Classes have actually been canceled or polling has been moved from institutions in miscellaneous districts as result of fears that violence during this it s too dirty election.

You are watching: Are schools closed on election day 2016


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In this Oct. 21, 2016 photo, students come at Falmouth High college in Falmouth, Maine. The town of Falmouth is one of several municipalities approximately the nation that has actually canceled college on choice Day to stop placing kids at hazard in case the heated rhetoric spills into confrontations or also violence in ~ the polling places.Robert F. Bukaty / AP
This election Day, in ~ a number of voting locations across America, polls will certainly be open up — yet the schools that home them will certainly not.

Public schools, through their ample parking, handicapped-accessible spaces, and capacity come hold big crowds, have always made for renowned polling places.


And while many states or cities have constantly closed schools on election Day in past years, the an especially contentious nature the this presidential project has brought up more concerns 보다 usual.



"Elections are always going come raise a tiny bit the tension between people, yet with the candidates this year, it"s obviously a little much more heated," stated Sara Andriotis, a mommy of two who lives in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.


"They're expecting more than we've ever before had ... Just to err top top the next of caution, we decided to nearby those schools."


Her school district in Easton, Pa., chose to cancel classes on choice Day after ~ Andriotis and also other parents lugged up fears that violence could break out at the schools" polling places.

Related: Feds Concerned about Risk the Violence as Election job Nears


There"s no official tally that how plenty of schools will be closeup of the door nationwide top top Nov. 8, follow to the nationwide School boards Association. Yet in various districts from new Jersey come Nebraska, officials have canceled classes, or moved polling the end of institutions to other structures this year.

In phibìc Carolina, one more battleground state, the Johnson County college board opted to close colleges after local election officials warned the turnout would be higher than ever.

"They"re expecting much more than we"ve ever had," Nathanael Shelton, director of interactions for Johnson county schools, told NBC News. "Just to err on the side of caution, we determined to near those schools."


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The fears stem from a tense choice season in i beg your pardon a Hillsborough, north Carolina, GOP campaign office to be firebombed and also voters have actually made a habit of holding up posters threatening violence against the candidates. A USATODAY/Suffolk college poll exit Wednesday uncovered that 51 percent of likely voters space concerned about the opportunity of election Day violence.


Even commonwealth officials have actually expressed apprehension together Election day approaches, v one telling NBC News the authorities were an especially worried around the "I"m a patriot and also if it concerns it, I"ll grab my weapons and defend my flag" trumped supporters.

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But the idea of election Day college closures isn"t brand-new or unique to this election. In new York state, countless districts have actually been closed because that years, consisting of those in new York City, the largest school ar in the United says with 1.1 million students.

Supporters point to student security as the number one reason for closing schools, citing the high number of outsiders flow in and out that buildings. Many likewise believe closing institutions helps voter turnout and also emphasizes the importance of civic duty to students.


"It's vital that they have actually adequate provisions in location to address the problem of increased activity around the school."


But detractors think it unnecessarily pressures students to miss out on out on class time and also forces an academic makeup day, and say instead of remaining home, students could go about their typical day and simply skip gym or not go in the auditorium if polling were ensuing in those parts of their schools.


Thomas Hylton, a member that the Pottstown college board, about 35 miles exterior of Philadelphia — where schools will be open up on election Day — dismisses any kind of safety concerns.

"The threat is so slight regarding not even be a concern. People tend to be concerned around things that are really unlikely to happen," Hylton called NBC News. As for even if it is this choice carries a higher risk the violence than previous years, Hylton said, "I don"t see any kind of difference."


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Regardless, schools need to adequately prepare for an influx of tourists if they offer as polling places, said Ronald Stephens, the executive, management director that the nationwide School safety and security Center.


"The question for institutions would it is in whether their polling location that they usage for vote does administer a level of sufficient separation or security so that college can proceed to go on safely there is no disrupting the educational process," Stephens called NBC News.

Schools should also expect a high amount of automobile traffic and be sure pedestrians are safe, that added.

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"It"s vital that they have actually adequate provisions in location to address the concern of increased activity around the school," that said. "It would be necessary to have additional formal supervision approximately the school, whether that"s campus supervisors or if they have a school source officer on campus, just monitoring what"s there."


Elizabeth chuck is a reporter because that NBC News who concentrates on health and also mental health, particularly issues that impact women and children.