STAFF PARTICIPATION IN POLITICAL ACTIVITIES

The School Committee recognizes that employees of the school system have the same fundamental civic responsibilities and privileges as other citizens. Among these are campaigning for an elective public office and holding an elective or appointive office.

In connection with campaigning, an employee will not: use school system facilities, equipment or supplies; discuss his/her campaign with school personnel or students during the working day; use any time during the working day for campaigning purposes. Under no circumstances, will students be pressured into campaigning for any staff member.

School employees shall not engage in political activities while carrying out their work responsibilities during the school day, while performing work for the school unit outside of the school day on school premises, or while performing work for the school unit at any other location.

“Political activities” include:
A. Campaigning for or against any candidate, political party or issue;
B. An employee’s using his/her position to attempt to influence students,
parents or others to vote for or against any candidate or issue;
C. Contacting students, parents or others for such purposes;
D. Wearing apparel with political messages or displaying campaign paraphernalia while performing work; or
E. Soliciting for or collecting funds or distributing material in connection with campaigning or support of political issues.

While it is appropriate for an employee who is a candidate for political office to provide employment information in a written profile, no school unit employee shall use the school unit’s name or logo to promote his/her candidacy for political office, or to promote other candidates or political positions, or represent his/her view as those of the school unit or the Leicester School Committee.

Nothing in this policy shall preclude the discussion of political or controversial issues or current events or exposure of mature students to candidates as guest speakers provided that such is done in compliance with the district’s policy on the teaching of controversial issues (IMB).

Nothing in this policy shall preclude the involvement of extra-curricular advisors in assisting students participating in extra- and co-curricular clubs and activities with promoting political candidates or causes, provided that the impetus for the particular effort comes from the group of students involved and is directly related to their club or activity.

Nothing in this policy should be construed as precluding mock elections, debates, conventions or other simulated political activities, where the activity is intended as an educational experience.

Adopted: October 14, 2014

SOURCE: MASC, with additions

LEGAL REF.: M.G.L. 71:44