September 4th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 09/04/09

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

We have breaking developments in the mass killing in Georgia. One man is accused of killing eight people. He's also the one who called 911 pleading for help.  Plus, presidential lesson or pure propaganda? More uproar over Pres. Obama's speech to school children next week.

Want to know what else we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (268 Responses)
  1. Herman Morgan

    Hope they quickly solve the arson case and after a fair trial, hang the culprit !

    September 4, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  2. Jilly in South Carolina

    My son is in 2nd grade in Columbia, SC. His school was rated one of the top ten in the State of South Carolina however, it failed the Federal standard three years in a row. They will not be showing the Presidents speech. I will tape it and allow him to view it at home. I am used to this kind of "ignorance" with the Boad of Education here in South Carolina. They send home Christian church letters inviting the school children to local church functions. But my child cannot view the Presidents speech. See any problem there?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  3. Vivian

    On the President speaking out in schools – parents keeping kids home are showing their kids bad work ethics ( I disagree, so I just stay home!!) – the smart thing would be to talk to your kid(s), tell them what they are going to school to see, and promise to discuss it with them when they come home – and as parents do so, without influencing them...otherwise... who is brainwashing your kids

    As for the pre given questions...
    If one of them had been" which president inspires you the most "- how many parents wouldn't have "sublimanly" helped their kids with that answer!!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  4. Isabel Siaba, Brazil

    @ David, Indiana

    I think a lot of controversy for a little.

    In terms of protecting the children, I would like to have access to everything that my son is exposed, but this goes beyond the possibilities of any parent. I don't forbid my son to listen to the speech ... I find it valid to make the child aware that it is right or wrong and not prohibit it..

    September 4, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  5. Ruby Coria, LA. CA.

    Hi Erica, always good to see you filling in for AC, all the best to the A.C crew in Afghanistan.. I don't know about all life's that we're going to lose over there, & the Billions we need here @ home for our own care.
    That Guy who killed his family sounded fishy on the 911 call.
    I can't believe how disrespectful Americans are being to our President!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  6. Patrice Palmer

    Good evening, all!
    This hoopla about Pres. Obama's speech to the nation's children is ridiculous. Presidents Bush, Sr. and Reagan have already set a precedent on this. Watching and discussing a President's speech is a part of the Social Studies curriculum of this country. These parents are willing to prevent their child from attending school to watch history in the making, based on the rants of the radical right. I seriously don't understand what parents are afraid of – do they really believe the President of their country would advocate drug abuse or dropping out of school? This hoopla seems to originate more from some ultra conservative media outlets intent on undermining the teaching of critical thinking, which is also a part of the curriculum. They're afraid that once the children are out of their parent's sphere of influence, the children might actually be exposed to a balanced, rational, factual discussion. Now, THAT would be very dangerous to their cause.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  7. Sharon

    Boy when a dem. gets into office the repubs. find anything they can to find fault with anything he does. Even speaking to the children about staying in school. Should have been doing all of this over the past eight years. Things might have turned out a little better if they were watching that prez as closely as they are this one.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  8. Sandy

    No wonder the US isn't competitive in education any more when some parents don't want the President of the US to talk to their children about staying in school and completing their education.

    Congratulations to President Obama for his concern about the young members of this country and his desire to increase the educational level of the citizens of this country and to improve the quality of education in this country.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  9. Yolanda

    I do not feel that the he murder his family. I believe Ga police just needs someone to blame and do not have the right person. They need to continue to look at someone else

    September 4, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  10. David, Indiana

    @Isabel Is it Labor Day on Monday in Brazil also? I agree encouraging young people to pursue an education and aspire to better their country or community in some way is completely acceptable. People have a right to voice their opposition though, and schools can determine if they want to use the lesson plan coming from the Dept of Education.

    Every new detail in that case in Georgia is a bombshell. Very unusual at every twist and turn. I feel very sad for the people in that home.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  11. kim

    This is outrageous! The President and the First Lady are obviously model parents and why is it that schools and parents are able to dictate over the President...Ludicrous! Maybe those parents need to get involved in some community service, this would be more valuable than wasting the time of the public's ear with thier fear tactic and small minded propaganda.
    We now are trying to focus on all children getting a good education and every child would feel speciial knowing the President is taking the time to speak to them. When i told this story to my 7 year old grand daughter her mouth went open, she made a face and was truely shocked. Shame on you parents! Our President was voted in by the majority.
    I guess the parents of 2009 lacked growing up with respect and values
    If these parents went after the insurance companies maybe we would have affordable healthcare!!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  12. Anne - Lehigh Acres, FL

    Regarding President Obama's speech to the school children, I am ashamed to say that school boards in several counties in Southwest Florida ( Lee, Collier and Charlotte) have decided not to even let the children see the speech regardless of how the parents feel. This is one of the times that I am embarrassed to admit that I live in Florida!!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  13. Debra M.

