AISD Super Cancels Field Trip to See Bush at Stadium

By Frank Heinz
|  Monday, Sep 14, 2009  |  Updated 1:00 PM CDT
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AISD Super Cancels Field Trip to See Bush at Stadium

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The superintendent of Arlington schools, Jerry McCullough, now says fifth-grade classes will not take part in a planned Super Bowl event at Cowboys Stadium on Sept. 21.

After apologizing late last week for a decision that brought national attention to the district (alleged favoritism of former President George W. Bush speaking at Cowboys Stadium over President Barack Obama's speech to schools), McCullough announced that he will not allow students to go on the field trip.

"Last week I made the same decision that many of our neighboring districts did and did not show the president's speech live, and I apologized for my decision," McCullough said in a statement Monday. "The issue of a field trip for 600 fifth-grade students to participate as a part of a Super Bowl XLV kickoff event for a community service program has become a local and national issue and a distraction for the AISD. I have informed the North Texas Super Bowl XLV host committee that the AISD will not participate in the kickoff event on Sept. 21 in order to maintain our focus on instruction."

Obama's speech to students was to be recorded and made available for teachers to use at another time and on the district's Web site. McCullough and the district caught more flack when it was revealed students would not only be allowed to hear Bush speak, but that they would be bussed to the location.

"In retrospect, I can see how the district’s decisions concerning these two events could be seen as favoring one event over another," McCullough said in a statement last week. "I sincerely regret that this chain of events has occurred and brought negative attention to our district. I apologize that my decisions on behalf of the district have disappointed or hurt people."

In addition to hearing from Bush, students were also going to hear speeches from former first lady Laura Bush, legendary Dallas Cowboys and business and community leaders.

McCullough assumed the role of superintendent of Arlington schools in July of last year and was officially appointed to the position on Jan. 14.

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