Obama Speech to Students in Humble ISD – 9/8/09
From tired dog: thank you for the update!
Am advised that for Humble schools, it is teacher option as to the Sept 8 presentation will be shown, and, HISD will respect parent choice as to whether or not student views it. Good for Humble schools.
Also, see Dan Huberty (HISD board) letter to SecEd Arne at: http://www.harriscountygop.com/documents/Letter_Secretary_of_Education.pdf
Click on More to read HISD President’s letter in its entirety.
Daniel G. Huberty
Humble Independent School District
20200 Eastway Village Drive
Humble, TX 77338
September 3, 2009
Mr. Arne Duncan
Secretary of Education
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202
Dear Mr. Secretary:
I understand that your office sent a request to all of the school districts across the country, which was addressed to our principals that our students tune into an internet broadcast by President Obama next week. As the request was sent directly to our principals and not through the proper protocol of our administrators, you have created a state of confusion. You of all people should know you cannot allow that type of request to be distributed to our staff, without going through the proper channels.
As a former Superintendent, I am sure you realize that our curriculum is very stringent and deliberate. In addition, as a former superintendent, I am sure you realize that your request will only disrupt the lesson plans that have already been developed for that day. Finally, as a former superintendent, you must realize that your request appears to have some political ramifications.
You as a former superintendent dealt with mandates, forced laws, and intrusions into your schools. I understand you have a long record of standing up against those types of issues. I also know that you understand that the President has placed school board members, such as myself, in a no win situation based on the way you handled this matter. As a result, I am formally requesting that you do not go forward with this planned broadcast. Instead, if you want to share this message, and it has a basis related to our curriculum, please send to us for review in advance. We will then have the opportunity to share with the parents and guardians of our students, and they can decide if their children will review.
Our district is not going to formally participate in this event. However, many students may be held out from school for political reasons, and as such, this will only hurt our school district even more. You are creating a wedge in our society that cannot be overcome overnight by allowing this to happen. I respect your office and the office of the President of the United States. However, if I put my parent hat on for a second, I cannot stand by and let what is being described as an innocent broadcast (if you say so, let us see it in advance) take place without knowing for sure what the message will be to my three children.
Please do not think for a second that I am being unrealistic, quite the contrary. I am tired of government entities putting local school boards in a position to be the bad guy. Please stop, think about what message you are trying to deliver, and handle this correctly.
I urge you to not broadcast this message next week, it has been a complete distraction already this week, and it will only get worse. My constituents are split on this issue, and by bifurcating the parents of our District, this is creating a truly partisan political disagreement. This as you are well aware as a former superintendent, has no place in our schools. Mr. Secretary, you must not allow this to happen.
Feel free to call me at your convenience, if you care to discuss.
Daniel G. Huberty
C: Guy Sconzo, Superintendent, Humble ISD