Texas Church Opens Doors for Obama’s Student Address

081709 Obama VFW

An Arlington church is opening its doors Tuesday to show students a national address by President Barack Obama, after some area school districts declined. 

Cornerstone Baptist Church is providing the option after Arlington and Mansfield independent school district officials said they won't air the president's address live.

The Arlington school district said students who supply proof of their parents' approval will be dismissed from class to watch the address at an off-site location. It will be considered an excused absence, and students should return to school within a reasonable time after the address, district officials said.

Church leaders plan to show the 11 a.m. speech live in the sanctuary and said they are expecting anywhere from 100 to 200 children and their parents.

Church leader Vera McKissic admits she doesn't agree with all the president's policies, but said she believes the speech does have educational and historical significance.

"Let's say there were some political things that they disagreed with, what better opportunity to go home and teach your children this is what the president said, this is what we believe and this is why," she said.

The White House later released the text of the speech to soothe the concerns of parents and conservative leaders who feared  President Obama might be spreading a political agenda.

Here's a look at how some of the other big North Texas districts plan to handle Obama's speech:

  • Dallas will make the speech available, and allow principals to choose whether to show it.
  • Fort Worth will show the speech, and have alternate activities for students who choose not to watch it.
  • Plano plans to record it, and make it available for teachers to show later in the week, with other activities for students who don't want to see it.
  • Denton will have the speech available on its website for parents and students to watch on their own time.
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