Some schools opt out of showing Obama speech

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HERRIMAN -- President Obama delivered a speech to students across the nation Tuesday morning. Some schools opted not to air the speech, and that left some students very unhappy.

A few students at Fort Herriman Middle School told KSL Newsradio they were going to walk out Tuesday morning because their school decided not to show the speech. However, that walkout never happened.


The school's principal says the president's speech was recorded, and he plans to show it a later time. Here's the catch, though: Teachers will decide if they want to show it in their classrooms, and it will only be shown to students whose parents sign a permission slip stating it's OK for their child to watch the speech.

"My opinion is it's no big deal. If they want to play the speech, let them play the speech. It's just the president of the United States speaking," said parent Mike Lyman. "Either way, it doesn't matter to me."

Amara Blackburn said, "I just have tried to teach my children that they have to be open-minded, and I'm going to want her to watch it because that way we can discuss what's happened and what's going on, and that's what I feel about it. It's the only way to be educated, is to be aware of what's going on. And I feel that way."

Principal Rodney Shaw says he is following the guidelines set up by the Jordan School District, but that those guidelines weren't given to him until Wednesday of last week. He says his faculty discussed it on Friday, but because there was no school Monday it was too late to make a decision or send out permission slips.

"There are some strong opinions, and that's part of the reason why we didn't want to make a hasty decision and just throw out a bunch of permission slips without going through and giving some thought," Shaw said. "We just didn't feel like, because of the controversy, it'd be wise to rush into this without doing things correctly."

The principal says he has about 1,300 students in his school and feels it would have been impossible to hear back from all their parents in such a short amount of time.

As for the speech itself, it's now up to teachers if they want to show it for classroom discussion.


Story compiled with contributions from Alex Cabrero and Andrew Adams

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