Written by RSN
10/1/2008 7:46:00 AM
GOP Chairman calls "Obama Blue Day" an abuse of taxpayer and student trust.
Woodbridge, Virginia (October 1, 2008) - Delegate Jeffrey M. Frederick, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, called it an "outrage" upon learning that the Virginia Education Association (VEA) was coordinating political activities on behalf of Democrat Presidential candidate Barack Obama at Virginia public schools.
A widely-circulated email originating from Doris Boitnott in the VEA government affairs department addressed to VEA President Kitty Boitnott, among others, asks teachers to wear blue for "Obama Blue Day." The email further asks teachers to register or recruit two voters to support Obama, saying, "There are people out there not yet registered. You teach some of them." (emphasis added)
"Teachers are hired to teach, not use their taxpayer funded positions to coerce and indoctrinate our children to their political agenda," said Frederick. "It is an outrageous breach of public trust and an abuse of taxpayer resources that teachers chose to use school grounds as a political base to persuade students to their point of view in their parents' absence."
Frederick said that school boards and parents will likely be concerned when they learn that these activities are going on at schools when they believe their kids are there to get a "non-partisan education." As authority figures in the classroom, Republicans said, teachers put students in an awkward position should those students disagree, and they usurp parental rights when attempting to educate children about political views.
Political advocacy during school hours is not unprecedented for the VEA, even though most school boards prohibit it. During past campaign seasons, school divisions have reprimanded teacher unions for using school resources, like email, for political purposes.
"Political views of teachers have no place in the classroom or on school grounds during the school day", Frederick added.