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Educators to gather for film screening

on Thursday, 17 March 2016. Posted in Good life, Local News

Francis Marion University’s School of Education will be the host for a screening and discussion of the acclaimed documentary Go Public: A Day in the Life of an American School District on Tuesday, March 22 at 6 p.m. The event will be held in Lowrimore Auditorium on the FMU campus. It is free and open to the public. The documentary is directed by James O’Keefe and gives the audience a 90-minute look into a school day in an urban district of California.

The saga of school administrators, teachers, students, parents and board members in the course of a day highlights both the opportunities and successes of public education. Dr. Jeanne Gunther, FMU’s Early Childhood Education Program chair and assistant professor of education, says she wants the screening of the film to serve as a reminder of the successes of public education in the face of documentaries like Waiting for Superman.

In that film, producers shadow students as they attempt to leave the public school system in hopes of gaining a better education at a charter school. “I’ve always been kind of bothered by the (Waiting for Superman),” says Gunther. “I’ve also wanted the answer to that film that says public schools are good too. I’ve wanted to hear the positive side to public schools.” A panel consisting of local public school officials will convene following the screening to discuss matters relating to education.

Panelists will include Amber Hekman, an art teacher at Lucy T. Davis Elementary School; Rhett Hughes, a teacher at Darlington High School and father of two children who attend Florence public schools; Terrell Leonard, a student at the Florence Career Center for the Early Childhood Education Program; and Julie Shealy, a third grade teacher at Delmae Elementary School. Additional information about the documentary may be found at or by contacting Gunther at 843-661-1871 or jgunther@

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