LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) - While hundreds of thousands of school-aged children watchedPresident Obama in class Tuesday, some school districts likeLongmeadow, protested his message by not airing it.
Longmeadow students were welcomed back to school Tuesday butPresident Obama was not.
"There shouldn't be a controversy over hearing the President ofthe United States give an address to motivate students to stay inschool," argued Longmeadow parent, Rebecca Townsend.
"I think it's important because we have to stay in school tohave a good education," remarked Longmeadow 6th grader MichaelaConners."
Kindergarten students to seniors in high school across thecountry listened as the President spoke to students, while someschool districts, like Longmeadow opted out.
In a letter to parents, Center School Elementary Principal DonnaHutton wrote in part, "Since our focus is to keep 'eyes on thechild - learning' and we pride ourselves on making informeddecisions, our district will be taping the President's message forpossible future viewing."
"Some families did not want their children viewing it, so whatwould they do with those children?" questioned Longmeadow parent,Cheri Mustain.
Though many parents like Townsend feel their children wereshielded by a school she says, played politics, "if a handful ofparents call to complain about what they claim is a 'politicalspeech', then it becomes a political question."
There are some Longmeadow parents happy that the school didn'tshow the President's speech, although they wouldn't comment on therecord. Meanwhile some parents like Hilary Coughlin disagree withthe decision, and pulled her two children out of school in protestto watch it at home.
"I feel like what were fighting for, freedom in othercountries...it's sad because we're being oppressed to it here, itsvery un-American to me," said Coughlin.
Congressman Richard Neal thinks Longmeadow missed the message,"it didn't strike me as a political message, rather a suggestion toindividuals to look at what you can accomplish by hard work, selfdiscipline and determination."