President’s speech to be presented this week

All Laguna Beach school district students will hear President Barak Obama’s “back to school” speech to U.S. students this week, Supt. Robert Fraisse said Tuesday.

Students didn’t hear the message in school when it was broadcast on Sept. 8.

Fraisse’s decision not to arrange for the message to be broadcast to schools on the first day of school was prompted by threats of some parents to keep their children home on that day, and also due to practical considerations, he said.

The speech was aired live around noon in Virginia, and would have been disruptive to “first day” activities in the Laguna Beach schools, Fraisse said. Adding to the difficulty of planning for the broadcast was the fact that the day preceding the first day of school this year was a holiday, he added.


The decision to tape the speech and determine how to present it caused an angry reaction from a number of current and former school district parents.

An announcement on the district’s website posted at 3 p.m. today states: “Our District’s plan to tape President Obama’s motivational speech to young Americans and take full value of the message by showing it to our students in all grades once school got up and running is now underway. Each school has developed its own plan by which the students will view the speech and have an opportunity for developmentally appropriate follow up lessons. In our elementary schools the speech will be connected to our positive behavior program and the speech will be used this Friday as a teaching tool to support our behavior pillars. At Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School the speech will be viewed in social science classes this week.”