The State Law is pretty clear;

Universal Citation: SD Codified L § 12-27-20 (through 2012)

12-27-20. Expenditure of public funds to influence election outcome prohibited. The state, an agency of the state, and the governing body of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state may not expend or permit the expenditure of public funds for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of any candidate, or for the petitioning of a ballot question on the ballot or the adoption or defeat of any ballot question. This section may not be construed to limit the freedom of speech of any officer or employee of the state or such political subdivisions in his or her personal capacity. This section does not prohibit the state, its agencies, or the governing body of any political subdivision of the state from presenting factual information solely for the purpose of educating the voters on a ballot question.

Source: SL 2007, ch 80, § 20.

You can’t use district property maintained by taxpayers to promote your cause. If your parents want to hold a party at their house after school hours, that is perfectly legal. Does Roosevelt HS have any civics teachers that have a clue, or for that matter administrators? Geezsch!


Maybe this is what they are teaching in government class at Roosevelt HS.


11 Thoughts on “Is the group opposed to after Labor Day Start blatantly breaking campaign laws?

  1. CCFlyer on March 18, 2015 at 10:47 pm said:

    I’m not sure they are, Scott, unless you’re saying they are purchasing something using school allocated funds, which it doesn’t appear so in the post. What are you citing that the school is purchasing?

    I’m not taking sides, however, unless I read the law incorrectly, it states only that it is illegal for the district to spend funds, but that it is legal for them to send out “factual information” i.e. their email blast, and no where says it’s illegal for students to meet and discuss and work on the issue outside of class hours.

  2. They are using taxpayer funded property to promote their cause. Pretty simple. That is a no-no, they can do everything they are doing, they just can’t do it on government property.

    As I have told the ‘Vote No’ people, I don’t have a dog in the fight, could care less when school starts, I am just asking people to follow the rules.

  3. Taxpayer on March 19, 2015 at 6:07 am said:

    I wonder if stealing ‘Save Our Summer” yard signs is on this morning’s meeting agenda!?

  4. OldSlewFoot on March 19, 2015 at 8:29 am said:

    DL – Along a similar vein – A church group holds services every Sunday at Rosa Parks Elementary has . I wondered about the legality of that too. They are using school district funds (utilities – probably a janitor). Do they reimburse the district or is this just allowed?

    I think in the students case it gets down to how do you define “expenditure of public funds”.

  5. Old Slew – Not sure where that is defined, but I can almost bet you they are paying some kind of rental fee, either way, it has NOTHING to do with the above law, this is about election and campaign laws. The local wiccans could be holding a plant sacrifice on the gym floor of Roosevelt, but they still wouldn’t be violating campaign rules. This meeting should have not been held on school property or during instructional hours.

  6. SouthernExposure on March 19, 2015 at 12:31 pm said:

    If no one complains…

  7. Exactly, hopefully people will show up to the Monday School Board meeting and express their dissatisfaction in the process, I hate to see attorneys getting involved when all it takes is a little common sense.

  8. hornguy on March 19, 2015 at 3:58 pm said:

    Hate to break it to you, but your interpretation is incorrect.

    The Supreme Court has been through this issue on multiple occasions. School buildings are public facilities and as such have to be made reasonably available on a viewpoint-neutral basis to groups promoting religious and political viewpoints if the district otherwise makes it space to other community groups. And yes, that includes student groups that meet during the school day. In short, the district can’t exclude this group even though the matter happens to be one that would affect the school district.

    Now, if they were being held to different terms, or the district was making staff or students participate, that’s a different story. However, sadly as usual, you have no evidence of that. All you’re offering is conjecture and inaccurate interpretations of law.

    Perhaps you should learn the rules before insisting that people follow them.

  9. I believe the student group is legally allowed to use the school building for their before-school meeting under the Limited Open Forum policy. Please go to the School District website and find policy JJAB and the regulation JJAB-R.

  10. l3wis on March 19, 2015 at 9:38 pm said:

    HG – There are instructors/administrators participating in the debate online on FB during school hours, and that is the crux of it. We are not paying staff to campaign against an initiative, we pay them to educate youth, and a majority of them are not even of voting age. I will say it for the 100th time, they can do whatever they want to ON THEIR OWN TIME, the 1st Amendment affords them that right, they just can’t do it on the taxpayer dime. If they are truly passionate about keeping the school year the way it is, they will find their OWN time to do it.

  11. hornguy on March 20, 2015 at 11:31 pm said:

    So you start out in your first post complaining about students and now, that argument blown out of the water; now you’re saying that what you really meant is that you’re upset that staff are using a pre-existing resource for incidental personal use? I’m not clear how you get from Point A to Point B sometimes other than it usually happens when your Point A isn’t going so well.

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