Columbia Schools View President's Speech

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COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools said schools throughout the district were given the option to watch President Obama's education speech Wednesday afternoon.

CPS spokesperson Michelle Baumstark said the district streams the President's education speeches every year. Teachers may have their classes watch the speech if it does not disrupt lesson plans.

At least one class at Oakland Junior High School watched the speech live, and all students at Jefferson Junior High School will watch the speech on Friday as part of an assignment. Officials at Rock Bridge High School said technical problems prevented them from streaming the speech live.

Baumstark said students are always given the option to "opt out" of watching the speech, but few ever do. She said only about 100 students out of a total enrollment of 18,000 have ever done so. She said she expected the same number or fewer students to opt out than last year. Baumstark said people may be more comfortable with the speech's content now that they know what to expect.