Monday, May 2, 2016

PPS schools at polling places

Apologies, this was sent in by Anonymous last week:

"*New post please*

Right now I am so angry I can barely type without spewing venom. My daughter attends a PPS elementary school. In the spirit of anonymity, I won't identify the specific school, but I will say that before yesterday, I felt it was a safe and secure place for my daughter. Any time I've gone to the building, I have had to be buzzed in, as the doors are always locked and gaining entry requires identification. Yesterday, however....oh, yesterday. My daughter's school was turned into an easy target for anyone with ill intentions, as the building was used as a polling location.

Polling locations are outside of PPS jurisdiction and must not be locked. The general public has easy access without the need for any identification. REALLY? Pardon me while I retch. While on any given day metal detectors may be used to screen potential threats, yesterday, the masses traipsed in and out of elementary schools throughout the district unencumbered. School police, already stretched to the limit as far as their ability to cover all buildings with few staff, were not assigned to individual schools, meaning that any issues (and there were issues) were dealt with on an "as we can get there" basis.

Dr. Lane, your obvious and blatant disregard for the safety of our children has gone from the ridiculous to the sublime. Every single person who entered that polling place, without having to be screened for ID or weapons, had the potential to do harm. The fact that you put my daughter in the crosshairs is beyond disgusting. I am infuriated and think there's a lawsuit here somewhere. The safety of our children should be your first priority, and you, Dr. Lane, ignored that responsibility. You dropped the ball and gambled that your indiscretion wouldn't end in a tragedy. You invited the possibility of mayhem into our buildings with little to no regard for my daughter or any other child. I have to wonder if your child was a student in one of those buildings, would you have felt differently? I am beyond disgusted at your wanton actions, and I'm surprised and disturbed that no one else has called you to task and held you accountable for such poor judgement. "


Questioner said...

Is PPS paid for making schools available for polling?

Anonymous said...

Three new school board members were on the ballot as democratic delegates in support of Bernie Sanders.

Get it?

Anonymous said...

Well folks, we can't have it both ways. Some of us want these buildings open all day/all year for community use. PPS has had buildings available for voting for many years. There are probably fewer schools used now as many other places are easier to use. Traffic, parking are only a few problems that face voters going into a school.
On the other hand, schools can use this opportunity to showcase student achievement. Displays of art, poetry and other such things draw attention. I understand your concern though. But honestly, While I did not vote in a school building I have to ask. Where voters given un-restricted access to the entire building? This needs to be asked. Many times it is just a simple thing as a teacher sitting at a door to re-direct visitors. While exit doors are always locked so you can exit but not enter, interior doors are in better control than you think. Did your child witness stray voters lurking in the coatroom? Perhaps they were trying to cast an extra vote. Your concern should not be of the voters, but for the names on the ballot. That is where the real danger lurks :)

Anonymous said...

Many school buildings have been polling places for years but many of us poll workers did discuss past practice of having school vacations days on election days. When did this change? Might it have been when we returned to a week-long spring break? At least 3 of us who were working our non-school building polling place were steadfastly opposed due to the risk associated with school buildings as polling places. There are really not enough election workers to go around anymore and maybe the number of polling locations could be decreased if Wards or districts in the city can agree to consolidate for operational purposes. Did the original poster call Bellefield on election day?

Anonymous said...

Ummm, the schools are closed for the November election day and open for primary day.

Did you actually see voters "mingling" somehow with schoolchildren? My child's elementary school was a polling place. The children and voters didn't come in contact when both were there. The voting was held in the gym and voters entered through door directly into the gym. The gym was not open to the school and was not used by the school that day, nor did they go in outside in the area where voters were arriving for recess.

I think your speaking for all schools is overboard. Perhaps your school/principal need to make a better plan. However, I'm surprised to hear that your school is doing weapons checks at the elementary level -- really?

If the students and voters were mixed together and if doors accessible to children and classrooms were left unlocked or unattended, then yes, go to your school and complain and register that complaint with the Parent Hotline, Dr. Lane, and your board member. If not, I think you might be overreacting.

Anonymous said...

@8:36...wake are surprised with elementary children going through metal detectors....I've had 2 students in the primary grades be suspended on two separate occasions for bringing weapons to school....elementary kids are young but they are not all that innocent...sigh...

Anonymous said...

@9:39 I have yet to be at an elementary school in the district that did daily weapons checks of all kids or had a metal detector, as most of the middle schools and all of the high schools do. If you read carefully, that's all it said.

Yes, little kids bring weapons. That's been happening for decades. There have been plenty of instances of them bringing in drugs and alcohol, too! (Knew a teacher with a kindergartener who brought a wine cooler for snacktime!)

Questioner said...

Mark Rauterkus wrote "Democracy is messy.

I don't want an "IRON CURTAIN" around our schools. But, I'm not sure that most schools are well suited for polling places. "