A Florida school district is in hot water after it reportedly allowed a pro-Obama organization to register students to vote and give speeches to classes. It also denied the Romney campaign similar considerations.
Pasco County Schools told Fox News that Organizing for America volunteers were able to access roughly six high school and middle school campuses. The organization also attempted to gain access to at least three additional campuses but were shut down by on-campus officials, according to email correspondence obtained by Fox News.
“They did register students to vote…We don’t know how many children were registered – (but) we have an ongoing investigation,” school district spokesman John Mann told Fox News.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that Organizing for America sought to take advantage of high school and middle school students by influencing their vote, a former teacher was also permitted to give a number of pro-Obama speeches to high school seniors.
“She got into six classrooms and gave pro-Obama speeches – like way off to the left…That got out to parents and parents complained,” said James Mathieu, general counsel for the Pasco County Republican Party.
Matthieu said he has filed a complaint with the Florida Division of Elections and notified the Florida Attorney General’s office.
“We have a liberal culture in our school system and we know that,” he told Fox News. “The problem is someone has used false credentials, false pretenses and there is a security issue.”
Matthieu said Organizing for America officials “used false pretenses” and identified themselves to school officials as officials with the local elections office.
But Mann says he is not aware of any misrepresentation by the pro-Obama officials, saying “they identified themselves as being with Organizing for America.”
As Fox News’ Todd Starnes points out, there seems to be evidence proving otherwise:
However, according to an email obtained by Fox News – school officials acknowledged there may have been some deceit.
“In at least one case, those individuals said they were from the Pasco Supervisor of Elections Office,” wrote staff member Paula Lesko. “Unfortunately the SOE said that is not the case.”
So why did school officials allow a partisan organization to mingle with students?
“That will come out in our final investigation,” Mann said.
Another significant issue was the former teacher’s pro-Obama address. Local Republicans asked for equal access. At first, school officials agreed – but later reversed their decision.
There was discussion of allowing the Romney campaign come in to satisfy “equal access” but officials decided against it because it would mean an additional “violation of board policy.”
Organizing for America has since apologized to Pasco County Schools, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Additionally, the teacher who delivered the Obama-centric speeches has been relieved of duty.
To read Fox News’ entire report, click here.