When it comes to teacher political activism, there are some important rules to be aware of. You DO have the freedom and the right to express your political views — you just can’t use public resources to do so.

Don’t use school district computers, mailboxes, copy machines, printers, phones or other property for political activism. 

It’s OK to forward a general “get out the vote” email or a reminder about voting dates. But you should never use district time or property on a message that supports or opposes a political candidate. Don’t even try to push the envelope in this regard — public information requests have been sent out to school districts seeking evidence of email references to specific candidates.

Don’t push your political views on students, parents or colleagues. 

According to the Care Enough to Vote guide publicized by the Texas Rural Education Association, “By local board policy, many school districts mandate that an employee’s participation in community, political, or employee organization activities…shall not: (1) interfere with the employee’s performance of assigned duties and responsibilities; (2) result in any political or social pressure being placed on students, parents, or staff; or (3) involve treading on the employee’s position or title with the district.