This has became a controversial issue in the SouthsideCentral area, so here’s the VDOE’s guidance statement about it.
Here’s the “Guidance to School Divisions” statement issued by the Virginia Dept. of Education.
On Tuesday, September 8, President Barack Obama is scheduled to make an address to the nation’s schoolchildren on the importance of education. The speech will be broadcast live on the White House Web site www.whitehouse.gov at noon. Additional information — including a letter to principals from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and a menu of suggested classroom activities — is available on the U.S. Department of Education Web site at this address: http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/academic/bts.html
The Virginia Department of Education has received inquiries about whether students will be “required” to watch the President’s speech. Whether a school or class views the address is a local decision to be made by teachers and principals in keeping with other demands of the instructional day, which is the first day of school in most of Virginia’s eastern divisions. Teachers who decide to incorporate President Obama’s speech into their instructional program also are free to develop their own follow-up classroom activities.
Schools that choose to participate in the Web cast are encouraged to make reasonable accommodations for students whose parents may object to the viewing of the speech by their children during the school day. It is expected that a video of President Obama’s speech will be available on the White House Web site for later viewing.
So that happened. Now you know.