North Texas schools closing on Election Day amid safety concerns
Many North Texas schools will be closed Nov. 8 as districts navigate their roles as polling sites and the attendant safety risks in the wake of school shootings and threats to poll workers.
Why it matters: Campuses have been used as polling sites for years, but the influx of visitors during school hours has posed security challenges.
- Districts either have to cancel classes, forcing parents to find child care alternatives, or figure out how to reconfigure safety plans and the flow of traffic.
- The districts join other schools around Texas, including Austin and San Antonio, in canceling classes to make way for voters, citing safety concerns.
Context: Threats and disruptions to the electoral process prompted the Department of Justice to launch a law enforcement task force in July to ensure the safety of the front line of democracy.
- Texas was considered a key state in an August House Oversight Committee report on violent threats to election workers.
- Per Texas Election Code, schools must be made available for use as polling sites if needed.
Between the lines: The day of the Robb Elementary shooting in Uvalde in May coincided with run-off elections statewide.
- The school was not a polling site, but the tragedy highlighted potential vulnerabilities in campuses open to the public for voting.
Yes, but: Not all districts are closing on Election Day. Plano ISD and Grapevine-Colleyville ISD are among North Texas districts that will remain open. Several of their schools will still serve as polling sites.
- Of note: Plano ISD is asking voters to approve school renovations, new technology and improvements to its events center and stadiums through four bond propositions.
How to help: The FBI wants the public to report suspected threats or violent acts by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or filing an online complaint at tips.fbi.gov.
More Dallas stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Dallas.