HISD: Students Should Come To School Tuesday

September 7, 2009

HISD officials said Friday “there is absolutely no reason” for parents to keep their children out of school Tuesday, since the district has made plans for students whose parents do not want them to  watch PresidentBarack Obama’s speech.

Obama’s back-to-school speech has generated controversy in many Texas school districts.

HISD spokesman Norm Uhl said the district is leaving the decision about whether to watch the President’s speech up to teachers.

Those teachers who plan to watch the speech and build a lesson plan around it are sending letters home to parents. Parents will have the opportunity to “opt out,” Uhl explained. Parents can now fill out a form posted on HISD’s web-site, at www. HISDConnect.com, and return it to their child’s school adminstrators.

HISD schools will provide “alternate learning activities” for those students whose parents don’t want them to watch the president.

“If parents have any doubt, they can send a note to their child’s teacher or contact their schools,” Uhl said.

“There is absolutely no reason for a parent to keep a child home on Tuesday, since we are accommodating their wishes,” Uhl said.

According to the White House, Obama will challenge students to work hard, set goals and take responsibility for their education. In advance of the speech, the U.S. Department of Education sent schools suggested activities for students  before, during and after Obama’s speech.

In a statement to parents posted on the district’s web-site, HISD officials said the president’s 11 a.m. address challenges students “to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning.”

“Each school’s administrators and teachers will make the decision as to whether to include the 15- to 20-minute address in the school day in conjunction with a lesson aligned to HISD’s curriculum.

“The district is not requiring any school or class to view the address, and parents may opt their child out of the activity. If a school decides to make President Obama’s address part of the instructional day, any of that school’s students who are excused from viewing it will engage in an alternative educational activity during the speech,” the school officials said.

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InstantNewsWestu Staff

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