CPS accused of pushing Dems on potential new voters

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email|Facebook

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati Public Schools are taking some heat for possibly involving high school students in partisan political activity during school hours.

There are allegations from the political action group COAST, that students were handed ballots featuring only Democrat candidates.

Attorney Chris Finney says he is waiting to see if Judge Myers signed an injunction that would prevent students from being swayed in any one political direction, and ensure that all parties get a fair shake at potential new voters.

"We learned over the weekend that last Wednesday, Cincinnati Public Schools, one of the teachers at Hughes High School, brought three van loads of kids down to the Board Of Elections, with Democrat sample ballots in hand," Finney said.

Finney is suing CPS on behalf of political group, COAST, saying students are being indoctrinated early-on, to vote Democrat and given no other choices.

"We have an unfortunate habit from the Cincinnati Public Schools of thinking that there's only one way that you're allowed to vote, one way that you're allowed to think," Finney said. "And they indoctrinate the children apparently to believe that and we're trying to put a stop to that."

Finney also believes the children were placed at risk.

"These children were placed on vans without any CPS personnel present," Finney said. "Two of the three vans had no CPS personnel present, the drivers had no background checks whatsoever, and the vehicles themselves had not been approved or checked by Cincinnati Public Schools all of which is required by state law."

CPS said they are trying to find out who made that call from Hughes High School, which was a move not approved by the District.

"A group volunteered vans to drive some students and the school accepted the offer," CPS Spokesperson Janet Walsh said in a statement released to the media.

"Cincinnati Public Schools has a policy we learned," Finney said. "Of registering students just as soon as they turn 18 and they also have a policy every year, of taking them down to the board of elections to make sure they vote."

True enough Walsh said. They absolutely do encourage young people to register and to vote, however, in their statement, CPS denied any wrongdoing.

"No CPS personnel engaged in the promotion of candidates or any political party," Walsh said. "CPS does not endorse candidates or parties."

"What Cincinnati Public Schools says, which we don't believe," Finney said. "Is that it was a surprise to them that they got sample ballots, they thought it was a non-partisan exercise, that's what they claim."

"In regard to the legal action," Walsh said. "We have been in contact with counsel for COAST and believe we are moving toward an agreement."

Whenever Judge Myers does sign the injunction, it will basically prevent any more so-called one-sided politicking before Election Day, meaning students would have to be shown all party options, when learning how to vote.

As Janet Walsh pointed out in line #3 in the injunction, "defendant does not admit and expressly denies that the Complaint has merit." meaning that CPS admits to no wrongdoing. Walsh said they are looking forward to putting this whole episode behind them.

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