With the March 10th primary election just around the corner, I thought it might be helpful to share a few thoughts regarding the safety and security of our schools.
Changes in the Wayne County common calendar, and our obligation to follow that calendar, have resulted in November elections becoming a Professional Development (PD) day for all school districts and perhaps adding another PD day every four years in March might be part of a future conversation. For now, our district, along with just over half of the other districts in Wayne County, will be open on March 10th just as we were during the 2016 primary election.
For those schools where voting will occur, there will be a bit of change in the daily routine. Principals and engineers have plans in place that will ensure a minimal amount of disruption but it will require a little patience from all of us.
As for the safety and security of schools, please know that myself and others have been in touch with the City Clerk’s office and Dearborn Police. Our City Clerk is a long time supporter of the Dearborn Public Schools and he too understands the balance between running a smooth election and keeping schools safe. His office is estimating about 12,000 to 15,000 people voting at about 50 different precincts scattered throughout the city. That works out to an average of 300 people stopping by each voting location (actual numbers will vary by location but some polling locations may have fewer voters due to changes in absentee voting laws that have made the process easier and accessible to a larger number of voters). As with most elections, the busiest times will occur in the morning between 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. and then again between 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
From the beginning to the end of election day, communication and organization is key to keeping everyone safe. I have communicated with principals, engineers, and all other staff members providing them with guidance and suggestions to ensure a secure school environment. Of course, we have our outstanding Dearborn Police School Resource Officers who, as always, will be in our schools on election day. We have a great partnership with the Dearborn Police and they will once again be making an extra effort on election day to visit schools not just once, but frequently throughout the day in a program they call “Safe and Fair Elections.”
Our schools are part of the neighborhood and fortunately the people coming in to vote are the friends, neighbors, and parents of the students we see everyday. As a school community we need to take pride in the role we have to support a free and fair election process. At the same time we must balance that with the very real concern for the overall safety of the staff and students in our schools. By all of us doing our part to work together, communicate, remain vigilant, and follow a few simple precautions, our schools will remain safe, not only on election day, but every day.
Have a great day,
Health, Safety & Security Supervisor
Dearborn Public Schools