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Back to School Campaigning

Back to school nights used to be a simple, if chaotic, event. Basically, a meet-and-greet between parents and teachers and a chance for the school to show off a little.

However, this is a school board election year around here so politics will also be attending the open house.

Back-to-school nights are prime time for glad-handing the voters least likely to skip the school board race near the end of a busy ballot: concerned parents. With school board campaigns in Northern Virginia in full swing after Labor Day and the start of the school year, some challengers say campaign policies make it hard to compete with incumbents.

The typical back-to-school night is “a magnet for candidates,” Loudoun schools spokesman Wayde B. Byard acknowledged. “But it isn’t a campaign rally. It’s a chance to come back to meet teachers, to get a schedule, to tour the building. We want candidates to respect the primary reason parents are there.”

So, should all candidates, incumbent and challenger, be blocked at the school house door? Be welcomed into the building?

Maybe this would be a good opportunity for the community to begin a discussion of the future of schools beyond what’s happening in the next nine months.

back to school night, school board, election


  1. Techmuse

    Ahhhh…but the reality is that most of the current school board members are being taped in advance–so they can show their faces without actually being there.

  2. Dave

    When they file for candidacy, give them a list of events where they are welcome (open houses included) with a contact person for each event. At these events, the candidates must find out from the contact person where they are allowed to be/what they can do (can they approach parents? must stay at a table/booth? can put fliers on chairs?). If candidates don’t follow the rules, they aren’t welcome at any more events.

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