Protesters picket over decision not to show Obama school speech

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Members of various groups turned out at the Indian River County School District’s offices Tuesday morning to protest the School Superintendent’s decision not to air President Barack Obama’s speech to school children until it had been reviewed for content.

The Indian River County NAACP, local ministers and Democratic groups were among those turning out to wave flags and signs at the district’s offices at 8 a.m. and the plan return at 6 p.m. for the School Board’s regular meeting.

Their goal for the morning protest is to get the district to reverse course and allow President Obama’s speech to be aired live in the schools’ classrooms. School Board Chairwoman Carol Johnson said over the weekend that Superintendent Dr. Harry La Cava made the decision not to show the speech based on school board policies that require reviewing the material prior to showing students. Also, the superintendent had consulted the district’s attorney and others prior to making his decision.

Johnson said that the district did not have enough time to review the president’s speech, as the text had not been released until Monday — a Federal holiday when school officials were out of school.

The 18-minute long presidential address is meant to inspire school children at all levels to set goals for themselves and to strive to achieve those goals, according to the White House.

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