, Salem, MA


October 23, 2013

Letter: Voting interrupts children's education

To the editor:

This is in response to Nelson Benton’s opinion piece regarding voting in schools (”An ‘insult’ to voters,” Oct. 11), I feel I must set the record straight. Nelson writes that myself and members of the school board are suggesting that citizens of Peabody “cannot be trusted around children and are not entitled to use the very facilities their taxes bought and maintain.” That is an awful thing to insinuate and write, and you, Mr. Benton, should be ashamed of yourself for trying to make the readers think that way. My only investment in this subject is to do what I think is right. Using the previously given but often misrepresented facts, I feel that I am correct, as do many other people who have reached out to me regarding this issue.

Here are some of the other reasons this paper chooses to ignore:

— Currently, we do close school for the November election each year. I feel that is an interruption to the educational experience, especially since most months of November never see the student in school for one full week, given the fact that there is Veterans Day and Thanksgiving in that month, as well.

— The past school year, there were five election days and the potential for six. Those are six days that were not planned for in our school calendar, and we had voting in the schools (due to special elections) while school was in session. Although the newspaper will have you think that I am only concerned with the voters walking around our buildings and strangers entering, I will assure you that it is not the responsible voter that I am worried about. Many of our schools cannot handle the parking or traffic, and children are not allowed to use the outdoor recess area or the gym on these days. The teaching staff does not bring the children down to see the democratic process, so it is not a teaching moment. Quite the contrary, the teachers do not let the children out of their classrooms on those days because of the many unknown people in the building. I feel that Peabody should be taking a proactive step and remove the polling locations from all of our school buildings. There are currently four other states that have bills in legislation to have a ban on voting in school buildings (Illinois, Indiana, New York and Virginia). I think Peabody voters deserve a more accessible voting location, and Peabody schoolchildren deserve to have an uninterrupted educational setting.

Brandi Carpenter

Peabody School Committee

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate