Juab School Board members have voted unanimously to give Channel One a chance at the high school and middle school, despite opposition to the plan from the district PTA.
Area home-schoolers also opposed bringing Channel One to area classrooms. Most of the district home-schoolers have some students attending public school in the upper grades.District teachers, however, overwhelmingly supported the action. They voted unanimously in the middle school and agreed, with two dissenting votes, at the high school to ask the School Board to let Channel One operate in the district.
Board members had postponed a vote for two meetings to allow teachers and PTA members to view both Channel One news and CNN news and compare them. That action came after the PTA lodged a protest with the board in November against commercial aspects of the program.
Alice Ricks, representing Nephi Elementary PTA board members, said the PTA board still did not want Channel One brought into the district. She said the majority of board members - eight - preferred CNN for a variety of reasons.
"We took away the equipment issue," she said. School officials said their support for Channel One did not come from the fact that schools would receive free televisions for classrooms - the middle school already has television sets for each classroom and the high school will soon have enough television sets.
"Channel One best met the needs of the students," said Norm Wall, middle school principal. "We see a deficit in young people in current events."
Teachers at the high school had addressed the issue of commercials being shown to young people as part of Channel One's news service, principal Leonard Trauntvein said. Teachers found the short commercials to be inoffensive and in fact, felt some were educational because they were against drug and alcohol use.
Janet Sutorius, a teacher at the high school, said teachers use commercials to teach students how to be discerning and use critical-thinking skills.
One student expressed some concerns. "I am a student," said Cindy Adams. "If there is something I don't agree with am I allowed to walk out? It is my constitutional right."