Field Trip to the Polls

By Liana Loewus — October 21, 2010 1 min read
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Fox News reports that a Cincinnati public school took three vanloads of voting-age students to the polls during school hours and gave them sample ballots—which only showed Democratic candidates. And after casting votes, the students were taken out for ice cream, said Fox.

According to the news station, Thomas Brinkman, Republican candidate for county auditor, filed a legal complaint against Cincinnatti Public Schools, stating the students were given the sample ballots “clearly with the intention of instructing [them] how to vote.”

The field trip was set up by a teacher and a former principal in the district, and a local church provided the vans. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that the former principal, and not a current CPS employee, handed out the sample ballots.

The school system denies it did anything wrong, but signed an agreement stating it would “not use any personnel or property” to advocate for a political party. Brinkman’s lawsuit will go back to court Nov. 30, as he seeks to have a permanent injunction issued and the school system pay his attorney’s fees, or $10,000.

UPDATE: The principal at the high school, Virginia Rhodes, was suspended Oct. 29 for up to two weeks with pay.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.