Politics and the Trumbull Board of Education

A political email

Michael Herbst, athletic director for Trumbull High School, forwarded an email about proposed national legislation to to a list of contacts, including other Trumbull school district employees on Tuesday at 9:17 a.m.

“Watch out for this AFTER November elections; remember this BEFORE you VOTE, in case you think Obama is looking out for your best interest,” the forwarded message said. “A 1 % tax on all bank transactions is what HR 4646 calls for. Do you recieve a retirement check from Social Security or a pension fund and have it direct deposit?? Well guess what…It looks as if Obama wants to tax is 1%!!! This bill was put forth by Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA).

Earlier this year, First Selectman Tim Herbst appealed to schools superintendent Ralph Iassogna to reprimand Board of Education employee Amy Palmer for posting non-work related information on an online forum. He said her actions violated Board of Education policy.

Tim Herbst said he did not find Michael Herbst in violation of the policy because he sent the email by mistake. Michael Herbst and Kuczo are members of Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference. Michael Herbst is the current league president for the organization. Michael Herbst often recieves emails concerning athletic legislation from Kuczo, Tim Herbst said. When Michael Herbst saw the subject line, which read “HR 4646,” he assumed it was about athletic legislation and forwarded it on to his contacts, which include athletic directors in other towns, without reading it, Tim Herbst said.

“This was an innocent mistake,” Tim Herbst said.

Board of Education website

The Trumbull TEA website was moved off of the Trumbull Public Schools server, according to an email sent by Iassogna on Oct. 27. Tim Herbst raised concerns the day before that the TEA’s web pages displayed political information.

“…the teacher’s union (used) a Trumbull Public School’s website, funded by taxpayers, to criticize the first selectman,” Tim Herbst said.

The “political action” page of the website included a link to an op-ed critical of Herbst. It also directed those who wanted a lawn sign to contact Vickie Tesoro, who is as a Democrat running for Town Council in district 3. Although the website did not specify which lawn signs interested people could request, Tim Herbst said putting Tesoro’s name as the contact showed the political bias.

The superintendent acknowledged corrective action, Herbst said.

Vinti Singh