Wall asks that schools not be polling places

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Central Elementary School in Wall Township. RYAN WELSH / THE COAST STAR

WALL TOWNSHIP — Wall Township has called for all four district elementary schools — Allenwood, Central, Old Mill and West Belmar — to be removed as polling places for any elections.

Superintendent Cheryl Dyer wrote a letter to Robin Major, administrator for the Board of Elections, asking that the schools be removed, saying, “the safety of the students and peace of mind of their parents necessitates eliminating the schools as polling places.”

According to Mrs. Dyer, she received word of a petition circulating among community members in late May calling for the polling places to be moved.

In her letter, dated June 1, 2017, Mrs. Dyer asked that the schools be removed citing increased concerns from members of the community, “many interruptions to continuity of instruction in November” and the burden placed on working parents who have to find options and pay for child care.

The district is currently required to close schools for the annual New Jersey Education Association [NJEA] convention for two days in November and again for Thanksgiving break later in the month.

Mrs. Dyer went on to state, “using our schools as polling places is a financial burden on the school district, the municipality and subsequently the taxpayers.

“Last year, we hired additional security personnel for Election Day and we extended the hours of our regular security staff. Wall Township paid for additional police to be available as well.”

As no response has yet been received, The Wall Township Board of Education approved a revised school calendar on Tuesday, June 20.

The new calendar moves the district in-service day from Monday, Oct. 9, 2017 to Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, the general election date.

For more on this story, read The Coast Star—on newsstands Thursday or online in our e-Edition.