How can you support the bond as a state employee? Or as a PTO president?
There are a few rules and regulations that govern how state employees can advocate for political issues and what is and isn’t permitted on school property. Here’s a quick primer to make sure your advocacy follows all the recommendations.
For Public School Employees
Teachers, school staff, and administration are generally held to similar rules regarding their advocacy for political positions. There is a difference between informing voters and asking them to vote for the bond. Here’s what public school employees can do:
- Wear clothing or stickers/buttons on their clothing advocating for the 2020 Education Bond
- Place “Vote YES” bumper stickers, magnets, etc. on their personal vehicle, even when it’s parked in a school parking lot
- Display a “Vote YES” yard sign at their personal residence
- Advocate for the bond as an individual at community events, non-school club meetings, etc.
- Attend political events, speak personally in favor of the 2020 bond, or distribute literature when off duty
- Distribute non-advocacy information–only materials about the bond at any time
- Volunteer to help high school students of age register to vote
- Lead a curriculum or subject-appropriate discussion around the bond referendum–as long as the educator does not take a position.
And here’s what public school employees cannot do:
- Generally, any “Vote YES” advocacy cannot take place on campus during normal working hours or whenever the employee is on-duty functioning as a teacher, staff member, or administrator
- A teacher or staff member cannot state a pro-bond position as a representative of his or her employer
- Use a work-related or work-issued resources, like copy machines, computers, etc. to advocate for the 2020 bond or produce advocacy materials
- Educators may use work-issued email to discuss political matters, but such email would be considered part of the public record
- Require students or other staff members to perform advocacy work
For PTO and Parent Volunteers
Parents are given more leeway for their advocacy, but there are still a few lines that cannot be crossed. Here’s what parents can do in support of the bond referendum:
- Speak in favor of the bond and distribute “Vote YES” literature, signage, etc. at PTO or after school meetings
- Distribute “Vote YES” information to parents in the car-rider line
- Wear “Vote YES” t-shirts, stickers, etc. on campus as a volunteer, affix “Vote YES” stickers or magnets to personal vehicles, etc.
And here’s what PTO and parent volunteers cannot do:
- Distribute “Vote YES” information or literature to students during the school day
- Use school resources (copy paper, computers, etc.) to advocate for the bond referendum