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December 11, 2012

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For Dec. 11

GOP head wants campaigning out of schools

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels claimed at a recent education reform conference that teachers used illegal and improper methods to oust Indiana Superintendent Tony Bennett (Groppe, Gannett News Service).

“If you’re a fan of anything-goes politics, it was a creative use of illegal — but still creative use — of public resources,” Daniels said at a Washington, D.C., meeting of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. “We got emails sent out on school time by people who were supposed to be teaching someone at the time, all about Tony Bennett. We have parents who went to back to school night to find out how little Jebbie is doing and instead they got a diatribe about the upcoming election.”

The head of the state’s biggest statewide teachers union said Daniels is wrong.

“Those accusations are incorrect,” said Nate Schnellenberger, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association. “The governor wasn’t in any schools to see any of those things happen.”

Well, if Mr. Schnellenberger wants physical evidence of what we are saying, all he has to do is go to any public school in Indiana. Come here to Floyd County and we will show you pictures of teachers leaving boxes of political bumper stickers at classroom doors, political campaign literature encouraging votes against Tony Bennett in the teachers’ lounge and students who testify that their teachers are encouraging them to insist that their parents vote against the superintendent.

 It is time for us to admit it. This is happening in our schools. And, it is time for us to insist that the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. board demand a change. Political campaigning in our public schools should be forbidden. Violations of this policy should be punished. Teacher union business should be conducted away from our schools.

A huge percentage of parents are tired of the antics of the ISTA and a small number of bad teachers. We feel this kind of “education” has no place in schools that our taxes are paying for.

School board: Clean up this mess or get someone to replace you who will.

— Dave Matthews, chairman, Floyd County Republican Party

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