Tuesday, November 4, 2008

How about we actually educate kids on election day!

What is the deal with closing schools on election day? I think it's all wrong. Kids should be in school learning. It's not like we have such a high-performance education system in the US that we can afford to cancel a perfectly good day for learning.

Now I've read that many public schools cancel classes because their buildings are used as polling places and they have security concerns. That is legitimate and I will offer some solutions below. But my kids go to private school and their classes are canceled as well. Why? Voting is a pretty simple matter. It took me 15 minutes this morning. Surely my kids' teachers could find a way to do their jobs AND vote. Now I can understand that teaching and voting at the same time might be a bit difficult. (Although people seem to manage singing and showering at the same time.) But teachers can vote early in the morning before school. Or in the evening after school. And kids could learn.

Now some thoughts on solving the safety problem in schools on election day:

First, don't have voting take place in schools! Schools are for kids to learn. Not for adults to vote. Would we hold voting in hospitals and kick all the sick people out?

Here are some alternatives:
1) Wal-Mart. Good way to juice the economy. Plus many people probably have to go shopping anyway so it saves them a trip.
2) Soup kitchens. People can vote and then volunteer their time.
3) Bowling alleys. C'mon! Who doesn't love bowling?!
4) Airports. People are waiting for delayed flights anyway. Find a way to let them engage in the process of democracy while being subjected to the tyrannies of the process of travel. ["The process of travel". Now that's a felicitous turn of phrase. I'm well on my way to being the next Poet Laureate... Of Kazakhstan!]
5) Bakeries. They smell good. Enough said.

I'm sure there are many more good ideas. Hopefully we can solve this problem before next year. It is quite silly to vote for candidates - who have spent time talking about their education plans - in a way that displaces kids from their schools.

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