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Our Daily Bleg: Did Your Kids’ School Broadcast Obama’s Speech?—A Commentary by Ian Ayres ’86

The following commentary was published in The New York Times on January 21, 2009.

Our Daily Bleg: Did Your Kids’ School Broadcast Obama’s Speech?
By Ian Ayres ’86

My kids’ schools never stopped class to listen to President Bush’s inauguration speech; but my sense in Connecticut is that many public and private schools stopped normally scheduled classes to listen to Obama’s inauguration speech. News articles suggested that many schools considered his inauguration address a teachable moment.

The empiricist in me wonders whether this phenomenon is more pronounced in blue states than red states. Was yesterday just business as usual in Republican strongholds? Or did public school children listen en masse across these United States?