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Raw Chatter

Those who complained about President Obama's talk to schoolchildren last week apparently didn't hear or read the same message I did. If they had, they would not have complained.

There was nothing to complain about. The president's talk to students wasn't in any way political. Nothing! Not one word!

I applaud President Obama for taking his valuable time to talk with our schoolchildren. They need to know that he cares about them and the type of education they are getting in public schools around our country, including here in McDuffie County.

I can't remember for the life of me any other time a president thought enough about students in our country to actually take time from his busy schedule to talk to them.

My colleague, Lynn Davidson, who covers education in McDuffie and Warren counties, said that Steve Strouble, a former school system principal, recalled a time a time several years ago when the President George H.W. Bush addressed students. Mr. Strouble remembered having to arrange television sets for students to see and hear the president's comments.

Local School Board Chairwoman Georgia Hobbs remembered the occasion, too.

I'm saying if it was good enough for the students of McDuffie County to listen to a president's comments back then, it was fine for them to do it last week.

I wasn't pleased with the stance taken by the McDuffie County School Superintendent Jim LeBrun. I've been around Mr. LeBrun on several occasions and I think he's a nice guy. Overall, I also think that he's doing a fine job in his new position. I just think he could have been handled this matter in a different way.

Students wishing to watch the president's address live at noon should have been allowed to -- it's that simple. It would not have been a terrible thing, even if it did interfere somewhat with lunchtime.

Local students wanting to view the president's address were allowed to do so at a later time. Many of the students had to bring back signed permission slips to view it.

Did all of the students who wanted to see the president's address have to present a signed permission slip? I trust not, especially those old enough to cast votes in elections and old enough to join our military.

It's no wonder lots of people complain about too much government. Granted, government is good, but not when it infringes on the privileges of others.

We need more open-minded government leaders -- leaders such as President Obama who didn't carry a hidden agenda regarding his address to American students. He spoke to them about what he believes is best for them. After all, our young people are our future!

Web posted on Thursday, September 17, 2009

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