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— Students in the Decatur School District didn't watch President Obama's controversial address to the nation's school children during their lunch hour yesterday, but that doesn't mean they won't ever be watching it.

In Gentry, the decision whether to watch the President's address to children was left up to principals and teachers, with the option of parents taking children out of school or the room where the address was being viewed. Some parents opted to keep their children out of school for the day.

In response to the storm of debate in the media about the address, Superintendent Leroy Ortman decided to tape the speech and make it available for teachers to use in their instruction as they see fit - "if it's as benign as I think it's going to be," he said.

On Friday, Ortman said he hadn't heard from any parents concerned about the speech, only from the media.

The speech was to be broadcast live on C-SPAN and streamed on the White House Web site around 11 a.m. yesterday.

The President spoke directly to students across the country on the importance of taking responsibility for their education, challenging them to set goals and do everything they can to succeed, according the White House Web site www.whitehouse.gov.

The speech came with lesson plans for grades prekindergarten through 12th grade which were developed by the U.S. Department of Education.

News, Pages 8 on 09/09/2009

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