Kids Didn't Hear Obama, But Will Be Bussed for Bush

Church questions district's "duplicity" on president talks

By Stacy Morrow
|  Wednesday, Sep 9, 2009  |  Updated 2:27 PM PDT
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Kids Didn't Hear Obama, But Will Be Bussed for Bush

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The Arlington Independent School District, which passed on airing President Barack Obama's live classroom address, has announced that some students will be bussed off campus to hear a message from former President George W. Bush on Sept. 21.

District officials said it's part of a Cowboys Stadium field trip that the North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee invited 28 fifth-grade classes to attend several months ago.

In addition to hearing from Bush and former first lady Laura Bush, the students will hear from legendary Dallas Cowboys players and North Texas business and community leaders. The event launches the Super Bowl committee's largest-ever youth education program.

Students must have their parents' permission to attend, school officials said.

Dwight McKissic Sr., the senior pastor of Arlington's Cornerstone Baptist Church, said he's concerned about the district's decision to not broadcast Obama's message while transporting students to hear a message from Bush.

"I do not understand the duplicity in this situation," McKissic said in a news release from the church. "I believe the students and the public deserve and need to have these differences explained."

Obama told students to stay in school, work hard and set goals in an 18-minute speech delivered Tuesday morning from Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va.

The Arlington school district, like many in North Texas, decided not to broadcast the president's speech live after some parents expressed concern about its content.

The district said the recorded speech would be made available through its Web site.

The school district allowed students with permission slips from parents an excused absence to watch Obama's speech at an off-site location.

Cornerstone Baptist Church was among the facilities that broadcast Obama's address for students and parents who wanted to watch the speech live.

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