    It is ridiculous that this is even a topic. Aren't we Americans and shouldn't we "help" our leader, the President? The bigots lost the presidential election. If you notice, all the complainers are white. We shouldn't even be giving them the time of day on this subject because then they feel empowered. Our President was reaching out to them in good faith, but if they want to raise their children in ignorance, let them keep their children home.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  14. Shirzee

    This is the same group of people who re-elected George W. Bush, let's not let it happen again. Common sense has to enter the picture at some point.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  15. gail

    God bless those fireman.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  16. anna

    As a retired elementary teacher/librarian who has survived 13 presidents....all this uproar about our President speaking to children about staying in school and setting goals...is DUMB. Staying home from school because your President is speaking....I would never have believed this would happen in our country...or that any sane parent would encourage it.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  17. Dulcie - Denver

    Different and opposing ideas NEVER hurt a child. Never. I'm so incredibly sick of left-wingers who are holding our schools hostage. This is similar to the whole 'Intelligent Design' debate and schools not being able to teach evolution – only creationism.

    Holy geez, I'm so glad I don't have kids. This is all incredibly nutty. We're turning into the laughing stock of the industrialized world.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  18. Sharon

    There have been president's speeches before and now they decide to make a big deal about Obama's speech.

    Im positive his speech is going to influnce kids to stay and be good in school and bring a positive outcome for the kids. Parents shouldn't think the Pres. going to brainwash the kids on politics over a speech either.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  19. Shelba Reeves

    I wish people would just give our president a chance to do his job . Our chidren need to see and hear what our President has to say. We elected him what are we so scared of. I am sure they here alot worse things on TV than what he will tell them.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  20. Julie

    I am very much afraid for the next generation of Americans if so many are reared with such irrational fear and irreverence for our president no matter what parents political views may be.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  21. Lori, IL

    Not sure where all this hate comes from - but look at the people yelling at town hall meeting, following the teabag express and now, irrate over President Obama speaking to school children - they certainly do not reflect a cross-section of the USA. Sad to think that in this day and age and in the USA, some people cannot accept President Obama.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  22. Samuel M'boro, TN

    How did authorities come to the conclusion that it was arson? Just curious.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  23. Linda-Portland, OR

    awwww, baby panda is so adorable

    September 4, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  24. Cynthia, NC

    Panda babies are so cute!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  25. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    That's so horrible crime murder his own family in Georgia!!!!!! He will stay in jail many years without parole.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  26. juanita

    Its very sad that President Omaba has to go through all of this for his speech to students. Past Democrats and Repulican Presidents have made speeches without any problem. Do you think it has to do with the color of his skin? Most deffinately!!!! Now the request for the release of the speech. My goodness hes the President of The United States!!!!! I think those people are just afraid that he is so well spoken, that they dont want their children to know that there are other options and ideas out there besides theirs.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  27. anita allen

    I am a 40 yr old female, conservative christian and I am disgusted with conservatives that continue to show disrespect to the President. When Bush was president, they scoffed at disrespectful remarks people made who disagreed with his policies. These same conservatives are doing exactly what they 'preached' against. Honoring those in leadership whether we agree with them or not, is a top conservative value of which these particular conservatives choose to ignore. President Obama is a great family man that cares and has tried, since day one, to bring everyone together amidst our differences. I want to say to my fellow conservatives, "GROW UP!" and quit acting like the world is going to end because you can't have your entire way. As the bible says, Let us come and reason together.... Thanks CNN for being the balance!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  28. Darryl

    This is absolutely unbelievable to me. I can not believe we are this divided in this country. The president is attempting to do a great thing, but we in our perpetual contempt for the opposite parties must disagree or find a problem with even this. God please help us. Everyone of us need to look in the mirror and stop pointing fingers.
    We are in trouble people. Martin Luther told us we must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  29. Susan

    We have become a nation of imbeciles. First, the woman crying a few weeks ago over health care reform and how she "wants her country back". Now, another woman crying about how she doesn't want her child to hear the President's speech. What is wrong with these people? When ideas become threats, we, as a nation, are in deep, deep trouble.
    I am embarassed....

