Two principals in a Texas school district are facing criminal charges after allegedly violating state election laws by using their school emails to urge staff to vote for candidates who oppose school choice.

Alexander Elementary School Principal Lindsey Lujan and Borman Elementary Principal Jesus Lujan, who are married, work in the Denton Independent School District.

The two administrators emailed staff in February encouraging them to vote in March’s Republican primary election for candidates who oppose GOP Gov. Greg Abbott’s school voucher plan, court documents show, according to Fox 4.

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Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against Denton ISD in response to the emails, which were leaked in February. Paxton’s office and the school district later reached a settlement.

The principals were charged with unlawful use of an internal mail system for political advertising, a Class A misdemeanor. The charge carries a maximum penalty of up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

The Texas American Federation of Teachers, a teachers union, claimed the charges represent a “politically motivated legal attack.”

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“This latest escalation in the campaign against educators and school employees fulfilling their duty to promote civic engagement and using their voices to highlight the high stakes for public education in our elections threatens to have a profound chilling effect in communities across the state,” Texas AFT said in a news release.

The district said election laws should be followed, but also encouraged people to learn about the candidates and their positions before voting in the primary of their choosing.

A court hearing for Lindsay Lujan is scheduled for next month while her husband’s hearing is set for June.

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