Clear89° WeatherClear89° Weather

Gradebook

Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Nina Hayden weighs in on Obama speech opt out, excused absence

11

September

Pinellas School Board member Nina Hayden made it clear in a letter to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times that the board had no say in allowing students to opt out of President Obama’s address to schoolchildren earlier this week.

“The decision to allow the opt-out provision with an excused absence was made by the district administration and not a decision that was discussed with the Board,” wrote Hayden, who is running for a state Senate seat.

She continued: “The political climate and debate on the National level should not be allowed to impinge on a non-political educational address … While we should be strong advocates for our causes, we should do so in a way that promotes decency and respect for mankind and the political process.”

To see the whole letter, keep reading.

President Obama’s Education Address
 
Viewing the President’s remarks to the students of the Nation and Pinellas County I am deeply impressed by the words spoken to encourage, motivate and inspire our students.  President Obama’s words not only gave a sense of hope to students who may be struggling but his words encouraged all students to find their purpose and to challenge their own abilities to be the best they can be.
 
It is very encouraging to see our President take a vested interest in education not only in word but in deed.  The stimulus money given by the Federal Government and increased allocation for IDEA and Title I funding have given our school system the ability to continue providing educational services for our students without laying off instructional support. 
 
However, it is also deeply concerning that remarks made by many opponent’s of the President’s current policies have caused a message spoken to give confidence to our students to be viewed with suspicion and distrust.  The decision to allow the opt-out provision with an excused absence was made by the district administration and not a decision that was discussed with the Board. 
 
The political climate and debate on the National level should not be allowed to impinge on a non-political educational address.  The President of the United States should be given our respect and support.  Party proponents and elected officials must recognize that words do have an effect.  While we should be strong advocates for our causes, we should do so in a way that promotes decency and respect for mankind and the political process.

Donna Winchester, Pinellas education reporter  
 
 

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:35am]

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...