Michelle Obama's Planned Visit to a Miami Lakes High School Upsets Republican School Board Members

First Lady Michelle Obama is stopping into town tomorrow, when she will speak to supporters of her husband's re-election campaign at Barbara Goleman Senior High in Miami Lakes. However, two members of the Miami-Dade School Board, both registered Republicans, are taking issue with the event.

"Don't these liberals have boundaries?" member Renier Diaz de la Portilla asked in a press release. Not coincidentally, he's running as a Republican for a state House seat.

The first lady's visit tomorrow will not be to address school kids. In essence, the Obama campaign is merely renting out the gymnasium. Students and teachers cannot attend while they're on the clock. At the appearance, Obama will ask attendees to register to vote and support her husband's campaign at the grassroots level.

"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," the politically ambitious Diaz de la Portilla wrote in a press release.

However, the Miami-Dade School Board indeed believes public school facilities can be used for reasons other that educating our children, and in fact has a whole section of rules for renting facilities. Mrs. Obama's event appears to meet all of the criteria, and the school board is not allowed to discriminate.

In addition to Diaz de la Portilla, board member Carlos Curbelo, a former GOP strategist, is also upset with the visit.

"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 the school board attorney, Walter Harvey, according to Naked Politics.

And what is the message of a school board member using his position to get cheap publicity and score points with the right wing while he's heading into a Republican primary for a state House seat? Would Curbelo say Diaz de la Portilla's new-found zest for attacking the president sends the right message to students, employees, and the taxpayers who elected him and pay his salary?

Let's be real. Mrs. Obama is trying to get her husband re-elected through a grassroots event to encourage people to get directly involved in the democratic process. Diaz de la Portilla is trying to score points for his own election efforts by stirring up cheap publicity and a fake controversy that gets his name in headlines.

Don't these conservatives have boundaries?

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >