For the past several years at the end of the year I’ve posted my Top Ten Franklin Stories of the year. Here’s a portion of my #4 story in 2007:
On April 2, 2007, the day before Franklin voters went to the polls to decide on two school referenda totaling $78-million, my blog had the following headline:
Franklin school officials sink to sleazy new low to get votes
The Friday before Election Day, during school time, hundreds of Franklin High School seniors of voting age were taken to an Assembly and then drilled by school personnel about why they should vote for the referenda.
Doors to the Assembly reportedly were locked so no one could leave and no one could enter to see and hear what was going on.
I wrote the following:
The impropriety of this action by Franklin school officials is clear. The surprise Assembly on the Friday before the election should never have taken place. I’m not sure if the Assembly was illegal, but it certainly was extremely unethical.
It smacks of a desperate, underhanded, sleazy maneuver by folks who must be very worried about the outcome of the election. On principle alone, these referenda need to be resoundingly rejected.
Shame on the Franklin School District for this disgusting and despicable tactic!
Later on April 2, I blogged an e-mail I received from a Franklin parent:
Now that the school district has given the senior class a civics lesson and is encouraging them to exercise their right and privilege to vote(many for the first time):
1. Will they be excused from school to vote?
2. Will the students get a lesson in how to register to vote; how to determine what district they live in; and where their polling place is located?
3. Will they provide transportation to the polls?
4. Will they earn a grade for voting—how are the students going to be assessed following this civics lesson? Will they have to wear the I Voted sticker as proof of voting?
5. Will they tack on an additional 2 hours to the make up school days since the students missed first/second hour to attend this civic lesson?
I have more questions to add but the most important one is:
When will the investigation into the legality of this action begin? Who will be held accountable?
The referenda failed miserably.
—This Just In…, December 28, 2007
Another Franklin blogger learned from open records requests that e-mails went back and forth between school officials about the “Assembly.”
Not long after the election, the District Attorney’s office began to investigate and wanted answers from outgoing Superintendent Bill Szakacs.
No charges were filed. Nothing was ever done.
To this day schools all across Wisconsin illegally push politics, but again, nothing is ever done.
Today’s highly interesting read is an editorial from Racine.