ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - When parents of the boy's soccer teams at La Cueva High School got an email from the head coach about a mandatory community service project, delivering campaign brochures is not what they had in mind.
One parent KRQE News 13 spoke to wanted to remain anonymous.
"I had the understanding that it was going to be cleaning up the park, cutting grass, pulling weeds," one parent said.
Instead, the 50 or so junior varsity and varsity soccer players went door-to-door Sunday dropping off campaign brochures for Democratic Senator Lisa Curtis, who represents the far northeast heights.
"Why is the school sponsoring this? Why is the school condoning this? This is not community service," a parent said.
Parents say no APS staff or coaches only members of Curtis' campaign were there to supervise the kids' political project.
"Who knows who could have opened the door and responded to the literature being passed out," a parent said.
Senator Curtis says she Is good friends with la Cueva's soccer coach Kevin Driggs.
"It was just a fundraiser for the team," Senator Curtis said.
She told the coach she wouldd make a $500 donation to the team in exchange for some help from the players.
Curtis says the kids were not campaigning for her.
"There's no talking. Okay. There's no campaigning. No issue discussing. All you're going to be doing is dropping lit. You're just making sure we're getting a bunch of literature out in the neighborhoods," Senator Curtis said.
However, parents and APS officials did not see it that way.
"It is absolutely unacceptable," APS Chief Operations Officer, Brad Winter, said. "We don't condone it. It should have never happened."
Winter says Directing students to hand out political flyers and agreeing to accept a donation from a candidate are violations of APS policies.
He also says Driggs broke both.
"So we will follow up with discipline with the coach," Winter said.
Curtis' republican opponent, Mark Moores, believes the kids were put in danger and he puts the blame squarely on Senator Curtis.
"She also put the coach in an awkward position by putting political pressure on him to help her campaign just for political gain," Moores said.
Curtis says she meant no harm.
"I'm sorry if I'm naive okay," Senator Curtis said. "This is my first election. I've never run for any elected office before…I'm not tying any kids to any campaign."
Curtis, who is a trial lawyer, was appointed to the senate last December after republican Kent cravens resigned.
KRQE News 13 called coach Driggs he never got back to us.
APS says the district called Moores to apologize for letting this happen.
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