FREDERICK, Md. (DC News Now) — Members of the Frederick County Board of Education discussed a policy issue involving political activity Wednesday, a discussion prompted by a complaint filed by Cindy Rose, a candidate for office in 2022.
Using Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) resources for political activities is prohibited, but some employees received flyers in their work mailboxes during election time that contained some content tied to politics.
“There is legal support that says a union does have a right to have a newsletter and give you news. If it happens to also say there’s an election coming up and here’s some information and it’s within that, than the legal tease, teasing that out is, is it campaign material,” asked Jamie Cannon, Chief Legal Counsel for FCPS, “or is it their newsletter that happens to mention a very timely public related event going on?”
Rose, who takes exception with what some may see as a loophole, said, “Our candidates that aren’t union back, we’re not given equal access to the school mailboxes. We’re not allowed to go in there and put our information in the mailboxes. It should not be allowed or they should give equal access to every other candidate to those mailboxes.”
A statement from the board said:
“Last October, the communication placed in some staff members’ mailboxes was an association-produced newsletter called The Associate; it was not a political or campaign flyer. The publication is only distributed to association members and placed in mailboxes by association representatives after normal workday hours.”
The board said it will discuss the topic of political activity policy again in its May meeting.