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.

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whyme
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whyme 01/07/09 - 12:42 pm
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So people are upset because

So people are upset because this practice is being questioned now as opposed to in the past, because of the race issue. Why is this a surprise? Would they be let off work otherwise? Would the black public complain if it were the other way around? Questions that shouldn't matter because this shouldn't be an issue at all. Guess we'll never grow up.

hossiv
0
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hossiv 01/07/09 - 12:46 pm
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Weep? LOL (cause its really

Weep? LOL (cause its really funn)...One question that is always avoided by elliottness is that if you and liberal David Griffin are so right on the money with this 9/11 conspiracy, how come no one of any REAL significance backs this theory up? We live in a free sociaty elliottness. Why arent all of the FLAMING, SALIVATING Bush haters really backing this up? There has never been a president so hated by the left in the history of this country! Why arent the MSNBCs, CNNs, CBSs, Nancy Pelosis, Al Frankens, Bill Mahers of the world trying pin that on Bush/Cheney? Answer that for me Elliotness. These are people and networks that you support.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 01/07/09 - 12:53 pm
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hossiv, you nutjob, because

hossiv, you nutjob, because they all are in on it. Don't you see? Wake up Dude. Everybody, but charlie and griffin, are in on it. And no one is gonna spill the beans. Bush and Cheney actually planted the explosives themselves. Blew up the levys in New Orleans as well. Who knew!!

dani
12
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dani 01/07/09 - 12:54 pm
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According to reports there

According to reports there could be as many as 3-4 million people in Washington to celebrate the inauguration. Does any sane person want to get into that mess. We will be closer to the ceremony in our living rooms than the people who attend in person. MOst will be miles away, standing in some park, watching a big screen TV. One teacher wants to take her elderly parents? Into the midst of a mob that will be pushing and shoving trying to get a first hand look? You would have to be lacking good sense.

SandyK2005
1
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SandyK2005 01/07/09 - 12:58 pm
0
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"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..." Proud N00b, precious! Next thing we know she'll be storing used cigars in the computer case as "souvenirs". Wouldn't be surprised by our government employees, find worse ON computers! lololol

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 01/07/09 - 01:08 pm
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It was just announced Key

It was just announced Key Bridge will be closed on Inauguration day, that's 5 so far, how am I going to get to my keypoints to get into the city, they are forcing us to take Metro *UGH* LOL.

gnumbgnuts
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gnumbgnuts 01/07/09 - 01:26 pm
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What's the big deal? 1/20 was

What's the big deal? 1/20 was already a planned teacher work day anyway. All Bedden is doing is allowing more teachers than usual to use THEIR EARNED vacation/personal leave. Who gives a chit? Argue about something substantial for f's sake!

therealghostwhisper
0
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therealghostwhisper 01/07/09 - 01:38 pm
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Lordy, Lordy, Lordy, I want

Lordy, Lordy, Lordy, I want everybody that voted for Mr O, to get their full of him when he makes his changes. We have had a lot of good presidents, with great ideas, but oooopppss they can't do anything by themself...Take the day off anyboody that wants to, I am retired, but I know I can find something to do that day, oooooppppps I think I will watch, just to see Mr. O put his hand on the Bible.. what kind of Bible did the press say he was going to use? Pitch a fit if you want to but there is only one God. And may He have mercy on our country.

RichmondCountyresident3
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RichmondCountyresident3 01/07/09 - 01:41 pm
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I always knew race mising was

I always knew race mising was a bad idea.

KingJames
10
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KingJames 01/07/09 - 01:50 pm
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Hossiv, when you think about

Hossiv, when you think about it, all candidates run on platforms of change. Without them promising to do things differently from their predecessors, who would want to vote for them? If they can associate their opponents with the bad things that their predecessors did, then even better for them. That's how campaigns are won. If every candidate said they were going to do things exactly alike, then their would be no need to vote. Most people are stuck on change because they have nothing else to really argue. When change does not come as soon as Obama says, "So help me God," those people "..will be watching the majority and we'll see how they "change" our great country." Let's be real. It took a coordinated effort, though maybe not deliberate, to get America into this economic crisis. Those who play the name blame game and are ready to bash efforts to correct it are nothing more than a hindrance. As for the time off, every employee in this country can choose to take a day off whenever they want. What is the big deal?

KingJames
10
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KingJames 01/07/09 - 01:53 pm
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Medicinewoman has been

Medicinewoman has been inhaling too many incents or something. Ooooppps Obama's not a Muslim. I think the Bible he will be using is the holy one.

