Lowndes schools participate in President's broadcast - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lowndes schools participate in President's broadcast

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Students who attend Lowndes County Schools were given the opportunity to watch the President's address to students.

But the Valdosta City School System did not allow the broadcast in the classrooms.

Lowndes County School System parents were given the choice on Friday to allow or not allow their students to view the President's national address. 

"We had a lot of parents that had concerns about how this speech would affect their children and it's certainly a parent's right," said Principal Beth Lind, Dewar Elementary School.

The majority of students at the school, 82 percent, watched the President's speech.

The students not allowed to watch, participated in an alternate activity and were not penalized.

"The President is helping us stay in school," said student Trinity Muff.

Students seemed to enjoy the speech and Principal Lind said the message sent to students was strong.

"I really think that anytime the president speaks and we can make it educational and relevant to kids, it's a good thing for them to see," said Lind.

Valdosta City School System did not participate in the broadcast and some parents disagreed with that decision.

"I just feel it's a travesty that students were being denied the opportunity to hear our nation's leader," said Laverne Rome, concerned Valdosta parent.

Dr. Cason noted several reasons as to why city schools did not show the broadcast.

"President Obama's staff bypassed superintendents and boards and went directly to principals with their lesson plans which left them out of the loop," said Valdosta City Schools Superintendent Dr. Bill Cason. 

Cason says there simply was not enough notice to have teachers' lesson plans align with the Georgia Performance Standards.

He says students need as much instructional time as possible.

"We just simply can't afford to not take advantage of every instructional moment that we have," said Cason.

Because the address was at lunch time added Cason, not everyone would've been able to tune in.

The Valdosta City School System says they recorded the address so students without internet access have a chance to watch it.

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