JEFFERSON CITY - Top education officials were unavailable for comment Tuesday on one of the most talked about education speeches.
The lower education commissioner and members of the state board of education were unavailable for comment, however, other Missouri officials expressed support for President Obama's speech to American students.
Although the speech was delivered Tuesday, a transcript of the president's prepared remarks was released by the White House prior to the event. A controversy immediately arose as parents, educators and officials worried it would be politically loaded.
Rumors also arose that the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education was refusing to let students see the president's address. Jim Morris, director of public information said this wasn't the case. DESE advised the choice to air the speech was a local decion."Schools needed to do what was best for them and their students," said Jim Morris, director of public information at DESE.
Some schools in Mid-Missouri chose to record the speech and play it at a later date. Others sent permission slips home to parents. Students who were not granted permission to watch the speech had study hall rooms available to them.
Todd Fuller, spokesman for the Missouri State Teachers Association, supported the president's message. He noted that many discussions about education revolve around parental and teacher responsibilities. "I think President Obama did a good job talking about the responsibility of students as well. That's a message that gets overlooked and I think it's an important one," Fuller said.
Fuller hopes the message will resonate with students throughout Missouri.
Fuller added, "We're just getting back in to the swing of things with school. It's a good time for a message like this when people are ready for the learning process to begin again."