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President Obama addresses students

Despite a nationwide controversy that ensnared local educators and parents, President Barack Obama’s much discussed speech to schoolchildren was broadcast in Lamar schools last week. Some parents asked the system to provide alternative activities for their kids. Others apparently just kept their youngsters at home. The speech turned out to be a largely rhetoric-free pep talk. Obama urged students to take responsibility for their education. He told them to go to class, listen and not let failures define them. ’At the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents and the best schools in the world,’ Obama said, ‘and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities.’

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