School officials and parents across the nation are turning an increasingly critical eye on the time-honored tradition of voters casting ballots in the gymnasiums and hallways of neighborhood school buildings while classes go on as usual just a few yards away, reports the New York Times. Citing a litany of safety concerns, many officials are opting to keep youngsters home on Nov. 4, Election Day. "School districts across the country now spend millions of dollars each year on controlling access to buildings with locked doors and surveillance cameras to keep strangers out," said Kenneth Trump, president of the National School Safety and Security Services. "In a post-Columbine, post-9/11 world, we shouldn’t be opening the doors at our schools on Election Day and just hoping everything will be O.K." The decision to cancel classes on Election Day in the Rockland public schools in Massachusetts stemmed from an accident–an elderly driver, on his way to vote in the state’s presidential primary on Feb. 5, struck and critically injured an 8-year-old girl outside an elementary school in a neighboring district. The accident and the response by Rockland officials caught the attention of a PTA president in Aurora, Ill., a mother of two whose worries about the use of schools as polling places prompted the district to give students the day off on Election Day…

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