- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona has moved a campaign rally planned for Wednesday from a Fairfax County high school following complaints that the school should not host a partisan event during classroom hours.

Paul Regnier, a spokesman for Fairfax County Public Schools, said the rally with Mr. McCain and vice-presidential running mate Gov. Sarah Palin has been moved to a park in Fairfax City.

School officials were told the move was made because the gym at Fairfax High School, with a capacity of 6,500, was too small, Mr. Regnier said.

The McCain campaign did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment Tuesday.

School system policy states that “school buildings and grounds may not be used for campaign activities during school hours.”

But Superintendent Jack Dale agreed to make an exception, saying the rally would be a good educational experience. He also noted that he had made an exception for a campaign event in July at Robinson High School for Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, although that was not while school was in session.

Senior government students at Fairfax High School would have been allowed to attend the rally Wednesday morning if they chose, Mr. Regnier said. The school system would have received $10,208 in rent from the McCain campaign.

Delegate Kristen J. Amundson, Fairfax Democrat, a former school board member, had said the rally should be canceled or moved.

The rally, scheduled for Wednesday morning, will now be held in Van Dyke Park in Fairfax. The campaign has been distributing tickets to supporters at its local campaign headquarters and over the Internet.

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