Richmond County schools seek to clear up confusion about Obama's speech

Friday, Sept. 4, 2009 3:06 PM
Last updated Friday, Jan. 8, 2010 12:57 PM
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The Richmond County school system is seeking to clear up what they is confusion about how they plan to handle Tuesday’s back-to-school address by President Obama.

An email sent to media today by schools spokesman Louis Svehla on behalf of Superintendent Dana Bedden states that the district has gotten a number of calls about the speech and whether teachers are going to be required to show it live to pupils. The email states that Dr. Bedden is sending notices to parents, teachers and staff that there will be no system-wide requirement or mandatory watching of the speech.

“It is my expectation that teachers will provide standards based instruction aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards,” Dr. Bedden says in the email. “If a teacher decides to show the video as part of their normal lesson planning and instructional period, it is my expectation that the viewing and any subsequent discussion be tied directly to the Georgia Performance Standards. Also, it's important that any parent or student who indicates they do not want to watch the video have that option to not participate and receive an alternative assignment.”

Included in the email is a message from State Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox who states that the White House and the U.S. Department of Education did not involve the Georgia Department of Education in the planning of the event. She further states that a letter inviting students to view the speech was sent directly to principals and local superintendents, not to the state DOE.

“There is nothing in state or federal law that would require or prohibit a school from showing this speech to students and the decision lies completely with local school officials,” Ms. Cox states in her message. “Instructional time is a valuable commodity for schools. If a decision is made to show the video, it is important that its viewing and any subsequent discussion be tied directly to the standards being taught at the school. Also, it's important that students who do not want to watch the video have that option.”

She gives the website -- http://www.whitehouse.gov/mediaresources -- that the webcast can be viewed online after school hours if school districts decide not to show it live to pupils.

Columbia County schools will not show the broadcast live, according to its superintendent, Charles Nagle.

Mr. Obama’s speech has become the latest political hot potato of his young administration as some conservative critics have raised concerns that the president will push his political agenda during his address. The president’s spokesman, Robert Gibbs, dismissed the criticisms today as political nonsense.

"I think we've reached a little bit of the silly season when the president of the United States can't tell kids in school to study hard and stay in school," Mr. Gibbs told reporters. "I think both political parties agree that the dropout rate is something that threatens our long-term economic success."

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LCC0256
634
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LCC0256 09/04/09 - 03:19 pm
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Thank God i have been blessed

Thank God i have been blessed with the ability to allow my children to attend private school...Is there anyone out there paying attention to what is going on in the public schools?? We have excellent private schools in Richmond, Columbia, Aiken, Burke, McDuffie, McCormick & Edgefield counties...please visit them or start a school from new...

lowellbrown
4
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lowellbrown 09/04/09 - 03:32 pm
0
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CONFUSION about the President

CONFUSION about the President of the United States making a televised speech to America's youth at the beginning of the school year? If I still had children in school, I would DEMAND that they be able to hear the speech - live - no matter who the president was. What a pitiful ploy on the part of bitter, resentful Republicans, trying to make young people jump through hoops in order to hear an encouraging message addressed to them by the President of the United States of America. What yellow bellies some state and county school administrators have. Kathy Cox's excuse about school standards may be slick, but it is lame, lame, lame. The President of the United States is not relevant to Georgia standards? Puhlease!

humbleopinion
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humbleopinion 09/04/09 - 03:35 pm
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This is nothing more than

This is nothing more than Socialism Indoctrination 101. Every aspect of this President is aimed at pushing his ANTI-America agenda upon us. The adults stood up and called him out last month with the town hall meetings, so they are now going after the youths. Every move this guy makes is taken directly from Rules For Radicals. Change IS coming in 2010 and 2012! America HAS woken up!

