Seminole school superintendent puts stop to pro-tax video on campuses



The Seminole County school superintendent has banned a commercial featuring former Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy from school events.

In his latest role, Van Gundy is chairman of a new political action committee out to convince voters to say yes to a property tax increase to help fund schools.

"The referendum could raise up to $25 million a year," Van Gundy is heard saying in the video.

But when the message aired on closed circuit television at Lake Mary High School last week during an open house, some who heard it weren't happy.

"School should be about education, not campaign for a particular candidate, or in this case, a tax increase. It's just wrong," said Grant Maloy, of the group Citizens for Accountable Schools.

School policy bans most political campaigning at its schools, whether it's a message on closed circuit TV or a sign posted outside the schools.

A Florida statute prohibits campaigning on government property.

The video prompted the school system's new superintendent to take action.

He sent a warning to all principals telling them not to allow any political messages at school or during school-sponsored activities.

Parents WFTV spoke to said no matter how they vote, politics should stay out of the classroom.

"They should be concentrating on learning and education," said parent Jack Erlich.

"I don't believe it belongs in the classroom," said parent Greg Ross.

The political committee Van Gundy represents did not return calls today when WFTV tried to contact it.