The Safety of Having a Polling Place at DePaul Prep

Maria Kereakes, Sophomore Writer

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On Tuesday, November 6th, DePaul Prep was a polling place for the midterm elections. A polling place is a location where in the community come to vote, depending on their precinct.

Having a polling place in a school, during school hours, can be dangerous for various reasons.

School shootings are becoming more common. If a school is a polling place, anyone can walk in. This leaves the school, and everyone in it, vulnerable. Also, the doors are wide open welcoming in the voters, and other potential threats.

Many students have strong opinions on their safety at the school on Election Day.

“I personally feel like the school administration should do a better job from sectioning off the school from the polling place. With the current climate of the country, I think it’s important to keep the students and faculty safe, not only on elections days, but on any day of the year,” said Sophomore Kiara Ruiz.

In addition to having an adult in the front lobby greeting the voters, Ruiz would feel safer if there was someone monitoring the classrooms and making sure no one wandered around the school.

“I don’t think it was safe, a simple sign will not stop people from coming into the classrooms where we are having class,” said classmate, Parker Casey.

“I think the school needs to have security with a bag check for the voters, or just cancel school to make us feel safer,” says Casey.

DePaul Prep understands the dangers of having a polling place in a school, therefore they have taken many precautions to keep both students and staff members protected

“I don’t believe schools should be polling places unless there is a separate space that can be closed off to the rest of the school,” said Principal Dr. Megan Stanton-Anderson.

The polling stations were located in the library, which was closed for the day to ensure the safety of the students.

“Our CPD school sergeant is also close by,” said Mr. Daniel O’Keefe, Dean of Students at DePaul.

“We moved our early dismissal from Wednesday, November 7 to Tuesday, November 6, in order to have students in the building for a shorter period of time while voting was happening,” said Stanton-Anderson.

Even though having a polling place at a school may be dangerous, everyone stayed safe and protected on Election Day here at DePaul Prep.