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Rugby students listen to President’s education speech

By Staff | Sep 11, 2009

President Barack Obama’s delivered a speech to school children across the nation last week, and a good number of Rugby students were among those listening.

Prior to the Sept. 8 speech, the President came under fire, mostly from conservative organizations which accused the President of using the closed-captive audience to discuss some of his political agenda.

A transcript of the speech was released before it was aired. The President’s address, which lasted about 20 minutes, discussed such points as staying in school, getting good grades and taking education seriously.

While many school districts across the nation were flooded with phone calls from parents concerning the President’s speech, Rugby’s district received only a couple of inquiries from parents about how the district would receive it, according to Jeff Lind, school superintendent.

One patron called asking administrators not to allow the speech, which was streamed over the Internet, to be shown to students. Another caller hoped it would be shown. The district’s official stand was neutral.

District administrators met on Sept. 4 and decided to leave it up to teachers whether they wanted to have the speech aired in their rooms on Channel 1, an education programming network the district airs, and incorporate it in a lesson. The speech was shown around 1 p.m. and a handful of classrooms at Ely Elementary and Jr.-Sr. High watched the President’s address. Lind said some teachers may choose to show it at a later time.

Lind said board members were also notifed by e-mail of the administrator’s response to the planned speech.

Any parent who did not want their child to sit in on the speech was allowed to do so, but to Lind’s knowledge, no student was taken out of class where the speech was aired.

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