(WLNS) – Parents with students at Explorer Elementary in Williamston are raising concerns about 4th grade teacher not allowing students to hear Donald Trump’s Inauguration speech.
Ahead of President Elect Donald Trump’s speech this Friday, Williamston Public Schools 4th grade teacher Brett Meteyer sent an email to parents of student in his class, saying as other classes at Explorer Elementary watch the Inauguration, his students will not watch Trump’s speech.
The letter reads in part:
“I showed the speeches of Presidents Obama and Bush in 2009 and 2005 respectively, but I am anxious about showing Mr. Trump’s inaugural address given his past inflammatory and degrading comments about minorities, women and the disabled”.
The Williamston community has responded on social media as well as direct questions and concerns sent to Mr. Meteyer.
Parents with students in his class and other classes say they don’t believe his decision and actions are warranted as a teacher.
Natalie Pennington, whose son was in Mr. Meteyer’s class last year says the 4th grade teacher’s recent decision is not one he should be able to make.
“I think its for parents to handle political things with their kids and being able to decide whether or not they watch it,” Mother of students at Explorer Elementary Pennington said.
Erin Reynolds, who has a daughter in the 3rd grade says she doesn’t believe any bad can come from watching Trump’s speech, and that not allowing students to watch, eliminates a learning experience.
“It makes me sad that the kids would be shielded from that rather than giving them the opportunity to rise to the occasion and to tackle those things,” Reynolds said.
Both mothers say despite what Trump has said before, they believe students should be taught about acceptance and standing together as a nation.
“Teaching respect to our kids about leaders is really important,” Pennington said.
“Turning our back on our political process think sends the wrong message,” Reynolds added.
Reynolds says even if Trump were to make comments that raise concern, it would allow for open conversation within the classroom to take place.
“It gives a great platform to discuss as teacher and student what was wrong with that”>
Williamston Elementary responded to parents with a letter which said in part:
“The District administration expects teachers to represent a balanced perspective consistent with the curriculum and demonstrate good judgment in their communication with families”.