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HSEA works to connect teachers with teachers while advancing the profession of teaching.
December 2015.....Winter break is upon us!
Words From Our President...
‘Tis the season! What season do you ask? Why, it is the political season, of course! I wanted to take this opportunity to voice a few reminders of “heads-up, seven-up.”
I love politics and relish the opportunity to engage in spirited dialogue about candidates. However, as a school employee you have some unique responsibilities under Indiana law.
You may NOT use school e-mail to communicate support for a political candidate. You may NOT use the school’s device or network to communicate support for a political candidate.
You should NOT voice to students your support of a candidate. Nor, should you wear apparel during school in support of a candidate.
Thus far, we have seen contentious political “debate” in the media. Remember, we view democracy as a participatory spectator sport. However, your employer pays you a salary . . . and according to courts, they purchase your speech while at work.
I have attached the HSE School Board Policy if you have questions.
Hamilton Southeastern Schools exists to serve the educational needs of school age children within its jurisdiction. While schools teach about democracy and the elective process, the corporation must remain neutral with respect to election campaigns for public office. Therefore, in the interest of fairness and school corporation impartiality, no material directly or indirectly supporting or opposing a candidate or group of candidates currently seeking election for public office will be:
* displayed on school property except at an approved polling place on election day;
* circulated on school property including communication through staff mailboxes, electronic mailboxes, or school electronic distribution services; or
* sent home with students.
The Board of School Trustees subscribes to the principle that public school employees share the responsibility for the development of a sound public body and assume full political and citizenship responsibilities. However, in his or her political activities, an employee will not:
* misrepresent the school corporation, but will take adequate precautions to distinguish between his/her personal and instructional views;
* interfere with a colleague’s personal exercise of political and citizenship rights and responsibilities;
* use institutional privileges, corporation resources, or working time to promote political candidates or partisan political activities;
* use his or her involvement or position in a school related organization to promote his or her own or any other candidacy for public office.
Nothing in this policy is to be construed as precluding:
1. mock elections, debates, conventions, or other simulated political activities, where the activity is primarily intended as an educational experience;
2. communications of the Hamilton Southeastern Education Association to its bargaining unit relating to its duties as the exclusive representative, including, but not limited to, negotiations, the administration of the collective bargaining agreement, the representation of employees in disputes and grievances and providing notice via the school’s electronic mail that the Association newsletter or other Association announcements are available for access on the Association’s website and providing a link to that website or the newsletter/announcement; or
3. communications regarding Board approved school corporation positions in respect to legislative issues and district referenda.
Health and Insurance Updates.......
YODER'S YAPS....Everything You Need To Know About Politics and Political Action!
Hello! As we near the end of the calendar year, the Indiana State Teachers Association is hard at work to prepare for the Indiana Legislative Session that will begin in January. ISTA has released its legislative agenda and goals for this year. The major focus is on recruiting and retaining quality educators to work with the thousands of students in schools across our state. If you are interested in seeing this agenda, please check out this link: https://ista-in.org/legislativeagenda
ISTA has also announced its annual Lobby Days, which are designed for educators to meet with legislators at the Indiana Statehouse and have the opportunity to speak with them about issues pertaining to education. As a person who has been to several of these days, I can tell you that they are very informative and important. Many of us feel that the Indiana Legislature has put policies into place governing what we do without any regard for teachers and their educational opinions. These Lobby Days are a perfect opportunity to speak directly with our legislators and make our opinions heard. This year’s Lobby Days are: February 9, February 23, March 1, March 8. I will be in touch as the time draws nearer to offer HSEA members the chance to go to some of these lobbying days. Look for my emails in the new semester!
Thank you so much for all that you do for our students and for our profession. I salute you!
HSEA Vice President for Political Action
This is YOUR newsletter too!
In the coming newsletters, remember, anyone who is a HSEA member is welcome to make a submission, or send information that you would like to see in the newsletter!
We will also be continuing to do the "member spotlight," so, if you'd like to nominate a member, or want to write something yourself, please let us know!
Send any submission, articles, etc. to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Look for our next newsletter before our Winter break!