1311.1 - Political Activities of School Employees

Policy 1311.1

Community Relations

Political Activities of School Employees

The Newtown Board of Education recognizes the right of its employees, as citizens, to engage in political activity. However, the Board recognizes that school property and school time are paid for by all the people of the District, and should not be used for partisan political purposes, except as provided for in policies pertaining to the use of school facilities by civic and political organizations.

Prohibited activities include the posting of political circulars or petitions, collection or solicitation of campaign funds, solicitations for campaign workers, the use of students in writing or addressing campaign materials, and the distribution of campaign materials to students on District property or during school time in any manner which would indicate that a school employee is using a position in the school to further personal partisan views on candidates for public office or questions of public property. Teachers and other District employees will not attempt to influence students concerning political party affiliations and will not praise or denigrate any particular political party.

Nothing in this policy will be interpreted as prohibiting teachers from conducting appropriate activities that encourage students to become involved in the political processes of the party of the students’ choice or as independents; nor does it prohibit the use of political figures as resource persons in the classrooms.

(cf. 1140 – Distribution of Materials by Students)
(cf. 1311.2 – Political Activities in the Schools/On School Board Property)
(cf. 1330/3515 – Community Use of School Facilities)
(cf. 3543.13 – Mail and Delivery)
(cf. 4118.21 – Academic Freedom)
(cf. 6144 – Controversial Issues)
(cf. 6153.2 – Student Participation in Election Process)

Legal Reference:         Connecticut General Statutes
                                    7-421 Political activities of classified municipal employees.
   7-421b Limitation on restriction of political rights of municipal employees.
                                    9-369b Explanatory text relating to local questions.
                                    10-156e Employees of boards of education permitted to serve as elected officials; exception.
                                    10-239 Use of school facilities for other purposes
                                    31-51q Liability of employer for discipline or discharge of employee on account of employee’s exercise of certain
                                    constitutional rights.
                                    Keyishian v. Board of Regents 395 U.S. 589, 603 (1967)
                                    Academic Freedom Policy (adopted by Connecticut State Board of Education, 9/9/81)
                                    Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. ss 4071-4074

Policy adopted:May 5, 2015                                          
NEWTOWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Newtown, Connecticut
EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2015
Inspiring Each Student to Excel

3 Primrose St., Newtown, CT 06470
Phone: 203-426-7600