Last week right here on Yall Politics, we discussed “Politics 101: Mississippi schools walking a fine line” in regards to using information from The Parents Campaign in mandatory presentations made to public school teachers and staffs while on the taxpayers’ clock.
Now comes “Politics 102: public educators making political endorsements.”
We received a press release from the Will Longwitz campaign for state Senate District 25. In the release, Ridgeland High School Principal Lee Boozer endorsed Longwitz saying, ““Will Longwitz knows Ridgeland. I know he will work hard to make sure the students and teachers at Ridgeland High School get the support we need.”
Longwitz responded in the release saying, “I am honored to have Lee’s support in this race. He has done an incredible job at Ridgeland High School. Under his leadership the school has quickly become one of the flagships of Madison County’s commitment to excellent public education. He knows education and he knows my dedication to public education runs deep. Both my mother and grandmother spent their entire careers teaching in public schools and I am a product of Mississippi public schools. Education will be my top priority as the next Senator from District 25.”
Now, you can’t blame the Longwitz camp for publicizing this endorsement. In a tight runoff, every chance to garner a positive word from an influential person in the community is welcomed.
Had Mr. Boozer endorsed Longwitz as an individual it would not raise a concern, but Boozer’s title is what makes the press release and endorsement a story, now isn’t it?
So the question for the taxpayers is this: Is it appropriate for a public school educator, namely a principal, to endorse a candidate(s) for public office in his official capacity?
We’ll let you ponder that for a while…