    September 4, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  30. Arshan, AZ

    every president has addressed kids, and not one was attacked for doing so like Obama. let the kids go to school and take their own side.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  31. Al Jones

    This has nothing to do with democrats vs republicans or lies of an election. This has to do with a lesson plan on what the speech means and then the "How you can help the President" letter that the children should write. There is nothing wrong with the President doing his speech. Multiple Presidents have done so before him. A lesson plan is not the right approach. Instead, let the kids and teachers talk and discuss what they got out of his speech. It allows the children to express their thoughts and it inspires open forum in the classroom.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  32. Helena

    I don't see why people get so worked up about the President making a speech at their kid's school. Presidents have done that in the past. I'm wondering if it's not all just plain old racism. The President inspires me just by being the first black President of the United States. If he can inspire my children to stay in school and make something of themselves, I'm all for it. Our kids are constantly being exposed to a whole slew of things at school that I as a parent am not exactly thrilled about (i.e. homosexuality), so why is it such a big deal for the President to speak to kids about staying in school and the importance of education?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  33. Larry S

    I would LOVE to hear how one of those parents explains to their children they don't want them to hear the President. WHAT are they telling their kids?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  34. Gloria

    It is amazing to me that people are so concerned about the President encouraging their children to finish school. That woman in tears was ridiculous. If her child believes everything he or she hears in school, they are in real trouble. They are hearing much worse things from fellow classmates. I would suggest she home schools her children. Why aren't they just as outraged about schools teaching evolution in school which is a direct contradiction to the Bible. Isn't the Bible what conservatives swear to live by?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  35. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Race has nothing to do with this. It's a question of whether politics belongs in the classroom.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  36. Kim

    I think this is insane. I can not believe how conservatives are reacting to this speech. What do they expect the children to do after the speech. Take over the world in the name of Obama.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  37. denise

    Was that lady really crying because she didn't want her child to be encouraged to stay in school? Have she ever heard of peer pressure? Wow........

    September 4, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  38. Monica M. Williams

    Happy Friday Erica and the 360 crew.

    God speed to Anderson and all those traveling to Afghanistan this weekend. I sincerely wish everyone well. I look forward to next weeks reports from the region. Then seeing their safe return home.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  39. Eric, Ft. Lauderdale

    I did not here anyone asking what book George W. was reading to children in advance, when he visited schools!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  40. Eileen

    Hi everyone,

    As an elementary school teacher I am horrified that my county will not be airing the President's speech on Tuesday. Why was it ok for previous Republican presidents to give speeches? Why does this have to be political? Our president wants our children to stay in school and be motivated to do their best. It just doesn't make sense to me!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  41. Dolores

    I can't believe this country has come to this. By not wanting the President of The United States Of America speaking to the children. Can the people of this nation sink any lower. YES THEY CAN, AND THEY WILL!!!!!!

    September 4, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  42. Jilly in South Carolina

    Our President is planning to give a speech on "staying in School and the importance of Education"? Oh, No!..Not that. What's next? "A speech on Getting good grades"? In South Carolina we have to send our kids to school on Memorial Day, but they have off for Confederate Memorial Day, Now that is something to get cry about.

    Stuck in a "RED" State...

    September 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  43. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    "You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear, you’ve got to be taught from year to year, to hate all the people your relatives hate."

    Thank you for that. It's so true.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  44. Sharon Holmes

    President Obama has been catching hell with any and everything he does or says from day one, and this is just another thing for the people of this country who can not accept a black man as president to complain about. This should be a lesson to people of color that we still have work to do too get this country out of the dark ages.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  45. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    The issue is that the teaching materials don't jive with the story now coming out about what the speech is about.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  46. Anthonia-California

    @Erica, did the police officals find anytime of weapons that are connected to the murder?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  47. Eric, Ft. Lauderdale

    Why doe sthe President of the US have to post a speech to children in advance?

    September 4, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  48. Connie Buffalo NY

    OMG, you have go to be kidding me, that woman who was actually CRYING because her child would have to listen to the President of the United States telling her child to study hard and stay in school? If anything, that woman should be crying over her own actions, especially on national TV. The actions of these people is clearly racially based. Democrats may have said the First President Bush was doing it for "political reasons" but you didn't see the spewing hate, crying like a 2 year old child or keeping their children home. There is something seriously wrong with the American people.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  49. Yolanda

    I did not see or understand the reason for parents are over reacting to the president delivering a speech to the children about their education. Someone needs to talk to them because of the amount of drop outs at record now they sould be comforted that someone is concern about their education. On another thought keeping your kids out school that your choice. I feel people just want to be seen and making now sense at all

    September 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  50. gail

    The level of disrespect that this man has to endure is disgusting! I am ashamed that the media gives legitimacy to this crap and they follow the Republican talking points hook, line, and sinker. The fact that the President of the United States is being treated as some type of menace to society should shame us all.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
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