Channel One News Hall of Shame: 36 principals and assistant principals sign letter supporting removal of Channel One (1998)

July 8, 2012
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From Jim Metrock:  How bad was Channel One News that it caused this letter to be sent by 18 principals and 19 assistant principals? The letter helped the Shelby County (AL) school board end Channel One at all 18 of the country’s secondary schools.

 

Obligation press release:

September 10, 1998 (Birmingham, AL) High school principals and assistant principals in Shelby County have come out against the controversial in-school TV show called Channel One.

In a letter to Shelby County Superintendent of Education, Evan Major, the Shelby County Secondary Principals Association conveyed their position.

From the letter:

“In a unanimous decision, the Secondary Principals Association supports the following proposal:

ALL HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPALS AND ASSISTANT PRINCIPALS SUPPORT THE SUPERINTENDENT’S EFFORT TO DISCONTINUE OUR CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH CHANNEL ONE. ALTHOUGH WE HAVE NEVER BEEN COMFORTABLE WITH THE USE OF CLASSROOM TIME FOR CHANNEL ONE PROGRAMMING, WE HAVE GREATLY BENEFITED FROM THE USE OF THE CLOSED CIRCUIT EQUIPMENT. IN FACT, MANY OF OUR SCHOOLS HAVE ACADEMIC CLASSES THAT ARE DEPENDENT ON THE CHANNEL ONE EQUIPMENT.

THEREFORE, WE REQUEST THAT IN ADDITION TO OUR SUPPORT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT’S POSITION ON CHANNEL ONE, THAT EQUIPMENT IS PURCHASED TO MAINTAIN ALL ACADEMIC PROGRAMS ENHANCED BY THE CHANNEL ONE EQUIPMENT.”

The letter goes on to say, “We stand united in our support of this effort to improve our schools and are prepared to support you at the next Board meeting.”

The letter was signed by Tom Ferguson, president of the principals organization.

Obligation is a Birmingham-based child advocacy group that has raised awareness of problems with the Channel One program. Jim Metrock, Obligation’s president, said, “The whole state will benefit from the stand taken by the Shelby County principals and assistant principals. They deserve the support and praise of parents and other taxpayers in Shelby County. Their position is supported by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the American Association of School Administrators. Indeed, all major education organizations have condemned Channel One, including the National and Alabama PTA.”

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