Now, there is yet another questionable development in the referendum ballot process. There is an alleged misuse of the school system's information dissemination equipment to drum up support for the bonds. This is akin to having a staffer for a Congressman or state government official do campaign work while on the payroll of the government.
Here is the WMPM news story:
Use Of Automated Call System By School Principals Irks Some Parents - Every school principal in Johnston County has access to an automated call system that enables them to record a message, then dial up home phone numbers of students and have it delivered. The system was put into place to notify parents about PTA meetings, report cards, and other school activities. However, several parents contacted WMPM after receiving the recorded message asking them to vote for the $99 million school bond referendum on Tuesday. Crystal Roberts, Public Information Officer for Johnston County Schools, said Superintendent Dr. Tony Parker authorized every principal to send messages to households reminding parents of the vote. Roberts said the principals did not direct parents how to vote, but merely raised awareness of the bond. Meadow School Principal Frank Swinyer told WMPM, "I think every school sent out one. We are just asking (parents) for support. It was no big thing." One parent, who supported the school bond on Tuesday, said they still felt it was a misuse of the call system, comparing the phone call from his child’s principal to that of a telemarketer.
I wonder if this will ever stop. Supt. Parker was was wrong to authorize the use of the publicly owned system to deliver such information, and it was certainly wrong for schools to encourage people to vote for the bonds with that system.