Callista Ginigrich visits Hudson Monday afternoon
Callista Gingrich, wife of Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, was in Hudson Monday afternoon to read from her book "Sweet Land of Liberty" at Trinity Academy. The appearance caused a bit of controversy when it was first announced that she would be reading at Rock Elementary in Hudson.
The School District of Hudson disallowed Gingrich's appearance, creating the switch to Trinity.
When asked how Gingrich's appearance at Rock was scheduled initially, Superintendent Mary Bowen Eggebraaten said a mix up of sort occurred during the week of March 19-23 when the district was observing spring break.
She said the district has a practice about political appearances and said the author's appearance at Rock Elementary was not allowed. The following statement was released by Bowen-Eggebraaten:
Mrs. Callista Gingrich requested to read her book, "Sweet Land of Liberty," to children in a few classes at E.P. Rock on Monday, March 26th during her visit to Wisconsin to support her husband's campaign. The Hudson School District must remain non-political and did not accept Mrs. Gingrich's request to read at E.P. Rock due to district practice that does not support political activity during the school day with students. While Mrs. Gingrich's book does not present a specific political view point, she is touring as part of Mr. Gingrich's campaign for President and her itinerary is posted on the campaign's website. The district received multiple requests for access to students during the last Presidential campaign and made it a practice not to allow candidates access to students. Once we allow access to students by one candidate, in all fairness, we are compelled to allow the same access by other candidates. Therefore, the district has chosen to refrain from campaign visits.
Bowen-Eggebraaten said the Gingrich appearance was initiated by a parent who happens to know Gingrich, a Whitehall, Wisconsin native and Luther College graduate.
"It was scheduled with good intentions and because of spring break, the normal approval process did not occur," Bowen-Eggebraaten said. She suspects the scheduling needed quick action. She said school officials, including Bowen-Eggebraaten , were not made aware of the scheduling until late last week.
The Trinity Academy Principal Alison Johnson said the school was "excited" to have the author visit. Gingrich read to first, second, fourth and fifth graders at the school and visited middle school students for a brief time.