President Obama was welcomed with a roar of applause in the high school gymnasium of Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia Tuesday.
"We've got students tuning in from all across America," said President Obama. "I'm glad you could all join us today." The President's 15-minute speech aired on C-SPAN and streamed live on the web at whitehouse.gov. The president's message was simple. He urged students to stay in school and get good grades in order to be successful in the future.
"At the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers,the most supportive parents and the best schools in the world and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities."
Although there was concern leading up to Tuesday's speech, most school districts in Southern Colorado left it up to school principals to decide whether or not to broadcast the speech in their respective schools.
Students at South High in Pueblo tuned into the president's speech. They seemed to be receptive and supportive of his message.
"He didn't candy coated anything. He just gave it to us the way it is. If you let yourself down, you let your country down," said one student.
There was concern from parents about the possibility of politics in the classroom. Some parents opted their children out of the speech. While others were okay with it, as long as they were in the classroom too.
"I wanted to come and see what it was all about and from that we may have alittle discussion about it later," said parent Pat Doyle.
"I thought he was alittle above the elementary age, but I watched the children and they seemed to get it pretty well," said grandmother Judy Hitchcock.
After it was all said and done, the President's speech came off as more of a "pep talk" of sorts. "Don't let us down. Don't let your family down, or your country down, or yourself down. Make us all proud."
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