Obama’s Address Absent from Plano Schools

Morgan Smith, Online Editor

Tuesday, September 8th, was supposed to mark the third time in the history of the United States that a U.S. President directly addressed American students as a whole via television, but due to a decision handed down by the Plano ISD board, the address was not shown during class time, leaving some students and teachers scratching their heads.

“I think we should have been able to watch it if we desired to,” senior Chris Rodriguez said, “I don’t really think it’s right that we were excluded from that since it was directed to us.”

Rodriguez was not the only student to hold such an opinion. An anonymous e-mail was sent out to various administrators and faculty members expressing disappointment in the district’s decision, signed “Plano ISD Students, Disappointed and Perturbed.”. Some of Plano Senior’s teachers also voiced their concerns.

“We did have some teachers who were disappointed because they felt like they could use this in their classrooms,” principal Dr. Doyle Dean said, “They felt it would fit in well with the lessons they were preparing.”

History teachers were the most upset out of the faculty, feeling that given the speaker and the subject it would be a valuable teaching tool.

“It’s the President of the United States and he’s taken the opportunity to directly talk to school kids of any age,” AP U.S. History teacher Jason Barton said, “That in and of itself warrants it being addressed.”

The historical aspect of the speech had been overshadowed in the lead-up to the address, during which time the speech faced fierce opposition before a transcript could even be released to the general public. Many conservative pundits had labeled the speech as an effort by the president to “indoctrinate” the nation’s youth into blindly following his lead.

“I couldn’t really see anything objectionable in it,” Dean said, “It seemed that he had a good message for students that would make them much more successful in school if they followed it.”

There was name-calling coming from both sides of the aisle, with liberals insulting the speech’s opponents’ intelligence repeatedly and conservatives accusing the liberals of attempting to “zombify” the speech’s target audience.

“I think that Plano ISD, and school districts in general, may have bowed down to the mob of the minority,” Barton said. “My personal opinion is they didn’t necessarily need to bow down to that sort of pressure of the minority, but in this litigious society we live in I understand the decision, but I don’t necessarily agree with it.”

Some on the left claim that the source of the intensity of the opposition to the address was a deep-seeded sense of racism and/or pure partisan devotion, despite a lack of concrete evidence to prove such a claim.

“I don’t think we didn’t watch it because he’s a Democrat or because he isn’t white,” Rodriguez said.

Despite not being shown at the scheduled time, the address was presented in the theater during lunch periods on Thursday the 10th.