Friday, September 11, 2009
La Mesa-Spring Valley trustee Rick Winet says Obama speech was "assault on constitution"; Halgren and Duff are sorry they voted with Winet
Board members Bill Baber (left) and Emma Turner (right) tried to defend openness and honesty in La Mesa-Spring Valley. They voted to allow students to hear President Obama's speech. Penny Halgren and Bob Duff now agree with them, and Rick Winet stands alone in his opposition.
Statements from La Mesa-Spring Valley school board members
San Diego Union Tribune
September 10, 2009
The La Mesa-Spring Valley school board voted 3-2 to prevent teachers from showing President Barack Obama's education speech to students on Tuesday. The three board members issued the following statements later this week:
Statement issued by Rick Winet on Sept. 8:
...My personal objection to the proposed presentation and curriculum by the President and the Secretary of Education centered on 2 areas:
1. This was a direct assault on The Constitution of The United States of America. U.S.C. code 3503 clearly states that Congress prohibits the Executive Branch from overriding local school boards and local branches of government of control of public school curriculum..I would not and will not ever support this sort of selfish, socialistic message as public school curriculum.
2. The President's speech and lesson plans were, in the end, clearly focused to deliver a message to high school age students... this message was not appropriate for a vast majority of our students...
Statement issued by trustee Penny Halgren on Sept. 10:
I apologize for my vote to delay showing President Obama's speech to the children in our school district. If I could roll back the clock and do it again, my vote would have been to show the speech live in our classrooms.
My intent was purely to create a rich and personally meaningful educational experience for each child in our district. Because of that narrow focus, I missed completely the value of the group experience gained by having all children listen to the speech at the same time.
Statement issued by trustee Bob Duff on Sept. 10:
After seeing the President's speech, I now believe the message should have been viewed live and I regret I was responsible for the delay. All should had the opportunity to have seen it live. For this I truly apologize.
Trustee Penny Halgren
'If I Could Roll Back the Clock'
Voice of San Diego
by Emily Alpert
September 10, 2009
I just got an e-mail from La Mesa-Spring Valley school board member Penny Halgren, apologizing for her vote to delay showing President Obama's speech to schoolchildren.
The East County district decided to make schools wait to show a recorded version of the speech until Wednesday so that it could be reviewed, barring them from turning on the live speech on Tuesday.
If I could roll back the clock and do it again, my vote would have been to show the speech live in our classrooms.
My intent was purely to create a rich and personally meaningful educational experience for each child in our district.
Because of that narrow focus, I missed completely the value of the group experience gained by having all children listen to the speech at the same time.
... She explained that she hadn't understood that the group experience -- not the exact content of the speech itself -- was part of what made the event important. Two teachers who talked with her about it convinced her that it should have been a collective experience. "There are certain things that you do in life that bring us together as a community and as a nation," she said...