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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco superintendent: Call district, not Fox News, with concerns



The Pasco County school district lately has faced several accusations that teachers are allowing a pro-Democrat message to leak into classroom lessons without a Republican counterpoint. Superintendent Heather Fiorentino tells the Gradebook that she understands the frustrations that some people have in a sensitive and important election year.

But she suggested the district is being used as a pawn in a proxy war for votes, noting that her office has learned of most of the complaints from Fox News and not from parents or even party leaders.

"If we had been working cooperatively and the first phone call was to me instead of Fox News ... this would have been clarified," Fiorentino said.

Fiorentino's staff worked most of Monday to complete an investigation into some of the more notable complaints involving vounteers from Organizing for America, a Democrat group supporting president Barack Obama's reelection. One of the workers made partisan speeches to students at Gulf High School, prompting an outcry for fairness, as well as concerns about how the speakers gained access to students.

At least two high schools reported that OFA workers might have misrepresented themselves as working for the county elections office to enter the school to register voters. 

The district's report is due Tuesday for the School Board's review. 

[Last modified: Monday, October 15, 2012 3:55pm]


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