Shelby County Terminates Channel One Contract After Eight Years

September 17, 1998

It wasn’t close. Every high school
principal and assistant principal signed on to a resolution urging
the removal of Channel One from their schools. The Shelby
County Reporter
editorially called for the unplugging of
this advertising ploy. Superintendent Evan Major recommended
the immediate termination of Channel One. The board voted 3-1
to pull the plug. The one opposing vote was from Donna Morris
who expressed considerable concerns about Channel One at the
Sept. 1 work sessions. She wanted more time to study the Channel
One problem.

Three people spoke in favor of
keeping Channel One while it is reviewed by parents, teachers,
and students.

Obligation issued this press
release this evening:

FACE=”Arial”>September 17, 1998 – Shelby County Praised For
Ending Channel One Contract

September 17, 1998 (Birmingham,
AL) Shelby County Superintendent Evan Major recommended today
that the contract with the controversial in-school TV show, Channel
One, be terminated immediately. The board approved by a 3-1 decision.
(The one opposing board member was not a supporter of Channel
One, but wanted more discussion.)

The Shelby County Reporter editorial urged the school board to
unplug Channel One. Every principal and assistant principal in
all eight Shelby County high schools supported the superintendent
in his effort to remove Channel One from the system.

Obligation is a Birmingham-based
child advocacy group that has attempted to raise awareness of
Channel One’s presence in Alabama public schools.

Jim Metrock, Obligation’s president
was at today’s board meeting. "This school board understood
the value of school time and they did not like the idea that
their system was not in control of one hour of school curriculum
a week."

"The whole state will benefit
from the responsible and prudent decision the board made today.
This may very well be the death knell of Channel One’s exploitation
of Alabama schoolchildren. Other boards and superintendents should
be impressed with Shelby County’s research into Channel One and
their deliberate review of its worth."

"This wonderful decision
will result in one extra week of school time per year for each
of the 9,400 secondary students in Shelby County. That is nothing
short of incredible," said Metrock. "Shelby County
voted in favor of their students and stood up to the big advertising
company called Channel One."

The National Education Association,
the American Federation of Teachers, the American Association
of School Administrators, the National and Alabama PTA have all
opposed Channel One.