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'Like he was talking to just me'

Some area schools get delayed view of speech

Bartlett Junior-Senior High School seniors watch President Obama's speech, which was preceded with much speculation and contention. Joy Richard. (click for larger version)
September 08, 2009
Less than a week into the new school year, an authority figure is already giving area students a talking-to — but he is encouraging them to stay in school.

"I expect all of you to get serious this year," President Barack Obama told students in a nationwide speech Tuesday, Sept. 8 from Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va.

After much national controversy, area students, depending on where they attend school, watched Obama's nationally televised speech in which he urged students to stay in school and get good grades in hopes of a brighter future. The speech, which has raised concerns that the president were trying to indoctrinate students with his political views, left area administrators having to decide whether to air Obama's talk.

The Southbridge School system taped the speech so they could review it for possible screening at a later time, according to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Dale M. Hanley. It was recorded to follow the existing policy that has administrators screen anything for inappropriate content before students see it, she said. Hanley also said she had asked the town's cable television access system to tape the speech and broadcast it. Parents have been notified that they can watch it there, she said. Cable Access Director Paul Zotos said he had recorded the speech, but had not yet determined whether or when he could air it. Zotos said he needs to make sure doing so does not violate copyright statues.

If it is shown in schools, Hanley said it would be screened in English and social studies classes.

See Thursday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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