But the spot for the political event – Barbara Goleman Senior High in Miami Lakes – has some Republican members of the School Board seeing red.
Miami-Dade School Board member Renier Diaz de la Portilla has called for the event to be cancelled and board member Carlos Curbelo has asked the board attorney to reconsider his opinion that the event meets legal muster.
While School Board seats are nonpartisan, Diaz de la Portilla is running for state House as a Republican and Curbelo has worked as a Republican strategist.
“Allowing the first lady of the United States to use one of our schools explicitly to benefit the president’s reelection campaign is inappropriate and sends the wrong message to our students, employees, and to taxpayers – even if the president’s campaign is willing to pay for all costs resulting from the event,” Curbelo wrote in the letter to School Board attorney Walter Harvey.
Curbelo told The Miami Herald on Monday: “There’s a difference between official visits to schools by elected leaders and events that are for the sole purpose of advancing the interests of a political campaign.”
Curbelo added that his request was not an “anti-Obama position” and that he welcomes official visits from the president and first lady, but wants to keep politics out of schools to the extent possible.
Diaz de la Portilla said in a statement:
“The use of public schools whose only focus should be to educate our children for political gain is downright wrong. Don’t these liberals have boundaries? Our schools are places for learning, not places for politicking.”