As schools across America tuned in to watch President Barack Obama's address to America's youth, many Richmond and Columbia county schools chose to keep their televisions off and their textbooks open.
Superintendent Charles Nagle stated that the effort to redo class lesson plans to fit the time period of the speech was too much for such short notice. However, many students remain skeptical about the true reasons why they didn't view the speech, a simple address to students concerning the value of education.
"Lots of parents are angry at the current White House administration," said Ben Hackney, a senior at Lakeside High School. "I think their anger just got transferred over to the school system and the school system didn't want to get in trouble."
Even though Ben holds strong opposition towards Obama's policies, he still feels that listening to the speech would have been important for high school students.
"I think that the students should have had a choice of whether or not they wanted to watch it; I would rather see it for myself than hear about it from someone else."
His feelings are held by many other students who believe the speech would be important not only for general knowledge, but also for specific school classes.
"I would have definitely liked to see what Obama had to say," says Alex Moosariparambil, senior class president of Lakeside. "I think it would have been very important for people in History or Government classes to watch the speech, so that they would have a sample of how the government works."
Tommy Dean, a senior at Greenbrier High school, believed viewing the speech would be significant for everyone, but especially for students who don't follow current events.
"I think that watching the speech would have been important because, as students, we would also like to know what's going on in the world. We have a right to be informed just as much as adults. However, I know some students don't really care about what Obama has to say. A lot of people aren't going to go home and find out about it; only a few students actually go out of their way to discover what's going on."
The general consensus from students has been that they believe that they would have benefited from watching the speech in school. Many students are interested about what Obama had to say to them and think that the speech would be worth spending an hour of class time watching.
Osama Hashmi is a senior at Lakeside High School.