New Controversy Over Address to Students? Some Parents Upset President's Speech Not Shown in Schools

By: Tim Ciesco Email
By: Tim Ciesco Email

After the fire storm that erupted over whether the President should be allowed to deliver a speech to kids in school, a new controversy may be swirling -- some parents say they're upset their children did not get to watch Tuesday's address.

Grand Junction parent Jeff Heni says his daughter came home from school Tuesday afternoon and saw clips of President Obama on the evening news talking to students, then asked him why the President didn't talk to her school. He later found out that his son's middle school did not show the address either, and now he says he's disappointed.

School District 51 says it let teachers decide if the President's speech fit in with their lesson plans and left it up to them whether they wanted to show it in class. Parents who did not want their children to watch the speech in classes it was going to be shown in could opt them out.

Henni says he thinks in his kids' case, the decision came down to teachers caving into pressure from parents who though the President would try to push his political beliefs on America's youth -- an argument Henni called ridiculous after reading over the speech.

He says he will show his kids the President's speech online, but thinks it's unfair his kids had to miss out on a historical moment.

"I just got kind of set because you can read about Presidents in the past -- why can't you see the President in the present," said Henni.

"I was kind of mad," said Lizet Henni, Jeff's daughter. "I wanted to see the President talk during class."

Henni was not the only person expressing frustration. In an email sent to supporters Tuesday, Governor Bill Ritter said "I was troubled that some schools here in Colorado gave into the calls of a very radical fringe by deciding not to allow their students an opportunity to watch the President's important speech in class this morning."

He then encouraged parents to let their children watch the President's speech online.

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