NASD new policy to encourage political involvement

Published 12:47 am Tuesday, March 14, 2017


By Christian Coffman

NATCHEZ — Under a proposed new policy, the Natchez-Adams School Board of Trustees would encourage district employees to register to vote.

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Board member Philip West proposed the policy barring any religious exemptions.

West said Monday he thinks the district should not just encourage, but require staff members to be registered voters, but he realizes the district cannot legally require the staff to do so.

While the policy encourages NASD employees to be politically active, it does have several stipulations.

Under the policy, NASD employees are not to use school property or time they are on the clock for political purposes. Employees are not permitted to use the district for political gain or for the endorsement of a specific candidate.

NASD employees wishing to run for office must notify the school board in writing and specify the office which they intend to seek, along with their decision as to whether they want to keep their current employment.

The school board would then decide whether the proposed activities would interfere with the employee’s time requirements for fulfilling their responsibilities.

NASD employees are also discouraged from involving their schools in political campaigns. Such involvement would include pupil polling, distributing campaign literature within schools and displaying campaign posters on school property.

Violations of this new policy would be reported and discussed in a conference between the employee and the superintendent.

West said he thinks that all employees ought to be responsible politically, since they are all part of a republic and that democracy is a founding principle of the United States.