Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist (D) most recent campaign TV ad has violated the Pinellas County School District’s policy of not allowing “advertising or otherwise promoting the interests of any commercial, political, or other nonschool agency or individual organization.”
The 30-second TV ad shows Crist taking a stroll down memory lane at his “alma mater,” St. Petersburg High School.
“This isn’t just a doorway to a school. It was my doorway, as a public school kid, to opportunity.“-Charlie Crist
The Pinellas County School District prohibits the use of school property for “advertising or otherwise promoting the interests of any commercial, political, or other nonschool agency or individual organization.”
School administrators at St. Petersburg High violated the board’s policy. A letter, written on the high school’s letterhead, gave the Crist campaign permission to film on the campus. The letter states that there was no charge for use of the campus, and that administrators would offer the school to “any candidate regardless of political affiliation.”
A copy of the letter released Wednesday by the school district was unsigned. A copy released by the Crist campaign was signed by Darlene Lebo, assistant principal for facilities.
Brendan Gilfillan, a spokesman for the Crist campaign, said they chose St. Petersburg High as the setting for the advertisement because that’s where the former governor went to school. Students seen in the ad volunteered to participate; they were from Pinellas County but not necessarily St. Petersburg High, he said.-TB Times
School district administrators took issue with the permission granted to Crist’s campaign, stating that it was an “error in judgment” by a school administrator.
By the way, the ad still runs. I guess you can say that this kind of stuff happens during any campaign cycle.