Their matching blue T-shirts spelled out their stance clearly: “Educators For Obama 2012.”
As a seemingly never-ending stream of Mitt Romney supporters waited in line to enter Lakes High School's John Benedetto Stadium, about a dozen members of the United School Employees of Pasco stood in protest around 4 p.m.
“When we found out this would take place, we could not let it go by without some kind of counter,” said Kenny Blankenship, instructional vice president of the USEP. “The superintendent allowed it to happen. It’s a violation of school district policy.”
By “it,” Blankenship was referring to the fact the district allowed Romney to speak. This, Blankenship said, is a violation of the district's own policy. Alex Sink, a Democrat, had been denied a request to film a commercial on a Pasco school campus when she was running for governor.
The school board, however, did allow Democratic Vice President Joe Biden to appear at Oakstead Elementary School in Land O' Lakes when he was trying to bolster support for the American Jobs Act.
Blankenship and his fellow educators were also in attendance to show their support for the sitting president.
Why are they voting Democratic?
“It’s not a matter of us being in love with Obama,” Blankenship explained. “His policies are less damning. Would you rather go with the guy who is going to beat you up or the guy who is going to kill you? I’ll take the guy who is going to beat me up.”