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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karmakills123
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karmakills123 01/07/09 - 03:37 pm
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Yep... spongebob is looking

Yep... spongebob is looking better and better..............

karmakills123
8
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karmakills123 01/07/09 - 03:37 pm
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fabolous???????????

fabolous???????????

christian134
1
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christian134 01/07/09 - 03:38 pm
0
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Oh my my takeme2 your

Oh my my takeme2 your language skills...Wherever did you find them? Oh and I thank you for your delightful expression to my comment...Happy New Year to you too...:-)You are getting overwrought friend...I am still of the mind that I am right and you are wrong...Politics do not need to extend beyond what a person is qualified...Obama was not qualified, still is not qualified for the office of President but here's hoping and praying he will learn very quickly...

jackfruitpaper833
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jackfruitpaper833 01/07/09 - 03:45 pm
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KingJames surely you know

KingJames surely you know these types of conversations and racial divide is ONLINE ONLY, done so behind computer screen names. I know you (like me) when out and about everyday in the city interacting with other races/people the racial divide isn't evident. The Chronicle should start closing comments on articles when it turns RACIAL.

KingJames
10
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KingJames 01/07/09 - 03:48 pm
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Hossiv, thanks for

Hossiv, thanks for elaborating. I am glad that you, unlike many others, can see that finger pointing won't fix the problems in America. I do think, however, your time might be better spent trying to at least envision some of Obama's plans instead of ridiculing him. A lot of times people think they are helping by looking for what's wrong with one person's ideas or plans. Those people often become vocal and irrate, which does nothing to help their cause. Hence, the old syaing, "If you ain't part of the solution, then you're part of the problem." Your second post seems to express more of how you probably actually feel than your first. Please remember, your point can easily be overtaken by your passion. If you want this country to succeed, then you will want the next president to succeed. You usually can't have one without the other.

toppergem
125
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toppergem 01/07/09 - 03:58 pm
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All of this grumbling about

All of this grumbling about nothing! Just incase many of you have forgotten...during the 70s the schools in Richmond County were open for business during the time the Masters came to Augusta and Spring Break followed the next week. But, because teachers and students alike took the time off and the schools were be almost empty of most of the white students and teachers who worked at the Masters, the Board of Education decided to move the Spring holiday to coincide with the week of the Masters. So folks, the school system has not just started adjusting its schedule to accomodate the whims of the community. Dr. Bedden should have just kept the schools closed until the 21st.

KingJames
10
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KingJames 01/07/09 - 04:05 pm
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Jackfruitpaper833, I no

Jackfruitpaper833, I no longer live in Augusta. I was home for the holidays though. From what I can see, the city is dead. Race is always at the forefront of everyone's mind. Most people that I know back there still deliberately separate themselves from whites. They believe there is an ongoing power struggle, and that most whites don't like them. They will even say so. Where I live now, I am generally shocked when race issues come up. I even have very close friends that are usually uncomfortable talking about race. It even feels weird when some of my friends who don't normally mention race are forced to describe someone as either black or white. I guess I have lived away from Augusta so long now that talking about race in the sense that is done there now seems strange to me. My only desire is that my hometown people would welcome and embrace their differences instead of continuing to use them as tools of division.

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 01/07/09 - 04:14 pm
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KingJames it's mostly

KingJames it's mostly men/women in their 40s or older with this mentality. This age group was there back then and when. Reminds me of the children of Israel coming out of Egypt, no one over thirty from the exodus made it to the promise land.

KingJames
10
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KingJames 01/07/09 - 04:29 pm
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Jack, I agree, but not

Jack, I agree, but not totally. The part that I disagree with you on is that it will change when the older generation dies out. The same way many blacks teach their kids to be suspicious of whites, you can believe there are whites who do the same thing. People of both races may try to act a little more civilized in public, but they will always say what they feel behind closed doors, and of course online.

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 01/07/09 - 04:42 pm
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Yep exactly why I believe if

Yep exactly why I believe if a lot more people get saved and let God change their minds a lot less crime and hate would be in the world.

hossiv
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hossiv 01/07/09 - 04:47 pm
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King James, you have a good

King James, you have a good message but, point out where in the my first comment was I "ridiculing" Obama. Please show me that. If you look read my first comment, I simply asked Jack234 a question? Believe it or not there was nothing mean spirited behind it. I also hope that Pres. Obama does succeed in being a good leader. Though, I have to admit that my definition of a great leader for this country is different from some of the foul tones and uneducated posts I read on from both sides here. I'd say approximately 90% of the posts are completely unresearched, have no facts to support them. I enjoy a spirited discussion but I'm not going to sit back and let someone make a false statement without some kind reference. Anyway, good luck to the new Pres and more importantly to the country.

hossiv
0
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hossiv 01/07/09 - 04:56 pm
0
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Elliottness, Oh I got it.

Elliottness,
Oh I got it. All the execs know about it, right? Did they all meet in an undisclosed location and form their own little, Dont Tell On Bush and Cheney Club? You forgot to mention the Bush haters that have nothing to do with the major stations. I'm sure you have some response for why they havent talked either. That really does make sense!Hahaha.... your right, when I find out the truth, we'll all say that Elliottness is heading to top. He's going places!

KingJames
10
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KingJames 01/07/09 - 05:22 pm
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Hossiv, I suppose your 10:43

Hossiv, I suppose your 10:43 comment wasn't ridiculing Obama. Read it again and let me know if it was really a good post. If it wasn't your post, you would think the guy who wrote it was really defensive about something.

hossiv
0
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hossiv 01/07/09 - 05:54 pm
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King James, I'm not sure why

King James, I'm not sure why I re read my own words, but I did. There wasnt single thing defensive about it. If you were involved in the discussion at that point, you would have seen that Jack234 was basically gloating, slamming Bush, Fox News and HELLO HELLO - ING everyone who wasnt excited or didnt agree with him about the upcoming inaugaration. By the way, it was a thought provoking question that he never responded to. You will notice if you carefully read my comment that I even mentioned the SEC chairman (A REPUBLICAN) and gave him some of the blame for the demise of Wallstreet. So again, you seem to playing mind reader or maybe you are on the defensive side because I asked a simple question of a fellow Obama supporter.

GET REAL1
1
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GET REAL1 01/07/09 - 05:55 pm
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It is an historical event,

It is an historical event, America's first African American President. The teachers have requested the day off; they teach our children so if they want a day off, it's okay with me. It is not affecting my child at CT Walker since he is off already. The media--local, national and worldwide recognizes this as an historic event in the United States. THE FACT THAT THIS IS HISTORIC IS NOT NEWS! Get over it. Christian 134 get over it, it is what it is. America has spoken and apparently doesn't agree with u.

bebbe
1
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bebbe 01/07/09 - 06:16 pm
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So only 5% of each school's

So only 5% of each school's faculty will get to take the day off. Hmmmmm...Do you think any whites will be part of that number???? Why is this inauguration any different from the 43 previous ones and we didn't get a day off?Bedden sent an e mail telling the teachers that he had told all principals about this in November. Geee...I guess they just FORGOT to let the teachers know. Well at the least maybe RCBOE won't plan any of their stupid professional training that day and let the teachers work in their own rooms. YEAH

karmakills123
8
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karmakills123 01/07/09 - 06:20 pm
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Who lives in a pineapple

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea???

KingJames
10
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KingJames 01/07/09 - 06:28 pm
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Hossiv, I saw what you wrote,

Hossiv, I saw what you wrote, and can agree with you that the HELLO HELLO -ing was a bit much. I saw your mention of Cox and that you were sure to identify him as a Republican. I'm not trying to read your mind, but I am trying to understand your posts. I suppose your questions about how Obama may or may not change Jack's life were reminiscent of those idiots who seem to think that the entire black race expected to not have to work and pay bills because we all have entitlements coming to us. I wasn't defensive, but I was trying to understand the first couple of sentences of the first post. As far as your simple question of a fellow Obama supporter, why should I become defensive for him? I don't always agree with him either. If anything, I was addressing the very first part of your post. You know exactly what you meant to say, but the rest of us don't.

gnumbgnuts
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gnumbgnuts 01/07/09 - 06:51 pm
0
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Absorbent and yellow and

Absorbent and yellow and porous is he!!!

hossiv
0
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hossiv 01/07/09 - 06:55 pm
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King James, I cant speak for

King James, I cant speak for the "idiots who seem to think that the entire black race expected to not to have to work and pay bills because we all have entitlements coming to us". I only speak for myself. Did you bring up race or was it I? It was you. Trust me, there are plenty of dead beats WHITE and BLACk that fall in that category. You just assumed that I am a white guy who thinks ill of the entire black race. This is a message board, sir. Its best not to assume or "suppose" what someone is really saying unless you know the person and are sitting face to face with them. Take what is TRULY written and don't assume someone is like the idiots you speak of. Who is the rest of us?

disssman
6
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disssman 01/07/09 - 07:48 pm
0
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I just wish Bedden was as

I just wish Bedden was as concerned with insuring the kids in A.R.Johnson had all their Math text books as he is about the inauguration. The workbook the kids have, is a list of problems only (no instruction) and it clearly says it is to be used in conjunction with a computer program which was not purchased. I have never heard of a class on mathemetics without a textbook. Who in the H--- do we call to have something like this resolved, does anyone know? BTW pleeaaasssee do not say the RCBOE, they are they problem.

disssman
6
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disssman 01/07/09 - 08:03 pm
0
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Why not allow all the

Why not allow all the students and faculty time during the ceremony to watch it on TV. That way everybody will be happy and not just 5%.

