Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues

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Stafford’s school system will not show President Obama’s back-to-school speech

Stafford County public schools will not show President Obama’s back-to-school address on opening day Tuesday because of "logistical issues," according to the division’s Web site. Obama is giving the speech at Wakefield High School in Arlington County. It will be aired live at noon on C-Span and via

Some parents across the country have complained about having the speech shown in classrooms. Here’s what White House spokesman Tommy Vietor told the Associated Press about the speech: "The president will speak directly to students about the value of education and the importance of staying in school as part of an effort to dramatically cut the dropout rate. It’s not a policy speech. It’s about getting kids to stay in school."

The Free Lance-Star will publish a story this weekend about how area school divisions are handling the speech.

The Stafford school system released this statement on its Web site:

"Because of logistical issues related to the first day of school and other concerns regarding the short planning window available, members of the Stafford County School Board have elected not to have Stafford’s schools participate in the live presentation on September 8th.  They have instead expressed a preference to make the President’s comments to students available via video at a later date.  The plan and procedures associated with making this opportunity available for Stafford’s students will be announced next week."


  • Cncrndcitzen

    I’m sure if a member of the school board wanted to address the students, they would be able to do so. What’s so wrong with having the children watch the President of the United States, OUR President of the United States on television? I think this “logistical issue” is made up and smells of partianship. So much for educating our children!

  • mustang2

    Any educator would understand the inappropriate timing of this address. The first day of school is chaotic and there needs to be an attempt at getting everyone settled. Arne Duncan reveals he does not understand this and neither does Obama. The real objection to the substance of this is the lesson plan suggestion asking students to write how they have helped Obama. It’s all about him, isn’t it? Not a very mature suggestion but rather one that reveals Obama’s narcissism.

  • zsantull

    Give me a break. Those who object are doing so not
    because they are concerned for children or how chaotic
    they think the first day of school is, but rather because
    they disagree with the President politically, or worse.
    This address does not fall to the left or the right. It is
    about helping students see the value in their education.

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