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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 23, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 47
Politicking in Port Angeles
Section One
ALL STORIES
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Politicking in Port Angeles

Lesbian mom pulls petition protesting teacher's 'No on 74' pin

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Cynthia Deford, the Lesbian parent who started a petition drive on SignOn.org urging the Port Angeles School District to prevent politicking by teachers, has withdrawn her petition, saying she now believes the school district will pay attention.

Deford posted the petition, which drew more than 600 signatures, on November 10, after she said an instructor wore a 'No on 74: one man + one woman = marriage' button in her daughter's eighth-grade classroom.

She had planned to deliver the printed version of the petition, with the signatures and comments by some who signed it, to the Port Angeles School District office. However, Superintendent Jane Pryne told the Peninsula Daily News that the district already has a policy in place and that the issue is now a 'personnel matter.'

Pryne would not identify the teacher with the button, despite requests from the media. 'I don't want anything to happen to this teacher,' she said.

APOLOGY SOUGHT
In addition, Deford would not identify the teacher either. The PDN reports that in her online petition discussion, she had said that the teacher in question is male and teaches mathematics.

Deford said she wanted an apology and sensitivity training for teachers. She has not asked for the teacher to be fired and says she has no intention of filing a lawsuit.

The Port Angeles School District has a policy specifically forbidding teachers from campaigning for an issue or candidate in the classroom.

The district's Procedure 5252P says: 'An employee may not campaign for a political candidate or for a political issue during school hours on school property.' Violation of the policy can be 'sufficient cause for reprimand or dismissal.'

Referendum 74 was approved November 6 with a 53% majority of the statewide vote.

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