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No live Obama in Bulloch
School system will tape speech, possibly air it after review
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     Bulloch County School Superintendent Dr. Lewis Holloway said Friday students will not view President Obama's speech about staying in school Tuesday, but some may view a recording of the speech at a later date.
     Educators are being asked to use the televised speech, to be broadcast live on at noon, as a teaching tool.  But school systems across the nation are making the decision to review the speech before allowing students to view it. Some parents are uncomfortable with their children watching the speech without their guidance or permission. The topic has been discussed at length on the Statesboro Herald blogs, at
      Holloway said Bulloch County will do the same thing many other school systems have decided to do in recording the speech. He and other school officials will review the president's delivery, and determine whether it will be used as a teaching aid, and which students would benefit from the exercise.
    "We will review it and determine where it fits in our curriculum," he said.
    Holloway said the decision was made because that is the way the Bulloch County school system would handle any suggested matter, "whether it be H1N1, obesity, drugs ..." or other topics.
    When school officials review the speech, they will discuss and determine how it may be used, paying attention to whether it is age-appropriate or subject-appropriate, he said. "It may not be appropriate for a math class," but possibly history or a social studies class.
    The White House on Friday dismissed as pointless the furor over President Barack Obama's plan to deliver a televised back-to-school speech to the nation's students.
     "I think we've reached a little bit of the silly season when the president of the United States can't tell kids in school to study hard and stay in school," presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters. "I think both political parties agree that the dropout rate is something that threatens our long-term economic success."
     Obama's planned address to students has prompted a surprising push-back from some quarters over what the White House sees as an important but innocuous topic.
     Some conservative critics say Obama is trying to promote a political agenda and overstepping his bounds, taking the federal government too far into public school business.
     Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, a potential presidential contender in 2012, said Obama's speech is "uninvited" and that the president's move raises questions of content and motive.
     Many school districts have decided not to show Obama's speech, to be delivered at 12 noon EDT Tuesday, partly in response to concerns from parents.
     Gibbs said former Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush delivered similar speeches to students. He said Obama's speech will not be partisan but rather a chance for children to get "a little encouragement as they start the school year."
     He said the administration understands that some districts have logistical concerns with the timing of Obama's speech.
      The White House plans to release the speech online Monday so parents can read it. Obama will deliver the speech at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va.
     The United States Department of Education asked members of the U.S. Department of Education Teaching Ambassador Fellows to develop classroom activities related to the speech to help stimulate discussion among students, grades K-12, on the importance of education. The suggested classroom activities will be available on
    For grades K-6, suggestions are that teachers ask students questions such as "Who is the president of the United States?" What do you think it takes to be president?" and "Why do you think (the president) wants to speak to you?"
    For students in grades 7-12, suggestions include defining how we associate with words such as "responsibility, persistence, and goals."
    Other suggestions include brainstorming about individual strengths and skills; taking notes during the speech about ideas and terms to be discussed; and after the speech, discussion about the most important "words" in his speech and what the president is challenging students to do.

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