Just My Opinion
6071
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Just My Opinion 09/04/09 - 03:50 pm
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I think lowellbrown is just

I think lowellbrown is just kidding! At least I hope this dude isn't moronic enough to think the schools should be mandated to watch something that will take one solid hour out of their already tight schedules, they don't know what the President is going to discuss to the CHILDREN of the country (would you want ANYONE to have a captive audience with your children in it to say whatever it is they wanted to discuss??). Let the parents watch it first at home on the computer, and then, if it's a non-political speech, then allow your kids to watch it. Personally, neither me, my wife, nor my children will be watching this.

lowellbrown
4
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lowellbrown 09/04/09 - 04:29 pm
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JustMyOpinion, Columbia

JustMyOpinion, Columbia County, like some other counties and even some states, is mandating that students NOT watch the speech at school. There are lots of occasions that interrupt students' tight schedules; if there weren't some variations on the educational themes, education would become a real drudge. A school near me once let the students out of class to watch Lance Armstrong ride up the street, and it was a rewarding educational experience. Pep rallies last about an hour, as do assemblies for guest speakers. What you seem to be suggesting is that the President of the United States of America will say something to America's children that you find politically disagreeable. I do not understand your fear, but at least be honest and just say you don't like anything Obama does. My wife and I will watch the speech. I hope my grandkids will get to watch it, too.

fred1217
4
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fred1217 09/04/09 - 05:32 pm
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If only Alabama Gov. George

If only Alabama Gov. George Wallace was alive to see this. He would be really proud of Columbia County!!!

concernednative
28
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concernednative 09/04/09 - 05:48 pm
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Well said fred1217. It is

Well said fred1217. It is amazing in this country these racists treat the president like the boogyman. Don't let my kids see him he will brainwash them and ruin them forever. Half these clowns don't realize a few minutes compare to a lifetime with them and teachers is a lot more relevant. I never thougth the racists would allow their colors to show so clearly in 2009. Take a look at the stop Obamacare rally last night 90% of the attendees came up in the good ole days of the segrated south.

REDRIDER
134
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REDRIDER 09/04/09 - 06:15 pm
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Thank God for a Furlough That

Thank God for a Furlough That Day.

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 09/04/09 - 06:19 pm
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lol

lol

philjohnson
0
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philjohnson 09/04/09 - 08:17 pm
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That's right Fred---good

That's right Fred---good going columbia county!

philjohnson
0
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philjohnson 09/04/09 - 08:19 pm
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concerned, there were no

concerned, there were no blacks a the rally??? Oh yeah, forgot, 3 Sep. They are still out crackin on their welfare checks an d trading their ebt entitlement!

Just My Opinion
6071
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Just My Opinion 09/04/09 - 09:40 pm
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lowell, calm down and don't

lowell, calm down and don't make everything into a racist arguement. You forget that Obama would NOT have been elected had it not been for a huge number of whites...larger than the black segment...who voted for him! People like you make me laugh because you think that just because the man is black...well, half black...that he only belongs to the black race. Read over my post again, this time paying close attention, and you will see that I never had anything derogatory or anti-Obama to say. You just want to pick a fight because you are too sensitive. We don't know what it is he's going to talk about, and there COULD be a strong possibility that he brings up the whole health-care issue that he wants to shove down your throat. And no, I do NOT want my children to be made to listen to it because he hasn't worked enough of it out yet. Why should any child...any adult for that matter...be made to listen to propaganda? In this day and age, I don't put anything past ANY politician, and a free pass to the kids is something I don't think we should blindly make available. Obama does not have a free pass just because he's black...well, half black! Sorry, lowell.

mable8
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mable8 09/05/09 - 12:04 am
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The big O has lost the adults

The big O has lost the adults in trying to get his so-called healthcare plan passed, so now he is trying to get to the children. Perhaps he envisions himself as the pied piper!

cajunnana2000
2
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cajunnana2000 09/05/09 - 12:16 am
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When Bush read to a class

When Bush read to a class nothing was said, So whats the difference, color?

justbeasy
0
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justbeasy 09/05/09 - 12:27 am
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Just my opinion, lowell's

