Tuesday, September 08, 2009

California tumbles into the sea; that'll be the day I go back to Arlington

I am ashamed this day to admit that I am a product of this Texas public school district, given the latest from the Associated Baptist Press:
ARLINGTON, Texas (ABP) -- A prominent black Southern Baptist pastor says a Texas school district should explain why it did not allow President Obama's Sept. 8 speech on education to be shown live in classrooms, but is planning later in the month to send selected fifth graders to a similar message by former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura.

The Arlington Independent School District was one of several across the United States that opted out of the live broadcast of the president's speech challenging students to take personal responsibility for their own education ....

School officials in Arlington -- a large suburb located between Dallas and Fort Worth -- said students with appropriate parental notification could take a half-day excused absence to watch the president's address at an off-campus location like a home, church or community center.

One of those sites was Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington. The 4,500-member, predominantly African-American congregation invited students from both Arlington and the neighboring Mansfield Independent School District to watch the message at the church and offered free lunches to the first 100 students requesting them ....

Later McKissic learned the Arlington Independent School District had accepted an invitation to take 28 fifth grade classes to a Sept. 21 media event sponsored by a committee preparing for the 2011 Super Bowl to be played at Arlington's new $1.15 billion Dallas Cowboys football stadium.

Along with the former president and first lady, the program will feature "legendary Dallas Cowboys," along with business and community leaders from across North Texas. The event, being held to announce "the largest youth-education program in Super Bowl history," will give invited students free lunches and a T-shirt. Planners were also working to "secure a performance by a well-known recording artist to cap the festivities in high style."

McKissic responded with a second press release calling it a "blatant double standard" to not permit students to hear one message while busing them to hear the other.

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