Searching 4 the facts
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Searching 4 the facts 01/07/09 - 08:23 pm
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(CNN) -- The officer involved

(CNN) -- The officer involved in a New Year's Day shooting that left a passenger dead in a crowded Oakland, California, subway station resigned Wednesday, a Bay Area Rapid Transit spokesman said.

Oscar Grant, 22, was killed January 1 in a shooting at a subway station in California's Bay Area.

BART spokesman Linton Johnson said in a statement that the officer's attorney and his union representative submitted the resignation at a meeting Wednesday morning with BART police investigators. The officer was going to be at the meeting but did not show up, Johnson said.

The resignation was effective immediately.

Shortly before the funeral for the passenger, 22-year-old Oscar Grant, Johnson said the officer had received death threats.

The BART officer fatally shot Grant in the back after he and some friends were pulled from a train car following a report of an altercation, according to a BART statement.

bone
23
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bone 01/07/09 - 08:26 pm
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"they" won and are not

"they" won and are not ashamed to celebrate openly. please, folks, let "them" have their party: "they'll" be back in the same place "they" were before the election and "they'll" blame - us.

Searching 4 the facts
0
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Searching 4 the facts 01/07/09 - 08:28 pm
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Family Of Man Shot By Police

Family Of Man Shot By Police Doesn't Get Answers
By Elizabeth Scarborough

POSTED: Tuesday, January 6, 2009
UPDATED: 7:47 am CST January 6, 2009

BELLAIRE, Texas -- The family of a man who was shot by a police officer during a stolen vehicle investigation went to Bellaire City Council Monday, but did not get the answers they were looking for, KPRC Local 2 reported.

Robbie Tolan has been in a hospital bed for the last six days with a bullet lodged in his liver and a punctured lung. He's 23 years old and an aspiring baseball player trying to follow in his famous father's footsteps.

Bobby Tolan, who won a World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals, and about a dozen other family members and friends said they thought it was important to be at the Bellaire City Council meeting.

Bellaire police approached Tolan and his cousin in their driveway, reportedly believing they were in a stolen vehicle. Sgt. Jeff Cotton ended up fired his weapon, wounding Tolan.

It turned out the car was not stolen.

Searching 4 the facts
0
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Searching 4 the facts 01/07/09 - 09:10 pm
0
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Officer in transit shooting

Officer in transit shooting resigns, agency says
An officer involved in a New Year's Day shooting that left a passenger dead in a crowded California subway station resigned today, a Bay Area Rapid Transit spokesman said. The spokesman said the officer has received death threats after the incident, which was captured on video. A funeral was held today for the passenger, 22-year-old Oscar Grant.

owensjef2
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owensjef2 01/07/09 - 09:12 pm
0
0
Bigots

Bigots

denny crane
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denny crane 01/07/09 - 10:46 pm
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0
Wow. This is incredible huh?

Wow. This is incredible huh? A day off for an inauguration? Personally, if this were a habit with other presidents, it would make sense, but since this seems to be only because he is black. This screams of racism in the utmost, but again, it's always okay to do that to the white man. Unreal.

Lost In Translation
0
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Lost In Translation 01/08/09 - 01:23 am
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This is just the beginning of

This is just the beginning of change! First a day off to do what? Watch something on TV at home that you can watch on TV at school? Why not send caterers to each of the schools and turn into a party? Instead of focusing on the children, teachers want a day off to do absolutely nothing. And as far as Dr Bedden's plan for "how you will implement this into your teaching" plan, I don't want liberal teachers trying to brainwash my child into believe that Obama is "The One". Thanks, but no thanks! Like I said, this is only the beginning!

denny crane
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denny crane 01/08/09 - 04:08 am
0
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Most of the teachers,

Most of the teachers, according to the test results, can't spell Obama. This is so stupid to let them off. What are the blacks planning? If they plan anything, bet your [filtered word] the whites are paying for it, as usual. Typical black BS.

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