Lexington One Superintendent Defends Illegal Emails

karen woodward.jpg

Shortly before the June 10 primaries, bureaucrats at Lexington School District One decided to flex their political muscle by illegally attacking state house and senate candidates they claimed were associated with school choice reforms. Using school resources to advocate for or against candidates in a political race is illegal, and shows that public school administrators are more interested in protecting their patronage machine than providing South Carolina’s children with a competitive education.

A Voice for School Choice reader, Mr. Vinson, wrote to Superintendent Woodward asking about her use of taxpayer resources in lobbying against candidates (6/5/2008 4:54 PM):

It has come to my attention that the school resources of your District have been used to influence a State Election. I believe that such action warrants a review by the State Ethics Commission as well as a review by other regulatory agencies that examine expenditures by established governmental entities.

Woodward wrote back the next day (June 06, 2008 11:55 AM):

Mr. Vinson,

We are always glad to get feedback.

We are satisfied, however, that in communicating with our employees in this manner, we have not in any way violated the ethics law.

We did not discuss nor promote any individual candidate or party.

We simply reminded folks of their responsibility to vote and to be knowledgeable about their choices. None of the links provided endorse any one candidate or candidates.

We believe it is important that folks consider how their candidate stands on issues impacting public education before they vote. And, our board has taken a stand opposing vouchers and even passed a formal resolution opposing vouchers.

As a matter of information, we often conduct voter registration drives at our schools and did so earlier this year.

We regularly encourage our employees and advisory councils to get out and vote. In fact, much of the email you are referencing came from an email that we have used in past years reminding our employees to vote.

Thank you for your interest.

Karen Woodward

Mr Vinson, feeling that Woodward sidestepped his question, replied (June 07, 2008 5:51 PM):

I do not question the accuracy of your statements in your email strictly construed.

My question to you is to the accuracy of the statement that the “emails on the District Computer ( implored the employees to vote against any
candidate advocating for school choice and noted that with their 3,000 plus votes, the school employees would heavily influence the election results.)” Is the preceding factual? I look forward to the receipt of your response.

As far was we know, Mrs. Woodward did not reply.

Woodward’s smug tone and unapologetic defense of her illegal political meddling show a total disregard for the voters in Lexington. The sole purpose of a public school district is to provide for the education of children living within its boundaries; not to serve as a partisan political apparatus. The actions of Woodward, as well as similarly illegal advocacy by Jim Rex, make it clear that so-called “public educators” often place the political agenda of public schools before the educational needs of children in the state.

11 responses to “Lexington One Superintendent Defends Illegal Emails

  1. Woodward is an archetypal political hack. She is narrowly focused on running that district like a gigantic personal press department. She regularly steamrolls over parent’s complaints and panders to the local press with her soft spoken and condescending platitudes. Even spin-master Rex could learn lessons from her. I am sure her silver-tongued taxpayer-financed legal staff penned those emails – all too ready to defend breaking of the law through their obscurest sophist rhetoric with the public footing the bill.

  2. Friend of a Lex One Teacher

    How can she call a target list of pro school choice candidate and links to anonymously authored anti choice attack blogs “reminding folks of their responsibility?!?”

  3. Nothing short of an educational pogrom will snap these pigs out of their power and money induced stupor. They use and abuse everyone and everything to advance the ends of their masters at the NEA. It doesn’t matter what we parents do or say, they will keep sacrificing our children to keep themselves in power. South Carolina needs to wake up! This state is enslaved by people who claim to be responsible for the most important job of all…educating our youth.

  4. disgusted conservative

    A change in the open primary policy would have helped. The call to fraud by Ms Woodward would have been largely ineffective if liberal dems were not allowed to vote in a republican primary. Some one should sue! Maybe the conservatives could gang up on them next time and rock their tidy little boat.

  5. Lover of Literature

    At the risk of sounding extremely silly, I am going to propose an unlikely literary analogy. However, I know plenty of highly intelligent people who defend J.K. Rowling as an insightful and skilled writer, so maybe I’m not too far off base. Although fantastical, her characters are very much like people I have come across in real life. Delores Umbridge, an employee of the wizard government, inserts herself into the education of Harry and his friends. She passes ridiculous law after ridiculous law in order to defend her position (for which she is completely unqualified). She enlists the media to praise her to the public. Furthermore, she doesn’t teach her students anything! The students go so far as to begin teaching themselves behind her back (because of course her edicts prohibit them from actually learning the things they need to know to survive). At the same time, she is dripping with syrupy soliloquies on how she loves and cares about children. Although fictional, Umbridge is an educrat if I ever knew one. I wonder if Rowling has ever met Mrs. Woodward or visited a SC public school? From the looks of it, this esteemed author based her villain on our abysmal situation. You may think I’m crazy, but read for yourself and you decide.

  6. Why are we surprised about this? The NEA frequently sends out mail pieces to their employees that all but endorse candidates by name. I guess they are just trying to “remind folks of their responsibility to vote” and help them “to be knowledgeable about their choices.” Like Mrs. Woodward they aren’t presenting choices. They are attacking choice and protecting their own jobs. How can Mrs. Woodward sleep at night knowing how many children and parents she has failed?

  7. She didn’t get to the top of the educrat food chain by being dumb. Mr. Vinson will never get a straight answer. She will continue to downplay and evade the issue, and continue to use her district’s influence to batter down resistance to Rex’s agenda. They are all working toward their same goal of total control without resistance. Laws of the land will not stop them from pursuing that

  8. Keep pointing your finger at her and laughing. Soon, the noise will attract the rest of the voters to remove her and her socialist twit butt from office. And nothing will move the state to investigate her screwed up ethics like the blogisphere being in an uproar over her stupidity.

    The View From Out Here

  9. Mom of two SC

    Just another example in this state of who you know, too many tax dollars being wasted! I hope our Governor gets wind. Furthermore I am sure if we write the right congress person for your district at the federal level, and enough of us do this, it may raise importance of this issue. I will do this right now!

  10. Another Anonymous

    You see this same type of activity in Rock Hill School District Three.

  11. Without seeing the actual email she sent out it is hard to comment about this. Doesn’t she say in her answer to Mr.V that they did not endorse anyone in the email? Did I miss seeing the email reproduced on this site? Just curious. It’s either legal or illegal, she can’t just skirt the issue. Action should be taken.

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