Edward1968
578
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Edward1968 01/07/09 - 02:00 pm
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Jack234, what CB channel are

Jack234, what CB channel are you on? With your "Hello"s and "Toot"s you sound just like the loud-mouthed CB'rs with the echo mics and illegal amplifiers. You also make a complete fool of yourself in each post. Keep up the routine, I think it is funny!!

whitescorpion
2
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whitescorpion 01/07/09 - 02:06 pm
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This is so stupid. A holiday

This is so stupid. A holiday simply because his skin is dark. But... on second thought, that is why he was elected in the first place.

mommie2
2
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mommie2 01/07/09 - 02:09 pm
0
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They aren't talking about a

They aren't talking about a holiday. They're talking about a teacher taking a personal day off.

HotFoot
17
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HotFoot 01/07/09 - 02:32 pm
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tjohns22, it's no use with

tjohns22, it's no use with this bunch. Apparently, they can't read. At least, they didn't read the story...maybe they just read the BIG PRINT and went off as they usually do. Don't you know that Obama only won because he's black and now whites are going to be discriminated against? Yeah, right. Disgusting.

GSneed
0
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GSneed 01/07/09 - 02:34 pm
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You "backwater" people need

You "backwater" people need to seriously re-read the article. Some of you seriously are foaming at the mouth to attack anything you think is too far "Black". Please, read the article again...but with an open mind. When you go back and read your comments, you will be ashamed of yourselves. You will find that the artyicle is talking about a teacher taking a personal day off. No more, no less. Oh I forgot, this is Augusta...so you wont give a hoot that you spoke fiction without facts or foundation. Enjoy.

DMac_357
1
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DMac_357 01/07/09 - 02:42 pm
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That's what's wrong when you

That's what's wrong when you start reading into the story or believing the comments the people have written before you. So many people have changed this "teacher taking a day off" into a holiday. I would hope that most of you have some type of job that gives you vacation days off during the year. When you decide to use your days is up to you. This has nothing to do with black-white, Democrat-Republican, or any thing else. Those still commenting about how bad a job Obama is going to do and that blacks only voted for him because he was black need to get over it. That part of the debate is over because there's nothing you can do to change that. This article is about Bedden allowing teachers to take a day off to do whatever. There's nothing racial or discriminatory about that.

sid2279
0
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sid2279 01/07/09 - 02:47 pm
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tjohns, midwesterntransplant:

tjohns, midwesterntransplant: Thanks for fighting the good fight - especially being in the minority here. As an aside, I'm also from the Midwest, specifically Indiana.

Unfortunately, we won't gain any ground with these people with their heads buried in the sand and only see in black and white. It doesn't help that the Chronicle race-baits headlines. People here don't want to understand that only 22 teachers have asked to use a personal day for an event the commenters try to act like isn't historic; they just want to turn it into a race issue because its the only thing in their pathetic lives they can hang on to and maintain an unfortunate consensus on in these forums. I rarely anymore come to the Chronicle for news and even more rarely comment but the way the majority of the commenters here are behaving is unbelievably ridiculous.

karmakills123
8
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karmakills123 01/07/09 - 02:48 pm
0
0
It's an event...the teachers

It's an event...the teachers have the day off...who cares??? Who in their right mind would even want to get into all that mess?? Millions of people??? No thanks...I have a spongebob marathon planned for me and kids that day...(wink..wink)

jack
10
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jack 01/07/09 - 02:52 pm
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justthefacts, Mount Rushmore

justthefacts, Mount Rushmore isn't big enough for Obama's ears.

jack
10
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jack 01/07/09 - 02:55 pm
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If you folks from the midwest

If you folks from the midwest find the south and us southerners so "backward", why are you still here? We have two airlines out of here every day.

Georgiais1
0
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Georgiais1 01/07/09 - 02:56 pm
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I wonder what the race was of

I wonder what the race was of the "22" Teachers????

christian134
1
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christian134 01/07/09 - 03:00 pm
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Aw now I am not feeling the

Aw now I am not feeling the love folks...Am speaking my mind, and I do still have one, so what is the problem? Most on here speak out for Obama as well as the woes of the black people, not all but many of the blacks and sometimes yep you got it...Sometimes they even throw out racist terms that put the white race down as some kind of mean lean monsters who are set on wiping out certain races of people...What I have come to find out is that it is okay for them to speak their mind but we haven't the same right...Now I call that discrimination...If we do say what we believe to be right we are automatically nailed as racist. Am I not right? We also are crucified if we oppose rioting in the streets, putting our Police officers and civilians in harms way because some folks believe they are in the right..This is one example in a long long list of examples...So I ask again what is the problem? Why yell racism? Why protect your own even when they are in the wrong? I can understand family but not whole race of people. Also the Chronicle reports all sides of a story which is something that is refreshing since much of the new media today is for whomever is the most popular flavor of the month.

