WOODBRIDGE, Va. - A Northern Virginia school district has a stern warning for politicians campaigning on school grounds – don’t do it.
Prince William County Public Schools posted an open letter on its website scolding political candidates for distributing partisan materials during the school day – and beyond.
The notice applies to all school sponsored activities, especially football games.
Games at Hylton High School are usually packed, creating a prime audience for political candidates, but Prince William County Public Schools says the school experience should be free from conflict, competition and distortion that can be associated with heated political campaigns.
“I think there’s a place for politics and I don’t think they should be together at our schools,” said David Matthew of Woodbridge.
The letter was written by Deputy Superintendent Keith Imon and it says, in part, that students should always be the focus of school-related events without concern that they are serving as an enticement to attract crowds for other purposes.
A school district spokesperson says the notice that was posted on Thursday was not prompted by any one incident, but they wanted to put the campaigns on notice as Election Day nears.
The spokesperson also insists that the stern warning is routine, though we couldn’t find any other instance.
A PTA president shared with FOX 5 what some families have experienced, which may have fueled this latest alert.
While the district prohibits materials on campus, its Constitution allows students to wear political-themed attire as long as the clothing is not substantially disruptive to a safe learning environment. The school system also says the political wear must also comply with the student dress code.
Prince William County Public Schools says the intention is to minimize intrusions and to avoid disruptions.