KEA Calls for Immediate Investigation into Misuse of Teacher Emails for Electioneering on Governor Bevin’s Behalf

Kentucky State Board of Education and Commissioner Lewis must find out what organization or campaign might be behind the improper use of school email

KENTUCKY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION

Frankfort, KY–The Kentucky Education Association (KEA) is calling for a thorough and immediate investigation by the Kentucky State Board of Education into the misuse of public-school teacher’s emails by an unknown entity supporting the reelection campaign of Matt Bevin.

“We have received hundreds of messages from educators across the Commonwealth voicing their outrage at receiving political email through the school district systems. Most school districts have appropriate use policies that prohibit the use of school email for political purposes, and the Bevin administration hasn’t been shy about using those same policies to silence educator voices,” said Eddie Campbell, KEA President. “Educators want answers about who is misusing their emails.”

Commissioner Lewis is well aware of the policies imposing limits on the use of school email and has used those policies against at least two educators in the past.  Last November, Commissioner Lewis got one teacher fired and another reprimanded for using the school email system to send him messages that he found offensive.  He and the school superintendents that disciplined those two teachers should be just as outraged now.”

Regina Brown, an educator for 31 years and the Director of Special Education and Preschool for the Letcher County schools, received the politically-charged email at her work email address.

“Where’s the outrage from Governor Bevin and Commissioner Lewis on this unlawful use of our publicly-funded email system?” asked Brown. “They’ve investigated and searched the emails of educators who have differing political views than theirs and used those messages to bully and intimidate. Where’s their outrage now that the political use of the emails serves them?”

“Educators can’t use work email for political purposes, period.  Some of them have been disciplined or threatened with discipline by this administration for their alleged inappropriate use of school email.  But that street runs both ways.  Educators also shouldn’t have to receive political email at their work addresses,” said Campbell. “If the Bevin campaign isn’t using the state-funded system to promote his candidacy, someone is doing it on his behalf. Either way, it’s the use of a publicly-funded asset for electioneering. And that’s just wrong.”