Paladino's proposal to mandate Trump's photo in schools voted down

Dec 22, 2016

Should Buffalo's public schools be mandated to display a photo of Donald Trump, once he formally becomes president next month? The question was taken up by the city's school board Wednesday night.

Board member Carl Paladino, a close friend and ally of the president-elect, put forth the motion, which was ultimately voted down. Paladino ran Trump's New York campaign leading up to the election and helped bring the Republican nominee to Buffalo in April.

Paladino called it an appropriate action, saying many schools kids don't even know the president's name.

School board member Carl Paladino wants pictures of President-elect Donald Trump in Buffalo's schools, once he takes office next month.
Credit WBFO News file photo

"I think it's appropriate that we teach our kids who the President of the United States is," Paladino said.

Fellow board member Teresa Harris-Tigg called the mandate "problematic," based on past precedent.

"In the past, past practices, the principals make those decisions about their school. But now we are going to mandate, force something, where that is their prerogative?," questioned Harris-Tigg.

"Why is their prerogative? Why do we care what their prerogative is?," replied Paladino.

"I think there's something underlying under that that's not healthy for anybody and I think it's problematic," Harris-Tigg responded.

Other board members also took issue with the mandate, with Sharon Belton-Cottman questioning Paladino's motive.

"Now, since you helped run a campaign, now you want your candidate's picture in there," she said. "You don't mandate to principals what they do, anyway."

"Maybe it's time that we did. We might get some better education," Paladino replied.

Other board members suggested compromises, including posting pictures of the president, the governor and the mayor. They eventually agreed to a motion to display all presidents, past and present, on a single poster.