PORTLAND – Portland Public Schools officials are disputing Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s claims that the city’s high schools restrict uniformed military recruiters’ access to students — this, despite Senate President Justin Alfond’s (D-Portland) stated belief that there is a problem.
Portland High School Principal Deborah Migneault, according to a NECN.com report, denied LePage’s claims, saying that military recruiters have a table set up outside the guidance office.
However, Alfond, who represents Portland, has said that he communicated with school district officials, learned that the LePage Administration’s claims were accurate, and that’s why even he supported the bill.
During a June 11 segment on the George Hale and Ric Tyler morning radio show, Alfond talked about inquiring with Portland school officials: “So I did, and they did talk about the policies here in Portland, and that is why, one of the reasons why, I supported this bill …. Those are policies that are adopted locally. Those are things that I don’t really have much control over, but this bill I did, and I voted for it …. My personal experience in the City of Portland made me believe that this bill was necessary.”
Alfond took to the airwaves to discuss the actions of some Democrats which led to the failure of LePage’s military recruiter bill. As previously reported on by The Maine Wire, the bill originally won a majority of votes in the House of Representatives; however, far left Democrats flip-flopped to oppose the measure during a separate vote.
The Democrats who voted against the bill, including Rep. Joshua Plante (D-Berwick), maintain that there is no factual evidence that military recruiters are having access problems. Plante and others base their views on testimony from various school superintendents, while LePage’s concern stems from the complaints of top level military officials in the state.
LePage said in his weekly address that he would trust a high-ranking combat veteran over schools superintendents.
Maine Wire Reporter