September 3, 2009
President Obama's nationwide speech to school children next week is creating controversy, but students in the Wichita school district won't hear it.
The speech is scheduled for Tuesday. USD 259 has an in-service day
and classes will not be in session.
Obama plans to speak directly to students Tuesday about the need to work hard and stay in school. His address will be sent out on the White House Web site and on C-SPAN at 11:00 CDT, a time when classrooms across the country will be able to tune in.
Schools don't have to show it. But districts across the country have been inundated with phone calls from parents and are struggling to address the controversy that broke out after Education Secretary Arne Duncan sent a letter to principals urging schools to watch.
Districts in states including Texas, Illinois, Virginia and Wisconsin have decided not to show the speech to students. Others are still thinking it over or are letting parents have their kids opt out.
A Maize school spokesperson said administrators have received five or six calls from parents wanting more information about the speech.
President Obama is not the first President to speak to classrooms across the country. On November 14, 1988, President Reagan addressed 9th grade students on education
The Associated Press contributed to this report.