La Mesa School Board: Oops

The La Mesa Spring Valley School Board admits they were wrong.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A local school board apologized Tuesday night for blocking students from watching last week's speech by President Obama, but not without first listening to a few last biting words from angry parents.

    The issue began last week,  when President Barack Obama addressed students nationwide, urging them to work hard and stay in school. Many parents around the country opposed the concept of the president addressing students in their classrooms fearing the speech was pushin a political agenda. 

    Around San Diego county, many districts left the decision up to educators. The La Mesa Spring Valley Unified School District blocked the speech from being broadcast to students. 

    On Labor Day, the board held a special meeting which, heated at times, ended with a compromise. The schools decided not to air the speech live but recorded it and will allow students to watch the speech or parts of it over the next few days. Parents also had the option to opt out completely.

    “I just think it was a good compromise because it’s very controversial and it gave us an opportunity to focus our instruction around what is going to be meaningful,” said school board president Penny Halgren.
     

    After outcries from the community, the three board members who voted to block the speech now say they regret their decision, including  Halgren.

    "I did not understand the significance of the group event and having all children hear his speech live. And so, for that, I am really sorry that our children missed that and I just can't even say I'm sorry enough," said Halgren.

    The sea of parents at Tuesday night's meeting clapped and cheered for the two board members who voted against  blocking the speech. 

    After accepting three formal apologies, the board then moved on to other business.

    For purposes of full disclosure, La Mesa Spring Valley Unified School trustee Rick Winet is an employee of NBC 7/39, but he does not work in the news department.