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New Rochelle Schools Chief Bans Discussion, Viewing of @TrumpInaugural

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New Rochelle Schools Chief Bans Discussion, Viewing of @TrumpInaugural

January 20, 2017 - 20:04
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NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Donald J. Trump was sworn in today as the 45th President of the United States, an event likely unfamiliar to most public school students in the City School District of New Rochelle. This after Schools Superintendant Brian Osborne banned any viewing or discussion of the nation's 58th Inaguration.

"Word came down from Osborne that nothing is to be shown or talked about involving President Trump," said one source.

"One teacher is in tears," the source added.

Jennifer Parente, a parent of a child in the District, called the Superintendent's Office for an explanation only to receive a classic "non-denial denial". She was told by Osborne's staff, "there is no memo" . When she persisted Osborne himself got on the line to ask that Parente name her source. She refused.

"This is true," said former school board candidate James O'Toole. "Osborne told principal's to tell the teachers "no showing", it's all over the District."

Osborne made sure nothing was in writing, said O'Toole.

Many teachers have confirmed that they were told explicitly "no Trump" on Inaguration Day.

"Nothing was put in writing, said one source. "Osborne verbaly instructed his principles to tell their teachers. The principals then went to peer-leader teachers and they were instructed to convey the message to the other teachers."

"He covered his butt on this," said one City Hall source.

"It's shocking, said Westchester County Legilslator Sheila Marcotte, perhaps with a hint of irony. "It was an historic event that should be shared with the students."

"Making the choice not to do so is sad and served no purpose, Marcotte added. "The students who didn't watch missed a great opportunity to witness history happening."

All of this stands in sharp contract to Barack Obama's first Inaguration in 2008 which was widely celebrated through the District. Television sets were wheeled into classrooms to watch the live broadcast, teachers educated students on the peaceful transition of power, the Whitney E. Young Auditorium was filled to capacity with hundreds of teachers and students taking time out of the school day to watch President Obama be sworn in as the nation's 44th President. Second graders were required to use crayons to color in Obama campaign material. Obama's portait was hung in every school in the district where they remain to this day.

Many residents expressed a mixture of disbelief and outrage at what some saw as censorship. Others saw Osborne's tactics as a missed opportunity to educate students.

"It's history, said Sarra Lorbert. "No matter who the president is those kids should be watching".

"He should be fired for violating the rights of free speech of our children," said longtime New Rochelle resident Thomas O'Keefe.

"Kids should see the ease with which our great country transfers power," said Lester Millman.

"Shame," said Bob Clark of New Rochelle. "Whichever side you're on, this is the dictionary definition of a teachable moment."

"The whole day could and should be a moment of peaceful, spirited debate", said Clark.