Some upset with Lyman High email on sales tax vote



LONGWOOD, Fla. - Thousands of Seminole County voters are already telling the county how they feel about another proposed penny sales tax hike. Early voting started Saturday.
On Friday, parents of students from Lyman High School in Longwood received emails that some believe crossed the line by asking them to support the tax.   
A parent from Lyman gave Eyewitness News an email that asked voters to support the tax. The email was sent through the school's email distribution list.
Critics of the penny tax say school resources shouldn't be used to influence voters.
"Schools are about educating children, not about promoting political campaigns and political issues," said Ed Riordan with the organization No Seminole Tax Hike.
District officials said its policy regarding political activity prohibits the distribution of any material that can influence the outcome of an election. Schools can only send out material that is factual and informational.
WFTV political analyst Rick Foglesong said most of the message was informational, but the last sentence, "our students are depending on you," crossed the line.
"It's implicit in that last sentence that 'students depend upon you,' but what else could that mean except, 'We want you to vote in favor?'" said Foglesong.
A school district representative told Channel 9's Racquel Asa that the district would be working with the school's principal to send out another email to clarify the intent.
Riordan said he hopes it isn't too late.          
"Folks who may have received that email may have already cast their ballots by absentee or on Saturday or Sunday, maybe even today," said Riordan.
Monday afternoon the district sent out a clarification email saying the last sentence of the email was supposed to be interpreted as "our students are depending on you to make an informed decision."