School Board Candidate Information Packet Found In Elementary Lounge

A campaign packet endorsing three candidates for Wausau School District school board made its way into a local elementary school teachers lounge.

It's a clear violation of school district policy, and a possible violation of state law, which prohibits public employees from campaigning on work time and property.

Jeff Gress, Wausau School District Director of Human Resources and Public Relations, said he was notified Tuesday after the materials were posted in a staff lounge at Riverview Elementary School.

He said the materials are no longer there.

Gress said it appears that someone took off or removed the cover sheet and wrote on the side of the document "keep in lounge."

The packet is from the Wausau Education Association, and it endorses certain candidates.

Gress said he sent a message to all administrators to check their school buildings for any other related materials.

"We don't allow any promotion of partisan- or political- or religious- or commercial- or self interest-type notices or publications notices to be published in the buildings," Gress said.

He also said he does not know who put it there, but if the district finds out who did, they will make sure they understand that it is not consistent with the Wausau School District's policy.

He also said he believes this is a single event.

"We are trying to nip it in the bud and stop it from happening and of course prevent it from reoccurring as we move ahead," Gress said.

He said the Wausau School District is very sensitive to the issue, and it will try to make sure nothing like this occurs again so the school stays politically neutral.

The last time something like this happened was in 2011 when a posting appeared in the Wausau West High School teachers lounge, according to a 2011 WSAW article.

That posting encouraged teachers to boycott local businesses that supported Governor Scott Walker.

Gress said this recent packet doesn't look to be accidental, and they'll continue to keep an eye on anything else of this nature.

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