General Statement of Purpose
The Guilford County school district believes that all students should have opportunities to learn about the democratic political processes that occur at local, state, and national levels. Educating students about the political systems operating in American society is critical in preparing students to become informed and involved citizens.
Political Campaigns and the Curriculum
Teachers and students may study political campaigns, the democratic party system, and the analysis of political issues through classroom instruction and through school activities or events. Central office administrators, central office staff members, school administrators, school faculty, or school staff members shall not use their positions to promote political candidates or partisan political issues or activities on Guilford County Schools school grounds, facilities, or property during school hours, after school during school sponsored events or activities, or during official business hours of operation.
Political Organizations' Meetings
Meetings of non-Guilford County School clubs or organizations for the purpose of promoting a political party, candidate or partisan political issue will not permitted on Guilford County Schools property, including but not limited to, all school facilities and grounds, all central office facilities, and all other Guilford County School owned buildings or property during school hours, after school during school sponsored events or activities, or during official business hours of operation.
Such groups desiring to use Guilford County Schools' schools, facilities, or property at times that will not interfere with school activities or official business hours of operation may apply to do so according to the district's policy governing the use of Guilford County Schools' facilities.
Visits by Political Candidates
Visits by political candidates, their representatives, or their supporters to Guilford County school campuses made for the purposes of soliciting votes, promoting political platforms or partisan issues, making political contacts, or advancing in whole or in part their candidacies through other means shall not be permitted during school hours or after school hours during school sponsored activities or events. Furthermore, such visits shall not be permitted during hours of operation at any other Guilford County Schools' facilities.
An exception to this policy will be permitted if the school or facility invites the candidates of all parties for the same office, or offices, and the principal or the Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee has approved such invitation. The invitation will be extended to all candidates sufficiently in advance of the designated event or activity to allow each candidate the opportunity to make preparations to attend.
Students and Political Activities
Student-initiated clubs or groups organized for the purposes of promoting a political party, candidate, or partisan issue shall follow established procedures to receive formal club/organization recognition by the principal. All recognized student-initiated political clubs may then hold meetings on school grounds according to procedures established by the principal.
Student groups shall not participate in partisan political activities. However, the Guilford County school district approves of student participation in other public assemblies, exhibitions, and performances, where such events will provide educational experiences for the student participants or will contribute to the general welfare of the students, school, or community. Such participation shall take place after school hours with parental consent, the approval of the principal, and at the request of the organization or group sponsoring the event.
Employees and Political Activities
Employees are encouraged to exercise their rights to participate in the democratic political process as citizens within boundaries outlined below.
A. Employees shall not actively campaign or solicit the support of other employees or persons for any candidate for public office while on duty or being paid to provide services or labor to the Guilford County school district or its students.
B. Employees shall not use their position of employment to force, coerce, or compel subordinate employees to make financial or other contributions to any political campaign.
C. Employees shall not use their position of employment to force, coerce, or compel students to make financial or other contributions to any political campaign.
D. Employees shall not be compelled to join a designated political party or organization, or to contribute monies or other types of support to a particular political party, organization, or candidate as a condition of employment by the Guilford County Schools.
E. Employees shall not circulate political posters or petitions, write or address campaign materials, or distribute campaign materials on school property while on duty or being paid to provide services or labor to the Guilford County school district or its students.
F. Employees shall not use their position of employment to intimidate, harass, or coerce another employee relative to a particular political issue, policy, or campaign platform.
G. Employees shall not use their position of employment to further personal views on candidates for office or political issues by attempting to indoctrinate students with these personal views. Employees shall not intimidate, harass, or coerce students relative any political candidates, political issues, or campaign platforms.
Distribution of Political Materials
The distribution of political materials to students or through students on school grounds or at school-sponsored activities is subject to the provisions in Administrative Policy KI, Distribution of Materials to Students.
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