Manchester Students Will Be Spared Watching Channel One News

February 4, 2003

Manchester Students Won’t See ‘Channel One News’

January 22, 2003

BY MATTHEW WEIGELT, Times-Union Staff Writer

NORTH MANCHESTER – Junior high students won’t be watching commercials as a captive audience in school.

Manchester Community Schools Acting Superintendent Kim Thurston Tuesday pulled the proposal to implement “Channel One News,” a current events news program geared to a middle school-age audience, from the table. School board members did not object.

Manchester Junior High School Principal Randy Gratz was interested in the technology “Channel One News” brings into schools. He said it was worth the two minutes of commercials.

For no charge, Channel One installs the networking equipment and 19-inch television sets in each classroom. The monitors will be upgraded to 27-inch sets in 2004. That equipment was estimated at $15,000 to $20,000.

“We never intended to infringe upon, or alter the beliefs of, students by utilizing the resources available in the Channel One network,” Thurston said.

The school corporation instead will use 2003 capital projects plan funds to round up the technology.

Parents objected to commercials pushing unhealthy food products. Some students’ religious tenets bar them from viewing television.

Thurston and Gratz are investigating other avenues to gather the technology, “not dependent upon students viewing advertisements,” Thurston said.