Missed connection: Kenney’s website falters in Philly schools

Philadelphia teachers may have already cast their lot with Jim Kenney in this year’s mayor’s race, but they are having serious issues connecting with the candidate.

Not Jim Kenney, the man, actually, but his website.

Kenney’s campaign website can not be accessed currently by teachers, students and employees using the Philadelphia School District’s servers.

The websites for each of the other candidates in this year’s mayor’s race can be easily browsed, but the district’s servers block users from Kenney’s.

The Philadelphia School District says the blockage is not intentional.

District spokesman Fernando Gallard said the district’s information technology team could not yet pinpoint the cause of the malfunction. He says the district will attempt to fix the issue, but said it may need to be resolved on team Kenney’s end.

Kenney campaign spokesman Lauren Hitt says their website’s security certificate is valid. They’re running other tests to determine if there’s a fix on their end.

Teachers and students can access sites for Lynn Abraham, Nelson Diaz, Doug Oliver and Anthony Williams.  Milton Street does not have a campaign website.

Campaign websites can be relevant to curriculum. Some high school classrooms have been studying and analyzing this year’s mayor’s race as part of their civics and history coursework.

School district leaders have not endorsed any of the candidates publically. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers has endorsed Kenney, and has pledged $11,500 to his campaign — the maximum an organization can give directly to a candidate.

School Reform Commissioner Bill Green — a longtime Kenney adversary — has contributed to Williams’ mayoral effort.

The school district recently sent an email to employees reminding them that candidates for elected office may not visit schools during school hours for personal political purposes.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.