Just my opinion, lowell's right..It's a lot of people on here that just can't get a grip with Obama being the president of the nation and we know why. It's not the percentage of white people that voted for him that's the problem, the problem is the ones who are retaliating because they couldn't stand to see him take that office. No matter what he does it won't be satisfactory towards these types of people. I didn't vote for Bush, nor did I vote for Sonny, but once they were elected, I respected their office. State of the Union, state of the state, speeches, such as these, I listened because of thier position. We really need to stop and realize we can try to deny all we want to, but this is about race..not even about party affiliation, but about race. I remember when Clinton came to Augusta, to Christenberry fieldhouse, my school as well as every other school, stop what they were doing and tuned in to local programming. Now we are so concerned about 20 minutes of time...let's get real.

justbeasy
0
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justbeasy 09/05/09 - 12:31 am
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And how can he push the

And how can he push the healthcare down children's throats? I', a school teacher and guess how many high school students I have heard discussing the healthcare bill. NONE. Guess how many care about the healthcare bill. NONE. It's just the plight of teenagers,although it should, these things are on thier radar just yet, so stop using them as scapegoats to the real reason you don't want the speech to be played.

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 09/05/09 - 12:55 am
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Lowel, get a life and get a

Lowel, get a life and get a grip. First, if you think anyone making decisions for the failing Richmond County School System where they can't even graduate 50% of their children from high school is a Republican, you are insane. Second, the CC School system, which is made of of mostly republicnas and graduated over 95% of their students did not say the speach could not be shown, it just said they would not show it live because it was not part of planned curriculum. The speach has no learning value and we aren't going to war or anything so both systems and many others really don't see the point - mabye President Obama should have just spoken on an after school special. Anyways, this would not have happend had they properly notified and worked with state DOE's but instead they are tying to push through a curriculum and propoganda as well as a lesson plan with the speach that asks the students what they can do to help Obama - not help America but Obama - sorry, but 50% or more of Americans do not agree with that alone. If this wasn't propoganda he could have just made the speach without the lesson plan and given students encouragement vs. propoganda. Just more of the same here.

Chad
57
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Chad 09/05/09 - 01:14 am
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"The House Majority leader at

"The House Majority leader at the time, Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.), said "The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students." The Democratic critics accused Bush of turning government money for education to his own political use, namely, an ongoing effort to inoculate himself against their charges of inattention to domestic issues. The speech at Alice Deal Junior High School, broadcast live on radio and television, urged students to study hard, avoid drugs and turn in troublemakers. Does this sound familier.

justus4
111
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justus4 09/05/09 - 07:47 am
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RCBOE made a great investment
Unpublished

RCBOE made a great investment in that media company because the leadership saw this coming. Here is what happens: The non-minority media (NMM) prints something, then its broadcast on the few-minority airwaves, then they run to the school and ask: What are U gonna do about the ....? By having a media company to address issues that are actually manufactored, allows the superintendent to get more serious & important work done for the children. He should be above such foolishness, but "they" will be working hard to drag him into the mud so he should refer all comments to the spokeperson. Again, great foresight on the part of the RCBOE leadership.

Irish
0
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Irish 09/05/09 - 08:09 am
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Clear up what "they is

Clear up what "they is "....who wrote this piece and who edited it ?

proud2bamerican
441
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proud2bamerican 09/05/09 - 09:14 am
0
0
"You forget that Obama would

"You forget that Obama would NOT have been elected had it not been for a huge number of whites...larger than the black segment...who voted for him! People like you make me laugh because you think that just because the man is black...well, half black...that he only belongs to the black race...if you think anyone making decisions for the failing Richmond County School System where they can't even graduate 50% of their children from high school is a Republican, you are insane. Second, the CC School system, which is made of of mostly republicnas and graduated over 95% of their students did not say the speach could not be shown, it just said they would not show it live because it was not part of planned curriculum."

proud2bamerican
441
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proud2bamerican 09/05/09 - 09:16 am
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If you really care and really

If you really care and really want to make a difference, take the time you spend on here and put it to use where it counts. Spend this time campaigning for and supporting people getting into office who can make the difference you want to see happen!

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