Wake County school board chairman Ron Margiotta is not objecting to schools showing President Barack Obama's second annual back-to-school speech on Tuesday.
As noted in today's article, Margiotta had objected last year to the speech being shown in school and unsuccessfully tried to get his fellow school board members to vote on the issue. Margiotta, then in the board minority, had said "we just don't need political figures to take over our schools."
But Margiotta said that, based on how innocuous last year's speech was, he's not objecting this time.
“I don’t think it will be a problem,” Margiotta said Thursday. “It didn’t turn out to be as bad as we thought last year.”
The state Republican Party is also dialing down the criticism. Last year, state GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer had urged schools not to air the speech.
Fetzer isn't making the same request this year for schools not to show the speech. But Fetzer said Friday that he still considers it inappropriate for Obama to take away teaching and learning time by making the speech during the school day.
Individual Wake principals will decide whether to air the speech. Some might send home consent forms while others might just wait to see if any parents object.
Margiotta urged parents who are uncomfortable about the speech not to keep their kids at home Tuesday. He said concerned parents should notify the principal to see about doing an alternative activity when the speech is shown.
Click here to view the text of Obama's speech on Tuesday.