RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Earlier this week CBS 6 received an official email from the Tim Kaine campaign alerting us that the candidates wife, Ann Holton, will be on the trail for her husband at an elementary school in Richmond. But school leaders say campaigning is typically not part of the curriculum.
A special visitor will appear before the students at Lynwood Holton elementary school on Richmond’s northside.
According to the press release Ann Holton – the wife of United States Senate candidate, Tim Kaine and daughter of former Governor Lynwood Holton, will stump on behalf of her husband at an official campaign stop Friday morning. The former first lady of Virginia will read to students and tour part of the school.
Ms. Holton’s campaign stop contradicts what Richmond School leaders told CBS6 just last week. While the school has no official policy regarding political campaigns RPS spokeswoman Felicia Cosby did tell CBS6 the district tends to shy away from being part of any political campaign – especially when it comes to those running for office addressing students.
Questions about campaigns in classrooms arose last week. First Lady Michelle Obama appeared at Richmond Centerstage during a campaign event for the President after the first lady’s request to speak at a school in Chesterfield was rejected based on the rules.
Chesterfield school brass points to policy 6100 that prohibits school facilities to be used for political purposes during school hours.
In Henrico County, school leaders encourage employees to get involved with campaigns on their own time but may not imply the school division’s partisan support of any candidate or party. Also, employees may not use school time or property for partisan political purposes.
Should politicians be allowed in class? Some parents we spoke with say no matter what campaigns have no business on campus, but other parents say students may benefit by learning a valuable civics lesson.
Regina Pittman, who has a daughter in the 11th grade at John Marshall High School says,
“It is real good for them because she is teaching them what the campaign is about and maybe when they grow up they might want to be one like Tim Kaine is.”
Yvette “I don’t think it’s a good idea because I think the classroom is for learning. They need to be getting a lesson and not learning about the campaign and getting their studies on and what they’re going to school for. “
Late today, the Tim Kaine campaign contacted CBS6 and said there was a miscommunication in the press release and that Ms. Holton’s visit to the school is ‘not’ an official campaign stop for her husband. She will be reading to a class of students at Lynwood Holton Elementary in her role as former first lady and will not be stumping for her husband.