Change of Plans: Wethersfield Schools to Air Obama Speech

The speech will air in designated rooms

Tuesday, Sep 8, 2009  |  Updated 11:59 AM EDT
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Change of Plans: Wethersfield Schools to Air Obama Speech

AP

President Obama's back-to-school address will air live at 12:00 p.m. Tuesday in classrooms across the country.

President Obama's televised back-to-school address will now be shown in Wethersfield Public Schools on Tuesday afternoon, despite a plan next week not to air it. 

Over the weekend, Wethersfield's superintendent heard from staff, parents and students and has decided to air the speech set for noon.

Supt. Michael Kohlhagen said the speech will be broadcast in an "appropriate location" in each school on Tuesday for those who want to view and listen to the address. Those who do not wish to participate will continue with their normal daily routine.  

School officials in New Canaan will review and discuss the president's speech at noon Tuesday before showing it to elementary school students.

Greenwich schools decided to delay the showing of the speech after hearing criticism that Obama would be pushing his political agenda.

Colchester Elementary School won't be showing it because officials said they don't think young students would have the patience to sit through it.

Milford school officials are telling teachers not to disrupt classes for the speech unless it fits in with the curriculum.

Schools in Torrington, Glastonbury and Berlin reportedly aren't showing the speech either.
 

Below is the entire statement released by Wethersfield Public Schools Superintendent Michael Kohlhagen Monday evening:

 "The upcoming Presidential Back-to-School address on Tuesday, Sept. 8 has spurred tremendous debate across the country. In the last few days, I have heard from as many families in favor of broadcasting these remarks live during the school day as from those who are against it.

As the Superintendent of Schools, it is my duty to provide a high quality education for each and every student while remaining sensitive to the hearts and minds of each and every Wethersfield family.

Thus, my recent letter to our parent community and to the staff announcing that we would not disrupt the instructional day with a live simultaneous broadcast at noon on Sept. 8 should not be interpreted as a ban on the remarks of the President of the United States. In the spirit of being sensitive to all members of our community, my intent was to make the President's address available in school after the live address for those who wish to view it as well as for instructional purposes.

Nevertheless, there are some who believe it is important to view the President's remarks live. Therefore, each school will arrange to have the President's address broadcast live in an appropriate location for those who wish to view this historical event on Tuesday at noon. All other students and staff will continue their daily routine. In addition, through our technology communication systems, students will also be able to view and discuss the President's remarks afterwards with their teachers, families and friends on multiple occasions in and out of our school buildings.

It is my hope that we will use the President's message to have meaningful, non-partisan conversations with our children about how important an education is to becoming successful, contributing citizens of the United States of America. Thank you."

You can read the full text of President Obama's speech to school children across the nation on Tuesday here.

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