Friday, September 4, 2009

Newport-Mesa USD Superintendent Will Not Show Obama Presidential Address to Students

So I was on Facebook just moving through as I usually do. Usually I’m talking with people, trying to find new stories, or researching a story when I’m on the net. Well a story did come to me as I was reading Katrina Foley’s post on FB about the NMUSD Superintendent.

As I read her post I thought, “Wow, now here is a story.” But I also thought, “Wow, here is my first LOCAL story on my blog ever.”

Obviously the Newport-Mesa Unified School District covers the Newport/Costa Mesa area schools. I know, I know, I live in Fountain Valley so why aren’t I covering something in my district. Well my answer is simple. Just a stones throw away from HBUHSD and FVSD is NMUSD. If the Superintendent of NMUSD is barring his students from watching the President give an address which is mean for school success it will only be a matter of time before someone here in my district does the same…if it hasn’t happened already.

I did some share of research, even called FVSD and HBUHSD and left messages. Hopefully I can get an answer by Monday on whether or not those two districts will also not show the President’s address.

This was supposed to be an opportunity for children to see the President give an address that was specifically meant for them. An address which Glenn Beck calls indoctrination; I call an address on how students and schools can succeed.

I never got to see the President give a live speech to me and my peers in the class room ever. It would be such an awesome experience in my opinion if the Superintendent would just put things aside and start the new school year with a rousing speech by the President. But instead he wants to focus on other things.

Dr. Jeff Hubbard is the man in question. He is the Superintendent of NMUSD, the man who is preventing children from watching the live streaming address. But why would he be doing that? I found what seems to be some kind of press release regarding Dr. Hubbard, and then a statement by Hubbard. The statements seem to contradict each other…


Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Hubbard appreciates the attention the President of the United States is giving our schoolchildren and the attention that he is giving to the most important policy matter of our day. At the same time, the Superintendent has always been a strong advocate for protecting the rights of conscience of both children and parents, and believes that the District’s approach in this matter is appropriately sensitive to the wide variety of political sensitivities and viewpoints in this diverse District. the good Doctor is afraid that if he allows children in schools to watch this live streaming Presidential address that some people with “political sensitivities” will be upset. He wants to protect the conscience rights of both his students and their parents...but mainly he doesn’t want some parent getting their undies in a twist and breathing down his neck because they don’t agree with Obama.

Then I found this…letter I guess. It looks like it was meant for teachers and staff and possibly parents.


On Tuesday, Sept. 8, President Barack Obama will deliver a speech to U.S. schoolchildren. It is to be broadcast live via the White House Web site, and on C-SPAN. The U.S. Department of Education reports that this is the first time an American president has spoken directly to schoolchildren about success in school. The Department provides the following information about the speech’s content:

“The President will challenge students to work hard, and take responsibility for their learning. He will also call for a shared responsibility and commitment on the part of students, parents and educators to ensure that every child in every school receives the best education possible so they can compete in the global economy for good jobs and live rewarding and productive lives as American citizens.”

Based on this description, Newport-Mesa Unified School District believes this is a unique opportunity for students to hear from the President of the United States. The U.S. Department of Education’s Web site provides additional information about the address at

Because September 8 is NMUSD’s first day of school, we plan to capture the President’s address for possible later viewing to students. We will not be showing the President's address streamed live on Tuesday, September 8 at 9:00 a.m. in any classroom in NMUSD as we face technological issues with our internet access. We have many things to accomplish on the first day of school and this will give principals and teachers the opportunity to tend to several important tasks and focus on students, as well as an opportunity to preview the speech to identify age/grade appropriateness of content. The principal, in consultation with teachers, will exercise their discretion and may choose to show the speech at a later time as it fits into their curriculum. If after review by the principal and teachers, a decision is made to show the video at a later date, the school site will notify parents well in advance so that they may complete the attached waiver and opt out their child(ren) from participating.

We provide you with the below form. Please fill out the form if you request a waiver of participation. Principals have been directed to provide an alternative educational activity for children whose parents or guardians do not wish to have them view the address.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and for partnering with us in the education of children.


Dr. Jeffrey Hubbard, Superintendent

Technical problems are to blame for not allowing children to watch the live streaming Presidential address. Wow, all of the schools in NMUSD are having computer problems? And since they all apparently have these net issues he is going to focus on something else and maybe…just maybe will show the address at a later time and date which are yet to be set.

I honestly think showing the address to kids on the first day of school would be awesome. It’s a great way to start a new school year, and Dr. Hubbard wants to prevent it from being shown because of political sensitivities and an alleged internet access problem that is apparently affecting all of the schools in his district…

Dr. Hubbard has turned this awesome, monumental, and historical address about school success into something political.

Obama is going to be talking to kids about work ethics, making educational goals for themselves, and taking responsibility for their learning. This is not some indoctrination; he isn’t filling up their heads with BS Nazi crap (IE. Beware the Jew). He’s telling them to stay in school and learn!

Dr. Hubbard, you have turned a positive message about education meant for our students into a political issue. I believe that you are either afraid of some parents getting upset with the schools, or you may just be someone who doesn’t want the President to address students because you don’t agree with him. Which is it?

I urge everyone to call NMUSD, FVSD, HBUHSD, or your USD and tell them that you think all children should have unbridled access to the address.

NMUSD- 714-424-5000

FVSD- 714-843-3200

HBUHSD- 714-903-7000

Your best bet is to call on Monday, and get as many people as you know to do the same. Or you can call today and leave a message. It’s short notice I know, but hopefully we can bombard them with support for the address and they will show it.


  1. To me this begs the question whether there is any historical precedence here for any of those districts. I'd bet money that if this were a speech made by a republican president the speech would be shown with little more than a parental notification. very interesting story

  2. I was going to say that very thing in the blog but I refrained for some reason. You're right though, and I see it that way as well. The currently political "strife", this "political sensitivity" is all an excuse.


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