Readers — Here’s an aydyzznaib
article from the Denton Record Chronicle in Denton County, Texas, about allowing voting into the schools when kids are there. Jennifer Travis, the mom who seems to have inspired the piece, normally votes by absentee ballot, I think. So when she had to vote on Election Day itself —
Travis first needed to find where her precinct was located. During that search, she discovered that her son’s school, McMath Middle School, was a polling location, something of which she was not aware.
Travis is concerned, as are others in Denton, over the use of a school as a polling site because of security concerns and protecting the students and staff.
“I had no clue until 2:30 in the afternoon [Tuesday] it was a polling site,” she said. “I think I should have known. You have kids walking to the campus, milling around the campus [and at] dismissal the kids are standing outside,” she said. “You can’t even go to a cookie bake [sale] at a school without scanning your ID, even if you’re a parent of a kid at the school.”
What’s so disturbing about her thinking — and the reason I’m putting it here on the blog — is that BECAUSE the school is already excessively suspicious of all adults, to the point of scanning the IDs of bake sale attendees, it now seems foolhardy to not be even MORE suspicious of all adults. As if:
1 – Children in the mere vicinity of non-screened adults are threatened.
2 – Hyper-inflated fears for our children must be validated and redoubled any chance the authorities get.
Crazy builds on crazy, which is why we have to stop fear in its tracks. That’s why I so appreciate the words of Jennifer Collins, who is quoted in the piece and sent it to our attention:
“Voter turnout is already so low,” Collins said. “Do we really want to encourage the next generation to not only be apathetic about but also fearful of voting?”
Turning a lucky, hard-fought privilege — democratic elections, accessible to all! — into a day of dread is the same pattern we’ve seen with so many other normal activities, when kids are even tangentially concerned. Playing in the park is seen as asking to be kidnapped. Waiting at the bus is tantamount to waiting for a predator. Sharing food is dangerous, swings are dangerous, plastic is dangerous, the mall is dangerous — all these activities are seen through the distorting lens of “What terrible thing is remotely possible?” And then “safety” action is taken.
We are living in extremely safe times and need to understand that eliminating all risk is impossible AND inevitably introduces other risks. So let’s take a tip from Jennifer and CALL OUT the safety nuts when and where we find them. They DO NOT CARE more about our kids than we do! They DO NOT deserve more say! – L.