Friday, October 29, 2010

Schools & SQ744 Campaigning

News is coming out in this final week of the election that public school superintendents are illegally campaigning for State Question 744 on and with state property.
"It's for the children," we hear all the time and this time, school superintendents and officials plan to use our children as campaign volunteers for the infamous State Question 744.  Today, a Yukon resident filed a temporary injunction and restraining order against Sandy Garrett and Superintendent Bill Denton of Yukon.  The plan was to give out materials to children to take home the day before the vote on State Question 744.
Click here for the rest of Ron Black's post.

Patrick McGuigan reports:
Julia Seay, a Yukon resident, filed the restraining order and temporary injunction through her attorneys, Shawnnessy Black and Anthony Ferate.

The injunction states, in part: “Petitioner, Julia Seay, believes that the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the various proponents of State Question 744 have conspired to engage in electioneering and distribute flyers that are in clear support of Oklahoma State Question 744, such material is intended to be distributed to the parents of students attending Oklahoma Public Schools.”

The Seay injunction continues: “Petitioner, Julia Seay, has knowledge that the Superintendent of Public Instruction requested that flyers in support of Oklahoma State Question 744 be distributed on Monday, November 1st, 2010, to impressionable school age children.”

Shawnnessy Black, one of Seay’s attorneys, said in a statement sent to CapitolBeatok, “Distribution of political material through the classroom is a direct violation of state law and citizens and supporters of State Question 744 will stop at nothing to get what they want – and what they want is to use our children as campaign volunteers for their tax increases.”
Click here for the rest of the article on CapitolBeatOK.com.

I have copies of two emails sent out by Braggs Superintendent Lucky McCrary through his official school email account that campaigns for State Question 744 (including another document by Crescent Public Schools Superintendent Steve Shriever).

Additionally, I have received information from a Muskogee parent who, while attending a recent parent-teacher conference, was given information by a teacher who encouraged her to vote yes on SQ744. The teacher told the parent, "I know I'm not supposed to be doing this, but..." and continued on with her electioneering.

As I have said before, schools are meant for learning, not electioneering. This is shameful, and there should be swift penalties for electioneering with state resources and at schools. The Oklahoma taxpayer is not paying the salary of their local superintendent (or any other state employee) so that he or she can campaign on our dime or exploit our schoolchildren.

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