Emails suggest Seminole school principal using position to push for penny sales tax



SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - The Seminole County School District has launched an investigation into a principal who allegedly used school resources to campaign for the penny sales tax.

On Monday, the school district clarified an email sent by Lyman High School which appeared to attempt to persuade parents to vote for the tax increase.

Since then, Channel 9 obtained two separate, internal emails from insiders who said they were sent by the principal, Brian Urichko.

Urichko said in one of the emails that the sales tax proposal "directly impacts your career." The memo also encourages staff to be "vocal activists" by putting signs in their front yards.

"If this goes on anything else could happen you know," a Seminole County parent said.

Many parents said they would vote for the penny tax, but don't think it's right for school district employees to campaign for it using public resources.

"He is the principal. I think he really is trying to do what is best. If he is the one who knows the rules, he shouldn't be breaking the rules. It's kind of like set the standards for the students," taxpayer Wayne Lumpkin said.

WFTV political analyst Rick Foglesong said if the emails are legitimate, they set a bad precedent.

"The school principal needs to be called out for crossing this line because if you don't do that, where does it end?" Foglesong said.

School district leaders told Eyewitness News they're looking into the principal's email and working to get to the bottom of it.