- Becca J. G. Godwin The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
During the final hours of the mayoral race Tuesday afternoon, Mary Norwood’s team opened a gate to an elementary campus playground, walked through and started filming without first asking permission, school officials said.
A video of Norwood campaigning at Drew Charter School was later posted to her Instagram account, despite a request from the school not to use the footage. The incident has left school officials reviewing measures related to the playground gate and signage for visitors.
School employees received several inquiries about the visit, which was made “without notice and without consent from the Drew Administration,” according to a letter sent to parents Wednesday.
When Norwood arrived on campus on Election Day, a monitor alerted the principal. The principal then relayed the school’s “no campaigning policy” and asked the camp to leave immediately, and “to refrain from using any videos or photos that they obtained while on campus,” according to the letter.
However, officials were “disappointed to learn that a video had been posted on her Instagram account and worked diligently to have it taken down,” the letter said. “We are upset that this happened and will work to ensure it does not happen again.”
Norwood’s team regrets the oversight, a campaign spokesperson said Thursday. "When the Drew administrator called the campaign, the video containing footage from the school was immediately removed from social media.”
The video was a recap of the day and also included stops at Busy Bee Cafe and a Whole Foods.
“Overall, the situation was handled quickly and in a polite manner by both parties,” a Drew spokeswoman said Thursday. The school is “exploring additional measures to secure the playground gate while staying in compliance with fire and safety regulations” and checking to see if more signs directing all visitors to the front office are needed.
Drew Charter has a separate campus for junior and senior academies.
Norwood has yet to concede to Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms after finishing 759 votes behind her in the runoff. She asked voters Thursday to report “administrative problems and voter intimidation” as she awaits the results of a recount in the vote for Atlanta mayor.