Since You Asked: It's unclear how many students saw Obama's speech

When the new school year started and President Obama gave the speech to all returning schoolchildren, the Medford School District superintendent decided not to show it at that time.

Since I have never heard any more about it, some of us who do not have any children in school were wondering if he ever did show it to the students.

— Kathy M., Medford

It's unclear how many of the Medford School District's 12,000 students saw the president's speech from Sept. 8 at Medford schools., but all teachers were eventually told they could show it.

A week after the speech was given, Medford schools Superintendent Phil Long gave teachers permission to show the recording of the speech in classrooms. At the same time, the district's curriculum department sent out lesson activities teachers could use to incorporate the speech into the district's curriculum, said Human Resources Director Todd Bloomquist, who oversees curriculum.

"We asked principals informally how many teachers used it," Bloomquist said. "Some said they were working it in. There were quite a few, but I don't have any data. Teachers were definitely allowed to show it and work it into the curriculum."

Long delayed permission to show the speech to give the curriculum department time to review the materials and to give parents the time to express in writing to principals if they didn't want their children to see it.

As with some other school superintendents in Southern Oregon, he said the first day of school was not the appropriate time to show the speech, because it could disrupt the start of the year.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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