Schools are a common polling place on Election Day, but some parents expressed concerns about student safety in the Round Rock Independent School District. School officials said seven of the nine polling locations in Williamson and Travis Counties will be at schools come Tuesday for Election Day, but they are taking extra security precautions to make sure students are safe.
Corey Ryan is a spokesman for Round Rock ISD, “We have hosted elections in Round Rock ISD in our schools for years, and there's never been an incident, it's always been safe and secure in the way that we operate.” Safe and secure is something Ryan said they plan to happen this coming Tuesday for Election Day.
The school district has partnered with local law enforcement to have additional resources onsite during voting times. In addition to resource officers, in Williamson County, Sheriff's as well as Round Rock Police officers will be at schools, and in Travis County, APD will be have officers on site. With a record breaking number of people registered to vote, Ryan said it's just better to be safe than sorry. “We want to go above and beyond what we normally do in continuing to keep our schools safe and secure on Election Day,” Ryan said.
Ryan said voters won't see anything different, “Community members going to vote aren't going to see anything different because the police officers on campus working on the campus inside the schools not in the voting locations.” Students shouldn’t see a difference either, “The election sites where polling is happening is not in the learning environment, it's either in a portable structure outside the school or in one case it is in the school cafeteria, but not where school is going to operate in that day.” Ryan said the only difference is some students may see some extra foot traffic, which Ryan said teachers can use as a learning opportunity for kids. “They get to see the democratic process happen right there in their backyard in terms of seeing and having that talking point of being able to have those great conversations with teachers. Say ‘Hey what's going on?’ And then the teacher gets to explain ‘It's voting day.’”