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Gradebook

Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Education, not politics

2

September

Donaldson Pasco superintendent candidate Stephen Donaldson (left), whose campaign slogan is "Education, Not Politics," is complaining that the Pasco school district has removed his campaign ad from the Mitchell High football program.

In a letter to Mitchell High principal Ric Mellin, which got sent to School Board attorney Dennis Alfonso, Donaldson said he had already paid for the ad, that he had not been told of any restrictions, and that "past booster advertisements have included political ads."

Alfonso and assistant superintendent Jim Davis told the School Board today that, when asked for direction from principals, they had recommended removing Donaldson political ads from all high school football programs. They referred to district advertising policy, which aims to steer clear of partisanship, and also to FHSAA rules, which prohibit "advertisements for political issues" but say "political candidates may be acceptable as sponsors."

Miscues could end up in team disqualification.

Davis Said Davis (right): "We don't want football programs to be a venue for politics."

School Board members supported Davis' interpretation of the rules and instructed him to pass the message to all principals. Donaldson said in his letter that he plans to "submit this breach of contract to the Florida Elections Commission for clarification."

Donaldson faces incumbent Heather Fiorentino on Nov. 4.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:55am]

    

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