Policy Reminders for Dr Jeff Moss and his Principals

Lee County Board of Education

PolicyCode:  5210  Distribution of Non-School Material (C.4. Extract)

C. DISTRIBUTION STANDARDS FOR STUDENTS AND NON-STUDENTS

The public information officer or superintendent’s designee shall apply the following standards to approve the distribution or display of all non-school material on school property:

4.  In order to minimize disruption to the learning environment, political campaign materials may not be distributed to students or employees (including through employee mailboxes and e-mail) or made available on school grounds during school time or at school events.  However, on election days, posters and printed materials are permitted at school buildings used as polling places in accordance with state law and board of elections requirements….

This provision does not prohibit a teacher from using political literature or campaign material for instructional purposes.  However, any teacher using these materials for
instruction purposes shall not use his or her position to promote a particular candidate, party or position on a specific issue.  The teacher shall also attempt to use a variety of materials that represent balanced and diverse viewpoints on the political spectrum.

Policy Code:  7720  Employee Community and Political Activities

POLITICAL ACTIVITIES

The employee’s right of citizenship involving registering, discussing political issues, voting,
campaigning for candidates or issues, running for or serving in public office, and participating on a committee or board which seeks to serve the welfare of the community, shall not be infringed upon due to employment in the school district.  However, to safeguard the interests of the school district and taxpayers, certain limitations must be placed on political activities in the school setting.

These political activities shall not:

1.  take place during school time, school-sponsored activities or any time that the business of the school district is conducted;

2.  involve school monies, materials, equipment or supplies;

3.  conflict with the time required to fulfill obligations to the school district; or

4.  make use of an official school position to encourage or to coerce students or other employees of the district to support in any way a political party, candidate or issue.

Political campaign materials for candidates may not be distributed to students or employees (including through employee mailboxes) or made available on school grounds during school time or at school events.  However, on election days, posters and printed
materials are permitted at schools used as polling places in accordance with state law and board of elections requirements.

School employees engaged in political activity shall be explicit in explaining that they are acting as an individual and in no way represent the school district.

This policy should not be construed as prohibiting the impartial study and discussion of political or other controversial issues in the classroom setting.  When political issues are discussed as a part of the curriculum, the discussion should be balanced such that all sides of the issue are discussed

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About Thomas Jefferson

3rd President and Founding Father of the U.S. I conceived and promoted the country's system of public education in the early 19th Century. I am often misunderstood about my the "wall of separation" term and letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, which unfortunately has come to be interpreted as my suggesting separation of God and the Holy Trinity from all matters of state. I am a Christian, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and I owe Him my salvation. I pray for this great country, that it remain strong, independent and Christian!
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9 Responses to Policy Reminders for Dr Jeff Moss and his Principals

  1. Pingback: Political Fund Consultant » Blog Archive » Policy Reminders for Dr Jeff Moss and his Principals | Lee …

  2. Patrick Henry says:

    If “using scare tactics and school resources illegally” was an EOG test, Lee co would have the best scores in the state!

    PH

  3. Does Lee County pay to use a place as a polling place? If my memory is correct all but one polling place are in various schools. My first visit to Southern Lee was my last. There were no signs to tell where to park. Where to enter or where the polling place was in the building. I managed by following another voter only to find that he didn’t know where to go either. Early Voting was the way to go and I never went back.
    This was before I was aware I was breaking several zero tolerance laws, I carried a weapon (the smallest Swiss army knife), alcohol (six pack in the cargo area), two forms of tobacco products, a controlled substance (Prescription) and drug dealers’ tools (small digital scale and tiny plastic bags used in my hobby of gem trading.

  4. Norman Thomas says:

    So have any of these rules been broken? Please provide specific examples.

  5. Thomas Jefferson says:

    Why, yes Mr. Norman. Thanks for asking.

    Just last Friday, Principal Anne Beal of Tramway Elementary School sent out a 3-page recruitment letter to teachers, seeking teachers, parents and students to rally in defense of elevated school funding. Using school resources and the LCSS email system, and during school hours, she distributed the Memo to virtually every employee at the Tramway school. It was circulated even more widely across the county, and some school employees were so incensed by the letter they forwarded it to the local media and to elected officials.

    The County Attorney has sent a note down to the Jimmy Love, the School Board Attorney who should have nipped this in the bud much earlier, prompting the school to take action curtailing such policy violations.

    Recall that Ashley Smithwick, a student, was unsuccessfully prosecuted by our neophyte new DA under CRIMINAL charges, upon referral from Southern Lee High School, for allegedly breaking a school policy. Here we have a Principal unquestionably breaking two school policies in plain view of the public and in defiance of county officials. Why not prosecute her for misappropriation of government property- a Class 1 misdemeanor -and forever stigmatize her as Dr. Moss and Principal Almond were attempting to do to Ms. Smithwick?!?

    Oh, I forgot. What Mrs. Beal was doing was different– her actions were “for the kids.”

    • Norman Thomas says:

      Why not share that information up front then? If what you say is true, you should offer proof. Allegations of misconduct leveled by those hiding behind online names do not constitute proof.

      In any event, Policy Code 5210 appears to have no bearing on the situation you describe, since Policy Code 5210 refers specifically to the distribution of politicial campaign materials. The schools’ budget process is not a political campaign, it’s a school budget process.

      Policy Code 7720 certainly indicates the potential for misdeeds – but only if the scenario is interpreted exactly as you described. Again, this is why you should provide proof of what you claim or stop making claims altogether. Guilt by innuendo was hardly a virtue of any of the men and women’s names you have appropriated for this site. You should rethink your tactics on this issue.

      • Thomas Jefferson says:

        Well, to paraphrase former President Bill Clinton, it depends on what your definition of a “campaign” is. Nowhere in the policy does it define a campaign as being an individual political campaign following that person’s filing to run for office.

        There are many other “political campaigns,” like the campaign the school system ran for the quarter percent sales tax hike in 2009. The current county budget cycle is no different. It is a political campaign with more time and energy being consumed than most individual political campaigns on the local level. So, yes, it is a campaign and yes, Principal Beal is clearly in violation. Hopefully, she will be spared the miscarriage of justice that student Smithwick had to endure.

        Contrary to your claim, I am not practicing “guilt by innuendo.” This is not hearsay or trumped up accusations I have offered in my column.Instead, I am citing documented evidence and proven information. I cited two policy extractions from the BOE’s own website and I am citing a Memo I have in my hands from Principal Beal. Only through perverse logic can one claim Beal has not violated school board policy.

        TJ

  6. Norman Thomas says:

    The sales tax hike was a campaign (well, two campaigns) because voters were being asked to vote on the issue. Budget deliberations are not political campaigns. Come on.

    Again, if you have proof or the letter you claim to have, post it here. Let us read it and draw out own conclusions. I don’t doubt your claim there’s a letter, but I do have reason to believe your interpretation of facts might lead to a different conclusion than I would reach. Why the secrecy?

    • Norman;

      I have the note. I’ll have to send it to you via email, as TJ doesn’t have your email address. It is a pdf file only and it doesn’t paste cleanly into the blog narrative box.

      Publius

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