

For once I can agree with FOX news. They just predicted that Bush's job approval ratings will go through the roof after Jan. 20th. HELLO! HELLO!

jack234
719
Points
jack234 01/07/09 - 11:13 am
0
0
It will be much easier after

It will be much easier after Jan. 20th. HELLO! HELLO! HELLO! and TOOT,TOOT, TOOT

christian134
1
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christian134 01/07/09 - 11:16 am
0
0
Now if the plates were

Now if the plates were reversed and we were to have the first inauguration to celebrate a black man vs. white man for the job of presidency and the white man won would that be considered politically correct or would it be labeled racially biased? The door, people, swings both ways...From now on out the lines are even...We are all in the same boat, so to speak, racially...Now as far as classes, proper speaking vs. improper speaking, dressing in good taste vs. dressing in bad taste(for some really really bad), etc. etc. Get the point...If not it doesn't really matter as I would really have to care about your opinion on this...I do not...

j2says
3
Points
j2says 01/07/09 - 11:17 am
0
0
It's not 22% of the teachers

It's not 22% of the teachers it's only 22 teachers that requested the day off. There is quite a difference.

dale88fan
0
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dale88fan 01/07/09 - 11:29 am
0
0
wasnt Bill Clinton a part of

wasnt Bill Clinton a part of oral history?

suburbsofWestAugustaConi
0
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suburbsofWestAugustaConi 01/07/09 - 11:31 am
0
0
Lol why do people from other

Lol why do people from other counties have to make comments about Richmond all the time. If their county is supposed to be so good. When there are articles on other counties. The comments are never high as when its Richmond.

dale88fan
0
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dale88fan 01/07/09 - 11:31 am
0
0
lets just hope osama's time

lets just hope osama's time in the Ghetto House will be a short run and not 8 yrs!

jack234
719
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jack234 01/07/09 - 11:34 am
0
0
Christian423: I made the same

Christian423: I made the same point on my 9:57 post, Read it careefully one word at a time. HELLO! HELLO!

jack234
719
Points
jack234 01/07/09 - 11:36 am
0
0
Oral history and a balanced

Oral history and a balanced budget. HELLO! HELLO! Clinton was multi-tasked. HELLO! HELLO!

suburbsofWestAugustaConi
0
Points
suburbsofWestAugustaConi 01/07/09 - 11:37 am
0
0
Does anybody think its a

Does anybody think its a coincidence that some of the people who voted for john mccain in columbia and aiken counties. Are the racist on this site.

jack234
719
Points
jack234 01/07/09 - 11:38 am
0
0
dale88fan: Do you really

dale88fan: Do you really think Bush left the white house that way? HELLO! HELLO! If he turns the economy around, why not 8 years?

SandyK2005
1
Points
SandyK2005 01/07/09 - 11:39 am
0
0
"midwesterntransplant...if

"midwesterntransplant...if you hate the South so much then leave, I don't like the Liberal areas of this country" ---- Jesus A. Christ, Richmond County (and it's CC transplants) were all Dixiecrats all the way upto the 80s. They may have changed their party, but they're still the liberal Dems they try to claim they're not. Just look at this election and who they voted for in CC -- and McCain is as much a Republican as Liberman is an "independent". This election REALLY showed how shallow the GOP is even in this area. Couldn't find a Traditional conservative in this area outside a Catholic church!

jack234
719
Points
jack234 01/07/09 - 11:42 am
0
0
SandyK2005: Liberal and proud

SandyK2005: Liberal and proud of it. The thing of the future. HELLO! HELLO! HELLO! HELLO! Turn on your RUSH comedianne for today. HELLO! HELLO! HELLO!

hossiv
0
Points
hossiv 01/07/09 - 11:43 am
0
0
Jack234, let us know how your

Jack234, let us know how your life will now be different and what President Obama is going to do for you or give you personally, that you do not already have? Libs havent thought about this and love to say that everything wrong with this country is the Bush Adm's doing, but why will the economy get better with a democratic controlled senate and house? They already had a majority for the last two years, tell me how that went for us. All signs have pointed to subprime lending as the culprit. Ask Barney Frank and Chris Dodd how those campaign funds from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are doing. Hell, I'll even blame Chris Cox(a republican) chairman of the SEC for some of the problems on Wall Street, but to sit on here everyday and blame the republicans for all the problems right now is absolute joke and just shows how uninformed and probably uneducated you are. So, go on up to celebrate the new Prez but everyone will be watching the majority and we'll see how they "change" our great country.

suburbsofWestAugustaConi
0
Points
suburbsofWestAugustaConi 01/07/09 - 11:48 am
0
0
And richmond county

And richmond county graduation rate is well over 50% too. As the number 1 and 3 three school in the georgia. Are in richmond county.

