It appears that the president is tapping into the power of youth to try to try to win the “battleground” state of Florida. According to Todd Starnes of Fox News, teachers with an after-school program called PLACE at Seven Oaks Elementary School in Pasco County, Florida, recently had students write letters to President Obama, asking him for advice on a political topic. “My daughter told me that the PLACE teachers made all of the children write a letter to Barack Obama,” an unidentified parent told Starnes in an e-mail. “My daughter told them that she did not want to write a letter to Barack Obama but she would like to write a letter to Mitt Romney instead.” According to the parent, the teachers told his child that she could not write to Romney. “The PLACE teachers told her that they were sorry but everyone was to write a letter to Barack Obama,” the parent told Starnes.
Victoria Baldree, whose daughter, Blair, attends the after-school PLACE program, confirmed the story, telling Fox News that staff “handed the students letters they wanted the kids to write to the president. When Blair told them she didn’t want to write to President Obama — that she would rather write a letter to Mitt Romney — they told her no. She had to write the letter to President Obama.” The mother added that her daughter “did write a letter because she’s not going to disobey an adult.”
Baldree told Fox that she was angry about the incident, saying that “I think they are using the children to get to the parents. Why are they teaching kindergartners politics? I don’t understand that.”
The Pasco County School district has been in the news over the past two weeks over similar incidents involving Obama campaign workers having free access to the schools. The Pasco Tribune reported that the Republican Party filed a complaint with the State Attorney's office, alleging that volunteers with Organizing for America, a group connected to the Obama campaign, had claimed to be with the Pasco Supervisor of Elections Office in order to gain access to speak to students. “It's quite obvious that some people got in there under false pretenses,” said Jim Mathieu, general counsel for the Pasco Republican Executive Committee.
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Photo of Barack Obama: AP Images