Parents of the Douglas County fourth-graders who appeared at a Capitol press conference Monday in support of a tax increase were never asked permission for their kids to be part of the event.
Douglas County school officials said they got phone calls after the event inquiring about the presence of the children, who were in the fourth grade at Wildcat Mountain Elementary in Littleton. The kids stood behind Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, on Monday as he outlined the details of his proposal to ask voters in November to approve a five-year, $3 billion tax increase for education.
Randy Barber, a spokesman for Douglas County schools, said the class had planned a tour of the Capitol long before Heath ever scheduled his press conference the same day in the building. A supporter of the tax increase proposal approached a parent chaperone with the class and asked if the group wanted to participate in the press conference, and the teacher of the class agreed, Barber said.
“I don’t think they understood what the event was fully about,” Barber said.
The school district does not permit students to engage in political activities on school time, and certainly not without parental consent, he said.
When the elementary school’s principal heard about the event and spoke to the teacher, the teacher then began calling parents to apologize, Barber said.