Tuesday, September 8, 2009

President Obama's Speech -- We get to see it!

The initial message from CUSD200 had the tone that they needed to preview the words of the President to ensure that they were appropriate for our children.  They would then, IF the message was apporpriate consider if they would share it. Well, as you know, I was outraged.

We sent letters.  My little neighborhood, my little corner of the world was not alone.  Many people sent letters. Teachers sent letters.  The populace spoke out and yesterday we got this message:

Good evening. This is Dr. Richard Drury, Superintendent of District 200. The Board of Education has asked me to clarify that all of our students will have the opportunity to hear President Obama’s speech to students. After listening carefully to many perspectives in the community, the Board has worked with the administration to provide the following process.

Tomorrow at 11:00 we will record the President’s entire message and send it to our teaching staff by the end of the day. Teachers will show it in individual classrooms on Wednesday. In keeping with our tradition of working in partnership with parents, each school will make arrangements to allow parents to opt their student out of viewing the speech. You will receive notice from your school about the specific arrangements for showing the President’s message. The White House has made the text of the speech available online.

District 200 strongly supports and is in agreement with urging students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning. At no time was it the intent of the District to censor or disrespect the President or his message. We apologize for any miscommunication that may have led to that perception.

Thank you and good evening.

They apologized.  I think that is a great thing.  It is a great teaching moment.  It is great for adults to admit that they were wrong, and apologize.  It teaches that we can learn from our mistakes.

While it would be optimal for the kids to have seen it today, they will see it tomorrow, and I am ok with that compromise.  I am glad that EVERYONE will be seeing it.  I am still sad that some people think they need to opt out... but at least we can now opt in.

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