Election Day Hall Pass at Braelinn Elementary


Are you aware on Election Days that Braelinn Elementary School (BES) remains unsecured during the entire day, putting our K-5 children at risk?

The general public has potential open access to roam the halls of our school as they must proceed from an area outside of the building to a voting area in the gym located centrally within the school.

This means a voter has access to the school’s hallways through five different doors in the gym and the gym hallway system. This gives voters, but more importantly, any would-be perpetrator direct access to our children.

BES is unique to this situation. Oak Grove Elementary (another Fayette County school), for instance, also has voting on Election Day but the public accesses their polling booths through a gym access point that is secure from the rest of the school.

In recent years, BES parents, staff, and admin have repeatedly pleaded that the election office make a change, but it appears that Fayette County Election’s Director Brian Hill and Chairman Aaron Wright’s focus remains one dimensional.

Interestingly, some parents wanted to again address the issue at the Election Board’s public meeting on Tuesday, September 26th, 2023. Conveniently, the meeting was moved to Friday, September 29th, 2023 at 5 p.m … concurrent with Starr’s Mill Homecoming activities.

Coincidence, I’m sure, but no matter …

Maybe we should all be thanking the election board for inspiring us at BES to have our children take the day off from school on Election Day (up to 4 times a year) as we are forced on our own to avoid the potential dangers that may be wandering through our halls.

Fortunately, it is not too late for members of the Fayette County Board of Elections to be champions for our children. For the sake of our kids and our community, let’s fix this.

Richard Penfield 

(BES Parent and Fayette County Voter)