Our Daily Bleg: Did Your Kids' School Broadcast Obama's Speech?

My kids’ schools never stopped class to listen to President Bush‘s inauguration speech; but my sense in Connecticut is that many public and private schools stopped normally scheduled classes to listen to Obama‘s inauguration speech. News articles suggested that many schools considered his inauguration address a teachable moment.

The empiricist in me wonders whether this phenomenon is more pronounced in blue states than red states. Was yesterday just business as usual in Republican strongholds? Or did public school children listen en masse across these United States?


Instead of having students watch the inauguration in class, Baltimore City Schools decided to close.

Something tells me that the "teachable moment" would have been more effective if students had actually been in school.

I can understand why Washington D.C. schools would close, but not Baltimore unless your blue state theory is the real reason.


I live in a county that votes Republican, and my child watched it at school. My mother teaches in an adjacent (Republican voting) county and her students did not watch it because they don't have the equipment to do so.

The racial angle is likely lost on children - they're too young to remember a lot of the racial issues and civil rights movement.


In normally bright red Indiana (but finally blue this year), our grade school and middle school did have all the kids watch the proceedings. They started about 11:30 until the end of Obama's speech.

I think the school saw this inauguration differently than previous ones, because Obama is African-American. The historic nature of the event made it different.

I know I heard Rush on the radio try and paint the schools as promoting a pro-liberal agenda, but I think that explanation is too simplistic. Maybe even a little sour grapes.

I remember being in school and watching the the first Space Shuttle launch.

The schools should acknowledge these historic moments. It was the right thing to do to have the kids watch it.


My son is in 2nd grade in a public school in Los Angeles, and the whole school watched it.


I don't have any kids, but it is my understanding that schools in Oklahoma City did broadcast the inauguration.

Oklahoma is about as red as it gets, but OKC might be the closest thing to a bastion of liberal thought that this state has.

tony sheng

my kids watched it in school - columbia md, suburb between dc and baltimore. i'm glad they watched it in school.


My mother's middle school in Blue MN was asked to show the coverage.


My son's whole elementary school watched it from the swearing in of Biden and Obama through Obama's speech. We're in St. Louis county though our city tries to be very progressive, and has about a 50/50 racial breakdown.


I'm as hard core (economic) conservative as you can get, and I recognize that this is a moment in history that kids should be able to watch live and learn about. (but when this guy goes all socialist on you, don't say you weren't warned)


I'm in a staunch Republican stronghold, and my 5 year old watched the inauguration.


I'm from Alabama, deeply red state. And several of the public schools in the area not only watched it, but had special "inaugural ball" type celebrations.


I live outside of Atlanta, and most schools around here did essentially put everything on hold to watch.


My daughter's elementary school watched the whole day's events. The school I work in allowed teachers to show any, all or none of it in their own classrooms. My observation was that most teachers had the ceremony on all day. Perhaps there is hope for Indiana.

Avi Rappoport

Our public school in Berkeley (a city so blue it's nearly green) gathered in the auditorium and watched all together. The kids (a wide diversity, local and world-wide) took it quite seriously, There was a Notable Silence during and after Rick Warren's extremely Christian prayer: we did restrain ourselves from booing or hissing. And the rest was wonderful, though it was the adults who were crying.


My fiance's teaches at a school in Raleigh, NC where there was a planned special viewing set up in the library (although I believe not mandatory, up to the teacher's choice)... too bad it ended up being a snow day!


In a suburban Chicago area public school (in a portion that is clearly Republican), my child was hustled to the "Learning Resource Center" to watch the oath and a bit of the speech with many other classes (depending on lunch schedule). Of course, my child (in kindergarten) really just remembered Obama talking and the firing of the cannons after he was sworn in.


PA (private school)

Middle school and HS watched it. (Very blue school).


We live in a purple county (Adams) of a purple state (Colorado) and my daughter's school did indeed watch it.

Ellen Montgomery

My grandson's school in Baltimore Co., Maryland invited parents and siblings to watch the Inauguration speech and join in classroom activities. My daughter took 3 year old grand daughter and after the speech she got to make a model of an White House or one of the 3 Little Pigs house with the first grade class, to see if they could survived being dropped.

From what my daughter saids, the kids clapped as each person was announced during the Inauguration. I can hope that each of them will remember yesterday and the hands on science lesson.

All I can compare it to with my childhood in the 60's is getting to watch each Apollo mission take off and the turmoil of the Civil Right Movement and Vietnam War.. How thankful I am that my children and grandchildren are able to see MLK Jr.'s dream fulfilled. as President Obama took the oath of office.


I live in Oregon just outside Portland and my High Schooler and elementary schooler both saw the event in class. (8:30 local time to 9:30-10)