Update 2:00 p.m. Friday: In his opening remarks, Fox emphasized education and how privileged students are who have access to it.
“This is a big responsibility upon your shoulders, each one of you, he said.
Update, 7:40 p.m. Thursday: Fox's visit to Coronado follows an incident last year when Point Loma Nazarene University rescinded an invitation for him to speak, apparently over his decision to support the legalization of drugs.
Faculty and students were angered by Point Loma's stance. In April, he spoke at the University of San Diego instead, and sat for an interview with KPBS beforehand, outlining his stance regarding “the consequence of consumption” of drugs.
See video of another 2011 Fox visit to San Diego students in media box (audio is in English and Spanish).
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox will speak to older students at the middle school Friday, according to the district.
Principal Jay Marquand said the visit came together “kind of bang bang, all of a sudden” due to the efforts of a parent who had been trying to arrange such a meeting for some time.
He expects Fox to be at the campus for about an hour, speaking to 250 eighth grade students and accepting questions for a portion of his session with them.
The short notice of the visit, however, will likely prevent students from Coronado's other schools from attending. Marquand said there is a chance some younger students from the middle school might get to see Fox as well.
“It's just a great opportunity for our children to see something of this magnitude,” he said.
Fox served as president from 2000-06. He also was the top executive at Coca-Cola's Latin American division.
Here is part of the email Marquand wrote to his staff announcing the visit:
I was just notified that President Vicente Fox (former president of Mexico) has the ability to come speak to our CMS for 1 hour tomorrow! I’m sorry for the short notice, but I firmly believe this is a tremendous learning opportunity for our 8th grade students and the connection to civics, government, and leadership particularly when it comes to our 8th grade humanities curriculum. President Fox is a champion for education and has an initiative to reach young people so they can pursue their dreams. He also focuses on leadership and service to community.
Marquand said Fox would speak to students at 1:30 p.m. The event, which also will be attended by Superintendent Jeffrey Felix, may include the school board, which has been invited. Invitations also will sent to Mayor Casey Tanaka and other city officials.
The principal has consulted with Coronado police regarding security. Commander Michael Lawton said officers will be present, but he declined to offer details. He added, however, that as of Thursday evening it does not look like any streets will have to be shut down for Fox's arrival.
Lawton added that the department will handle the event with existing staff, without calling in extra officers, but said the plan is subject to change.