Students elect to sleep in while district votes


Photo Credit: The Glen Echo Stock Photo

With Election Day scheduled as a no-school day, students can take a collective breath after six full weeks of school.

by Yeheun Son, Advertising Manager

Students can oversleep without fear next Tuesday.

Glen Rock High School will host the general elections for public officials on Nov. 4, so the school will be closed to all students.

While students stay home, the school will be transformed into a polling center where Glen Rock citizens can cast their votes.

According to John Arlotta, high school principal, if students were in the school then there would bring an issue regarding school security.

“If you use your school as a polling place, then anybody can walk into the school,” Arlotta said. “Somebody could walk in, vote, then maybe do something that we don’t want him or her to do.”

The Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Paula Valenti, decided to close the school rather than risk a security issue.

Such a closing comes on the heels of the bomb threat that happened during last year’s Election Day; the threat to Alexander Hamilton School placed students across the district into on-sight lockdown.

Some students suggested that this year’s closing was in reaction to last year’s events. Arlotta, however, dismissed the rumors. The school closing was enacted out of concerns for unaccounted individuals entering the school, not necessarily a specific threat, according to Arlotta.

“It really just has to do with the Superintendent who is in charge of it,” he said.

Yet this school closing was the second choice for the administration, as the schools first requested that the Bergen County Board of Elections relocate the polling place outside of the school.

“Our county is the one that determines the relocation and, unfortunately, it said no,” Arlotta said. “We will have to have the voting at school.

“We don’t want our students to be here while that’s going on.”

This school closure had already been planned when the Board of Education laid out the district calendar this year. Students will therefore not have to make up this day during break.

“Last year, they decided it to be the last year to leave the school open,” Arlotta said. “The Board of Education makes sure students go to 180 days of school and, for this year, Election Day was not one of 180 days.”

Teachers will still come to school on Election Day as a staff workshop will take place. The In-Service Day will focus on teacher evaluations and instructional practices for the new block schedule.

As for students, many are looking forward to the day off but also question whether the week will be productive in class. Thursday and Friday are scheduled as no-school days, this time for the Teacher’s Convention in Atlantic City.

“I’m excited to not come into school, but it’s pointless to have school only on Monday and Wednesday,” said Jessica Koo, a senior.