NewsCovering Kern County


Parent concern of campaigning in the classroom

Posted at 11:48 PM, May 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-18 02:55:36-04

With local elections nearing this June, campaigning is heating up. But Independence High School Parent Russell Adams says his daughter's teacher has taken campaigning too far and into the classroom. 

Cole McKnight is running for Superior Court Judge against incumbent John Fielder.

McKnight's wife, Meredith McKnight, is a science teacher at Independence High School.

Adams says his daughter came home from school saying Mrs. McKnight had been talking about her husband's campaign during class time.

"Apparently it's been done multiple times," said Adams. 

Adams said in the first instance, his daughter told him Mrs. McKnight told students to remind their parents to vote for her spouse.

Adams said in the second instance Mrs. McKnight told students to remind their parents to vote and that her husband's campaign had shirts for sale.

"When she said it to me, I don't think she knew anything bad," said Adams. "It just didn't feel right to her and it didn't seem right to me either."

According to KHSD policy, campaigning during class time is prohibited.

KHSD employee policy states in part, "campaigning and other election activities must be done in off-duty hours."

23ABC reached out to Mrs. McKnight who responded in an e-mail saying:

"I have never sold campaign shirts at all, to anyone, let alone my students. During class time, I teach."

KHSD says that Independence High School administration has been made aware of the concern and it is being addressed.