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 01/07/09 - 11:49 am
0
0
As It Is is correct. Dr.

As It Is is correct. Dr. Bedden has his work cut out for him. Bedden's challenge is difficult: How can he inspire Richmond County residents to do their due diligence in insuring that RC kids get reasonable educational opportunities at reasonable costs? How can Dr. Bedden inspire the RC community in the face of intense political pressures applied by special interested-politicos and -educrats? These political pressures make Dr. Bedden's task daunting and jeopardize the futures of Richmond County public schools students- and the future of RC as a whole.

I_Wear_Lipstick_2
0
Points
I_Wear_Lipstick_2 01/07/09 - 11:52 am
0
0
I can tell by your grammar

I can tell by your grammar suburbsofwestaugustaconi...you didn't attend either one of those schools. I think its hilarious that more teachers didn't request time off. Do you think its because they were assigned homework if they take it? LOL

christian134
1
Points
christian134 01/07/09 - 11:52 am
0
0
You are making progress with

You are making progress with your understanding jack234...I am very proud of your accomplishments...:-)

mable8
2
Points
mable8 01/07/09 - 12:01 pm
0
0
"Regardless of whether the

"Regardless of whether the president is a Democrat or a Republican, a presidential inauguration can provide dramatic teaching moments for students, he said. If school systems can allow time off for class reunions and football games, then they should certainly allow time for such a historic event, Mr. Hubbard said." When are teachers permitted time off for the latter events? How are these incorporated as "dramatic teaching moments?" Teachers need to be at work like any other worker; what's so historic about fancy parties where the attendees have too much to drink and act stupid? Every inaugeration is historical, but this is going too far.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 01/07/09 - 12:03 pm
0
0
All this conversation about

All this conversation about nothing, when I remember all those election stops Obama made across the country, I saw mostly whites gathered enmasse and yet this is a black thing with most of you. I have to shake my head at some of you and say: "God help us" how did this turn into a race conversation... Dare I say only in the south or Augusta.

SandyK2005
1
Points
SandyK2005 01/07/09 - 12:05 pm
0
0
"Turn on your RUSH comedianne

"Turn on your RUSH comedianne for today." ----- I'm a Traditional conservative, not a Neo-con. Most liberals (and that includes Neo-cons) couldn't tell the difference, like they can't tell a donkey from a love interest. HeeHaw!!

elliottness
2
Points
elliottness 01/07/09 - 12:06 pm
0
0
hey dale88fan, we are all

hey dale88fan, we are all well aware of what clinton did.i'd venture to say that probably 70% of all men have done the same.when you have time away from your nascar studies, google jeff gannon/guckert and tell us what happened between him and your prez.a male prostitute wouldn't get a day pass 200 times to see someone in the whitehouse,now would he?the staffer doesn't live there so they could meet elsewhere,as bush had nowhere else to meet.make sense? it does to me.

SandyK2005
1
Points
SandyK2005 01/07/09 - 12:10 pm
0
0
"Do you think its because

"Do you think its because they were assigned homework if they take it? LOL" ---- Here's some computer education for n00bs: it's lol not LOL. Get with the program.

hossiv
0
Points
hossiv 01/07/09 - 12:12 pm
0
0
And yet another completely

And yet another completely sane, sensible and very believable comment from Elliottness. Elliottness, I'm gonna write you in on the ticket next election for the county commission.

I_Wear_Lipstick_2
0
Points
I_Wear_Lipstick_2 01/07/09 - 12:27 pm
0
0
I capitalize my LOL when I

I capitalize my LOL when I REALLY laugh out loud thank you very much. Proper computer geek code or not...

elliottness
2
Points
elliottness 01/07/09 - 12:28 pm
0
0
read the website and weep

read the website and weep hoss,then slide over to the 911 site,you won't get a whoopin, i promise.fyi only, as i'm reading debunking 911, it seems the writer, david griffin, issued a request to all nits engineers who concocted the demise of the 2 towers to a debate in charleston in 2006.it would be filmed and recorded.well my my they refused! he also offered the same to lee hamilton and thomas kean, they refused.he then sent invitations to popular mechanics so they could debate this folly.sad to say they refused to appear also.now why would one be afraid to appear on tape telling what you say happened?unless,unless?

KSL
121882
Points
KSL 01/07/09 - 12:33 pm
0
0
Not according to several

Not according to several dictionaries, Sandy. It may have started out in lower case, but it has evolved to upper case. Look it up, if you don't believe me.

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