For a few days each year, absolutely anyone is able to walk, unquestioned, into the Summit Public Schools to vote. Parents of schoolchildren are required to call ahead before they come into school, get "buzzed in" the locked school doors, and wear identifying badges while visiting school. Voters are able to walk in unlocked school doors and through school hallways without question, identification, or supervision. No additional indoor security is provided by the Board of Elections, the Board of Education, or the Summit Police Department. The lack of oversight and forethought on this issue puts the more than 3,400 children and staff in the Summit Public Schools in harm's way, and though discussions on the matter have been happening for years, absolutely nothing has been done.
This is a tragedy waiting to happen. According to data maintained by Everytown for Gun Safety, there have been approximately 74 school shootings in the 18 months since the December 2012 incident in Newtown, CT. The majority of these incidents, 39 in total, have taken place in K-12 schools. This averages to more than one shooting per week while school is in session. This is a national issue, affecting a total of 31 states, which have experienced gun violence in their schools. It would be foolhardy to assume that Summit, NJ, is somehow immune to this risk. We ask the Common Council to put our children first, support the effort to remove voting from the Summit Public Schools, and assist the citizens in cutting through the red tape with the Union County Board of Elections...before we're dealing with crime scene tape.