From King 5:
Millions of people will be glued to the TV next week when President-elect Barack Obama takes his oath of office. But in Federal Way, students will need to get permission from their parents to watch the historical inauguration in school.
“I think that's a little overkill,” said parent Pam Ditzhazy. “Maybe it should even been required to see it. It's a huge event.”
Federal way principals received an e-mail notifying them of the rule.
“There is no big deal. The goal is to once again build partnerships, keep parents informed. Say ‘Hey. This is your child. Your education.’ We think it's a great opportunity. We're going to afford the kids that opportunity, but we want the parents to make that call,” said Dr. Joshua Joseph Garcia, Federal Way's Executive Director of Teaching for Learning.
The concern is that the televised inauguration was not listed in syllabus handed out at the beginning of the term. The district considers the inauguration a full length documentary, unlike some newspaper or internet reference articles which do not require pre-approval.
Students who don’t return the signed forms will go somewhere else for a different assignment.
Federal Way is the same district that put a moratorium on Al Gore's Oscar winning film about global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth,” while the board investigated whether a screening adhered to district policies.
Some parents do not consider the inauguration as an issue needing balance but, instead, a current event that will shape their child's future.
“It’s pretty exciting, like the Olympics,” said parent Liu Rameriz.
Neither Seattle nor Tacoma schools require parental permission before students can watch the inauguration.