By Andrew Malcolm and Kate Linthicum | LA Times
September 20, 2009 | A recent string of decisions by officials at the Arlington Independent School District in Texas has ensured that there will be no politics in the classroom there. And, apparently, there will be no fun, either.
It all began when district Supt. Jerry McCullough denied students a chance to watch President Obama's speech to the nation’s schoolchildren about the importance of education. McCullough banned the address because, he said, it might interfere with lesson plans and cause a distraction.
But then word leaked that McCullough had approved a field trip for 600 fifth-graders to Cowboys Stadium for a Super Bowl XLV kickoff event in advance of the 2011 game at the new stadium in Dallas. Among the speakers scheduled for the event: former President George W. Bush.
Some parents complained. And the local and national media pounced. The superintendent, they charged, was clearly partisan.
So McCullough canceled the Bush event, too.
In a statement released Monday, McCullough said the decision was made "in order to maintain our focus on instruction."
But the students got the worst of it. They missed out on a political education -- and a field trip.