It is routine for a first lady to help with her husband's re-election campaign.
Michelle Obama is no different. She is visiting Miami on Tuesday, and will be recruiting campaign volunteers at Miami Lakes' Barbara Goleman Senior High. However, though the school is empty for the summer, some Republican members of the Miami-Dade school board don't want her there.
Some members of a Miami school board said first lady Michelle Obama, who is looking to recruit volunteers Tuesday, isn't welcome to use its school for political gain.
The Miami Herald reported that board member Renier Diaz de la Portilla, a Republican candidate for the Florida State House, has called for cancellation of the event. Similarly, another board member, Carlos Curbelo, has sent a letter to the board attorney, asking that he reconsider allowing the first lady to use the school "to benefit the president's re-election campaign."
Curbelo, who the paper said worked as a Republican strategist, wrote in the letter that allowing Obama to use the school is "inappropriate and sends the wrong message to our students, employees, and to taxpayers -- even if the president's campaign is willing to pay for all costs resulting from the event."
"Don't These Liberals Have Boundaries?"
Diaz de la Portilla also issued a statement to the paper, saying it is "downright wrong" that public schools are being used for political gain when the focus should be for educating children.
"Don't these liberals have boundaries?" Diaz de la Portilla said. "Our schools are places for learning, not places for politicking."
School board attorney Walter Harvey told the Herald that board policy states that any group, including political ones, can apply to lease facilities from the county's public schools.
Both presidential campaigns frequently use public schools for campaign events. Republican candidate Mitt Romney is holding a town hall meeting Tuesday at Central High School in Grand Junction, Colo.
Students at Barbara Goleman Senior High are on summer break and its employees cannot attend the event if they are working. The $2,351 cost of hosting the event will be paid by the campaign, not the district, the Herald reported.
It is not the first time that the presence of the Obamas in schools has been met with a public revolt from conservatives.
In September 2009, President Barack Obama was to deliver a speech to public school students but faced opposition from conservative parents. They felt he was trying to spread "socialist" ideas, according to the New York Times, and asked that school officials allow their children to opt out of listening.
The president planned to use his speech to encourage students to work hard and stay in school that year.
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