Tags: georgia | obama | speech

Ga. Supt. Under Fire for Not Airing Obama Speech

By Jim Meyers   |   Wednesday, 16 Sep 2009 12:01 PM

An official with an African-American association has called for the resignation of a white school superintendent who declined to air President Barack Obama's speech on education during school hours.

The Rev. Floyd Rose, president of the Valdosta/Lowndes County (Ga.) Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, spoke at a Valdosta Board of Education meeting on Monday. He chastised Superintendent Bill Cason for not allowing students in the predominantly black school system to watch Obama's Sept. 8 speech.

“Here is what I know, here is what you know, here is what the hundreds of people here and out in the street know,” Rose told the gathering, which included many parents.

“If Dr. Cason were black and 80 percent of the school children in his district were white, and he arbitrarily decided not to allow white children to watch a white president’s ‘back to school’ speech, and whites came here tonight in the numbers that blacks have come to protest, he would resign, or be fired. And we are here to demand no less.”

Cason said he did not air the speech because "it did not align with the Georgia Performance Standards that are the basis for the school lessons plans and...would cut into instructional time," The Valdosta Daily Times reported.

When Cason pointed out that a number of other school systems in the area also did not air the speech live, someone in the audience shouted: "Those schools are not 80 percent black."

Cason told the crowd: "I am not a racist. And I am not a person that does not put children first."

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