Tom & Lynn Renner Emails
On Wednesday September 9th I spoke at length with Mr. Tom Renner regarding the District/School choice relative to the Obama Speech. He asserted his belief in the importance of having a clear policy for the district to rely on in the future for such events. I agreed that this would be reasonable. I recommended he write an email to me stating his concerns and indicated that I would direct this to the school board for discussion of consideration as a policy. I received the email from Mrs. Renner, addressed to me, Dr. Thomson, and Mr. Karnofski. It reads:
Today our President Obama addressed school children across the nation. I did receive the letter home from Dr. Cari Thomson informing us parents of this address and that if we DIDN'T want our child to watch the speech, to send a note to school. I very much DID want my son to see this speech and was extremely disappointed when I came home from work to find out he was not given this opportunity. My son goes to a public school, funded by taxes, and that school didn't give my son the opportunity to hear the President.
I am disappointed in the schools response to the politicizing of this event and even more so, the fact that my son was not given the opportunity to see the speech with his peers. If his classroom (for whatever reasons) was not showing the speech, he should have been given the choice to see it in another room. Again, the letter sent home was for parents to chose to remove their child from seeing the speech, not visa versa. If I had known what the outcome was going to be, I would have sent a letter to school indicating Josiah was to SEE the speech. I am gravely disappointed in all of you. I do plan to speak to a board member. I have always voted for my tax money to support schools. With acts like this, I will be rethinking this. This is a PUBLIC school, funded by taxes. Did you read the speech text presented ahead of time? I did. There was nothing in that speech that a public school should consider inappropriate to our children and your students. Our children will receit the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, yet our school just taught them to not respect listening to our President who was addressing them personally. I do invite a response from you, but I suggest that you pull out the TV's, find a copy of the speech, and make it available for these students to witness with their peers al biet late.
Lynn Renner, mother of Josiah Renner 8th grader.
On Thursday Mr. Renner sent the following email:
Sending e-mail as discussed per our phone conversation.
Thoughts for the school board: Should there be a policy about viewing and or listening to presidential addresses? I believe that when a president takes time out to address the children of this great nation and if it is during school time it should be shown to the children. There may be conflicts if it is left up to individual teachers to decide. I don't care repo or demo the president should be respected. How can we ask our children to say the pledge every morning and than not respect our leader? I believe the president as our elected leader should have the last word. If he wants to speak to the children It should be made possible. The president is the top dog, the commander and chief, the leader of the free world. I would hope the president knows what is appropriate for children to hear. We live in a great democratic nation. Our leader is chosen by the will of the people and we must respect that choice. I want my child to respect authority. What does it say to my child if his teacher says that what the president will say is not important so I won't show it. It will most likely cause any normal child to think, well the teacher doesn't respect this authority, so why should I? I think all would be much better and a learning opportunity if the speeches are heard and than discussed. A policy that has these historic moments made available to our school children is a good idea. Its a bad idea to have teachers decide individually.
Thomas Renner Sr.