School District Sending Flyers + Kids as Props (- Permission) = Bad Tax Hike PR
Good thing my parents don’t have any kids enrolled in Brighton Public Schools. Nothing per se against the school district northeast of Denver. But I can only imagine my mom and dad’s reaction if they got one of those tax hike-supporting political flyers in this year’s school information packet. Probably something like what one mom told Channel 7 reporter Russell Haythorn (though maybe a bit more colorful):
“Education specific funding being used to push a political agenda — that’s not appropriate,” said concerned parent Stacy Petty.
As a one-time incident, this story might have repercussions only for the school district — which alleges it was a mistake. The 7 News story says that state officials are investigating for a possible violation of Colorado’s Fair Campaign Practices Act.
But taken together with an incident two months ago brings an additional dimension to the story. Remember when supporters of the statewide tax hike ballot initiative decided to use a class of 4th graders on a field trip as a backdrop for their press conference (and kinda sorta forgot to check and see if that might be OK with their parents first)? Yes, the flyer was for the same ballot initiative. Looks like a trend.
The sharp-tongued political observers at Colorado Peak Politics call it “the scandal before the end” of the tax increase proposal. They well may be right about that. Using kids as political props without parental permission, and then using taxpayer resources to send school parents flyers (next to voter registration forms!)….
Well, I don’t know a lot about math, but that appears to add up to a big public relations mess. Time for some people to re-examine priorities.