Parents in a key battleground state are livid after children as young as five years old were ordered to write letters to President Obama seeking advice in what was called an afterschool political activity.
“I think they are using the children to get to the parents,” said Victoria Baldree, the mother of a 9-year-old child who attends Seven Oaks Elementary School in Pasco County, Fla. “Why are they teaching kindergartners politics? I don’t understand that.”
Baldree’s daughter, Blair, was one of hundreds of children in kindergarten through the fifth grade who attend the before and after school program sponsored by the school district.
On Wednesday, childcare workers told the children they would be participating in a political activity, Baldree said.
“They handed the students letters they wanted the kids to write to the president,” she told Fox News. “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.”
Baldree said the instructors did not explain why she could not write to Romney – but she completed the assignment.
“She did write a letter because she’s not going to disobey an adult,” she said.
The letters students were supposed to ask President Obama for advice – and each one was addressed to the White house.
The family is politically active and she said the assignment was a red flag to her fourth grade daughter.
“When my husband picked her up she was pretty upset about it,” she said. “We were very upset about it.”
The Baldrees visited the head of the program on Thursday but did not get answers to their questions.
“I was concerned because they’re supposedly teaching them some political stuff at this program – but they are not qualified to do that,” she said. “These are not teachers – these are child care workers.”
“I was extremely livid about it,” she added. “Why are unqualified people teaching children politics in an afterschool program?”
The Pasco County School system did not return multiple calls seeking an answer to that question. The district has been rocked with complaints from parents after Obama campaign volunteers were allowed to register hundreds of teenagers on campus.
A volunteer was also allowed to deliver pro-Obama speeches to a number of high school classrooms – and in one instance Obama supporters told teenage girls that Romney would take away their birth control and ban abortions if he was elected president.
Republicans in the county demanded equal access – but school officials refused their request.
Baldree said the incidents are not coincidental.
“It came at a very tumultuous time with politics the way it is now,” she said. “I think they are using the children to get to the parents.”