A call to action for students in a North Texas public-school district to promote Democrat candidates was linked to taxpayer-funded district resources, which could be a violation of state law. This is the latest discovery of Democrat agendas in Texas public schools.
Sources from Richardson Independent School District in Dallas County provided Texas Scorecard with a screenshot of an advertisement to “help get the Democratic voting info out” by going door to door and delivering “election literature” the weekend of October 24.
The notice is directed at students.
It references an earlier block walk, saying, “We have put these on over 100,000 doors in north east Dallas County the last 2 weeks before early voting started.”
Interested students are encouraged to contact Tracey Bishkin, a social studies teacher at Lake Highlands High School, through her taxpayer-funded district email address.
Texas Scorecard asked the entire RISD Board of Trustees and Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone if the communication had been authorized by the school.
Only Stone replied, confirming the notice was sent out by Bishkin but was not authorized by RISD, nor can class credits be earned by participating.
When asked if this block walking is “an authorized RISD extracurricular activity for students,” Stone replied that “LHHS Young Democrats is a non-curricular, student-sponsored and student-led club that meets outside of the school day.”
“Ms. Bishkin is the custodial sponsor and in that role, distributes information for the club,” she continued.
The call to action was found on a taxpayer-funded district resource. Sources provided a screen-recorded video from a Richardson ISD parent who found the announcement posted under the name of a “Mrs. Doebbler,” with the header “NHS Green and Gray” and title “Outside hours!”
To protect the parent’s privacy and safety, Texas Scorecard is not releasing their name.
Elise Doebbler is listed as the co-chair of the English Department at RISD. This announcement was found in the Remind application, “a communication platform that helps schools and districts reach and engage with their communities.”
In a 2018 written opinion to State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) about the Texas Election Code, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wrote that school districts are a “political subdivision” and therefore, under the code’s provision, “[a]n officer or employee of a political subdivision may not knowingly spend or authorize the spending of public funds for political advertising.”
Paxton then explained how the Texas Legislature has defined “political advertising” as:
[A] communication supporting or opposing a candidate for nomination or election to a public office or office of a political party, a political party, a public officer, or a measure that: (A) in return for consideration, is published in a newspaper, magazine, or other periodical or is broadcast by radio or television; or (B) appears: (i) in a pamphlet, circular, flier, billboard, or other sign, bumper sticker, or similar form of written communication; or (ii) on an Internet website.
A brochure from the AG’s office about school districts and elections also says “using school resources to promote particular candidates, measures, or political parties may constitute the type of electioneering prohibited by law.” It also says district employees cannot, on district time or with district email, encourage co-workers to vote for particular candidates or parties.
The brochure does say employees may use their personal social media accounts to electioneer on their personal time, and the accounts are only to be used for personal communications, not work. Also, school district employees may participate in political campaigns, “but only on personal time and [they] may not use district resources to do so.”
Texas Scorecard sent follow-up questions to Stone and the board about possible violations of the Texas Election Code. No response was received by publication time.
Democrat agendas have been heavily promoted in Texas public schools in 2020, with radical Marxist documents shared in Plano ISD, a Wylie school assignment comparing police to Ku Klux Klansmen, and Carroll ISD’s board trying to push a pro-LGBTQ “Cultural Competence Action Plan.”
Concerned parents may contact the RISD Board of Trustees.
District 1 Member Jean Bono, Board Vice-President: firstname.lastname@example.org
District 2 Member Eron Linn: email@example.com
District 3 Member Debbie Renteria: Debbie.Renteria@risd.org
District 4 Member Regina Harris, Board Secretary: Regina.Harris@risd.org
District 5 Member Karen Clardy, Board President: firstname.lastname@example.org
At-Large Member Place 6 Eric Eager: email@example.com
At-Large Member Place 7 Kim Caston: firstname.lastname@example.org