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 01/07/09 - 03:02 pm
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Greg Gelpi I know you monitor

Greg Gelpi I know you monitor your articles online, I would think you would CLOSE comments on your articles when RACE rears it's ugly head. And again, these types of conversations (race related) are only spewed online, out and about in the city it's not evident. ONLY ONLINE.

sid2279
0
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sid2279 01/07/09 - 03:12 pm
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Jack, when did I say I don't

Jack, when did I say I don't like the South? I said the commenting on this article (and generally in the AC) are getting to be ridiculous. People seem to love to jump to absolutes, draw lines in the sand - my way or the highway, get the hell out, we don't take kindly to dissenting opinions here! That's precisely one of the problems that disgusted voters this year - absolutes drawn by the Right. Take a look at the Republicans now. They're rethinking they're traditional 28 state strategy and going back to what really makes one a conservative: low taxes, personal freedom, and small government. Really who can't love that? What disgusts us are bringing guns, religion, abortion and other 'moral' issues to the table. I am against abortion but its not for me to press my religious beliefs on others. I'm for lower taxes but not to the point where it cripples helping out my fellow American. If the Republicans turn back to true conservatism, they may attract quite a few essential youth votes. Unfortunately, the Republican party over the past several election cycles has been too heavily influenced by a niche and line-drawing demographic. That's why Libertarians are now gaining much ground.

hossiv
0
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hossiv 01/07/09 - 03:24 pm
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King james, I'm well aware of

King james, I'm well aware of politicians run their campaigns on both sides of the isle. My point was simple, The Bush Adm and the repubs are not THE ONLY reason we are where we are today. Your right, it did take a coordinated effort FROM BOTH SIDES to get in the mess we are in. I dont think Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are evil people. I also dont think they knew that this was going to happen even though REPUBLICANS and the BUSH ADM, YES thats right, wanted more strict oversight into Fannie Mae and Freddie back in 03. However, all I was saying is that just because the Bush Adm is soon to be out and the house and senate are even more of a dem majority, dont think that all the problems will be solved. One could argue that with Bush's LIBERAL spending, and with the same regime in control of both the house and the senate, that things might get worse. I hope the Prez and the Barney Franks and Chris Dodds of the world learned from their own mistakes and those of the spend happy Bush Adm.

gnumbgnuts
0
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gnumbgnuts 01/07/09 - 03:25 pm
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Jack, Obama's ears aren't so

Jack, Obama's ears aren't so much big as they are eastwesterly.

KingJames
10
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KingJames 01/07/09 - 03:26 pm
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What so many of you fail to

What so many of you fail to realize is that Augusta hurts itself with this type of racial thinking. No company would ever think of relocating to a city that is constantly bickering over race. Most companies have global objectives. Most people in Augusta refuse to think outside the box when it comes to other races and other cultures. My CEO is Chinese. He is responsible for a billion dollar company. If he came to Augusta, you all would probably treat him as if he was illiterate. A lot of smart and talented people call Augusta home, but don't even live in the state anymore. Your racism is part of the reason why. Everything comes down to race with all of you. The comment that Georgiais#1 made at 1:56 is an example of why the state of Georgia is #1 at being last in progressive thinking and behavior. Those of you who keep saying that people not from Augusta should leave if they don't like the way things are need to really think about why so few come there in the first place, and why so many young professionals leave right after college.

takeme2
0
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takeme2 01/07/09 - 03:31 pm
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Christian134 you a truly a

Christian134 you a truly a damn fool! Excuse my french. It's pathetic that you actually believe the hog wash coming out of your mouth. After we have had 40+ black presidents then the playing feild will be even. You and people like you are just mad that people like you aren't running this country anymore. In the fabolous word of jack HELLO HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

elliottness
2
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elliottness 01/07/09 - 03:33 pm
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hossiv, all major network

hossiv, all major network execs know what happened.they know that if the truth is exposed that there will probably be anarchy in the streets.it also would put this country in a very humiliating position,but most of all it the loss of revenue.if the truth is told now no one will trust these stations and their revenue will sink.that is why they bombard us with usesless commercials and trivia stories.remember when all we saw was michael jackson every day?martha stewart?mark karr who said he killed jonbenet? i understand they are reopening that case.they know most americans have very small attention spans and can manipulate them anyway they please.do you really think griffin,and michael moore would stick their necks out for nothing?when the truth comes out,remember where you heard it first.

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