It seems a group of senatorial candidates decided to use the Jeffco Public Schools logo in their campaign mailers. Also interesting that there is a coordinated effort amongst three campaigns that should be prohibited from such activity. We do hope that the district has been in touch with an attorney representing the district to chat about trademark infringement.
Damages to the district have already occurred once people began receiving these mailings. Assuming that the logo was used without permission, since the school district cannot take a position on candidates, these individuals opted to use our schools and children to intimate an endorsement to each reader. This is extremely inappropriate and ethically, each of these candidates should recognize just how inappropriate this type of conduct is when seeking to serve a political office in our community. We all want our political leaders to follow laws, not find creative ways to side-step them. What do you think about candidates who are willing to use children and our schools regardless of a potential negative impact?
To apologize to our community for such unethical behavior and using our schools and children in their campaign activity, we believe that each of these candidates should make a donation to Jeffco Public Schools in the same amount or greater as the total cost of their campaign mailer. Typically, these large mailings cost approximately $0.60 per household or more. We suggest that our readers write to each of the candidates and request a donation be made to Jeffco Public Schools to benefit programs of the Jeffco Schools Foundation serving impacted children. Based upon the candidate filings with the Secretary of State, one reported donation of more than $12,000 was made for a campaign mailer for one of these senatorial candidates!
Here is a portion of a letter one Jeffco mom wrote to the Board of Education:
I was deeply concerned about the use of the Jeffco Public Schools logo on the flyer. Upon review of board policies, I did not find a policy directly on point regarding the use of the district’s logo. Only in policy KHB did I find the use of district logo mentioned, but only in regard to “revenue enhancement activities.” Specifically, “The following restrictions will be in place when seeking revenue enhancement. Revenue enhancement activities will not:..11.Use any district or school logo without prior approval.” Further, the same section of the policy also states that revenue enhancement activities will not “7. Promote, favor or oppose the candidacy of any candidate for election, adoption of any bond/budget issues or any public question submitted at any general, county, municipal or school election.” In regard to the use of the Jeffco Public Schools logo on thecampaign flyer, I have the following questions:
1) Did this Board or District approve the use of this logo?
2) If so, did the district receive compensation?
3) If this Board or District did not approve the use of the logo, was the Board aware of the use of the logo?
4) If the Board was unaware of the use of the logo and/or did not authorize the use of the logo, what remedies will the Board seek against the entity responsible for the flyer?
It seems to be that the use of the Jeffco Public Schools logo is extremely deceptive to voters (potentially construed as an endorsement by the district of a particular candidate), a conflict of interest for the Board and the District, and potentially an illegal use of the logo. I hope you are able to address this issue and my questions in a timely matter, prior to the election on November 6. Voters deserve to have accurate, objective information from this “non-partisan” board.
Take the time to write to the candidates who sent the mailer and request that their donation be made to Jeffco Public Schools in apology for utilizing our children!