Education

Media Overhypes Schools’ Fear Of Trump-Related Violence

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Blake Neff Reporter

The Associated Press claims that U.S. schools are terrified of Election Day violence caused by supporters of Republican nominee Donald Trump, so terrified they are canceling classes.

But the head of one school district that is canceling classes strongly disputes the AP’s narrative, saying fears of violence played no role in the decision.

Easton, Penn.’s school district isn’t holding classes Nov. 8, so that its schools can be used as polling places. In a Tuesday article, the AP suggested this cancelation was motivated by fears of violence:

Some of the pressure to close schools on Election Day or move voting is coming from parents. Sara Andriotis, a mother in the Easton, Pennsylvania, area, pushed for voting to be taken out of local schools.

“We were mostly concerned because of the risk that it puts our children in,” she said.

Easton Superintendent John Reinhart wanted to get voting out of schools altogether but was rebuffed by county election officials. So the school board canceled classes on Election Day.

Earlier in the article, the AP directly tied these alleged fears to Trump’s rhetoric.

“Some of those anxieties have been stoked by Donald Trump’s repeated claims that the election is rigged and his appeal to his supporters to stand guard against fraud at the polls,” the article says. “Some are worried about clashes between the self-appointed observers and voters.” No equivalent connection is made to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s rhetoric. (RELATED: The Media Is Outraged Trump Tricked Them Into Covering His Press Conference)

But when The Daily Caller News Foundation contacted Superintendent Reinhart in Easton, he strongly disputed the notion that a fear of political violence had anything to do with the decision.

“It was not based on any kind of threat or threatening situation,” Reinhart told TheDCNF. Instead, he said the real concern was the massive amount of traffic voters would bring, which would interfere with normal school operations.

“It just seems very foolish for us to add even more traffic, and more activity to such a busy location,” he said. While Easton schools have hosted polling sites in the past, he said the district anticipated greater voter turnout this year which would exacerbate the situation. Handling the situation, he said, would require placing security and police to maintain order, and that was an expense he said should be borne by the county, not the school district. (RELATED: Trump Has The Media Rattled)

Reinhart added that “not many” parents complained about any potential dangers. The only security concern, he said, was the potential hazard of having people freely wandering the school without being on school business. But that is a daily concern, he said, not one created by the 2016 election.

“We live in a time where a lot of resources are spent protecting schools from harm … It’s questionable we should cast aside our school safety concerns [just because it’s an election,]” he said.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.